Sleep is an invaluable gift of nature, which allows the human body to rest, produce certain substances that are important for the efficient functioning of body systems, get rid of the effects of stress, and “repair” damaged cells and mechanisms. But, unfortunately, many people have difficulty falling asleep.
All from the fact that they cannot “turn off” their minds. Thoughts rush, not allowing you to relax and fall asleep. This inevitably gives rise to a vicious circle: a person suffers from the fact that he cannot fall asleep, as a result, the feeling of anxiety intensifies from which the dream finally disappears
Usually, those who have trouble falling asleep are advised (and this is the right advice!) to avoid stress in everyday life. But this is easy to say, but very difficult to do. Therefore, this article will not focus on how to solve a multi-level problem and get rid of daily stress. Let’s talk about the most common cause of insomnia, which, indeed, can be eliminated — about irrepressible thoughts before going to bed.
The fact is that they often arise as a result of overwork. Physical and mental exhaustion disrupts a person’s sleep. When people wait too long for that happy moment when they finally get to their pillows, they miss the time period when they could fall asleep soundly. As a result, the body continues to experience stress and produces appropriate hormones, in particular cortisol. “Running” hormones block the relaxation of the nervous system and, ultimately, completely deprive a person of sleep.
Sleep on schedule
Many people think that it doesn’t matter when people go to bed, as long as they sleep for a certain number of hours, which is enough for rest. But it’s not. If a person is unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep, it may very well be that he simply missed a good time to fall asleep. He needs to change his habits, make adjustments to his normal daily routine in order to get rid of insomnia once and for all.
Many young people, for example, students, go to bed at 2 am, get up after 10 am, do not have problems falling asleep and feel great. But only a few years pass and, having turned into young parents, after several sleepless nights at the crib or, due to the nature of the profession, working at night, they unexpectedly may encounter a problem that many people of the adult generation have — insomnia. At the same time, despite the monstrous fatigue, the excited brain is attacked by a variety of thoughts, not leaving it alone, preventing it from falling asleep.
Experienced parents know that this condition sometimes occurs in very young children. When they get out of the usual daily routine, they miss the “X‑hour”, sleep time, it can be very problematic to put them to sleep later. They are overexcited, naughty, roll over in bed for a long time, completely exhausted, but at the same time they are not able to fall asleep. Therefore, parents try to put girls and boys to bed early, during “children’s” time. Going to bed with the kids won’t hurt adults either.
Hormones and insomnia
Overwork is exacerbated by the fact that people do not go to bed, feeling overtired, but remain awake. The body releases the stress hormone (cortisol) to treat fatigue as stress, which in turn activates the nervous system.
Just like an overtired baby who becomes more and more irritable, moody, an adult, under the influence of cortisol, loses the ability to fall asleep. The feeling of fatigue does not relax the nervous system, but, on the contrary, leads to its excessive tension.
The fact is that there is a certain time “sleep window” when it is easier for a person to fall asleep. For most people, this is approximately two and a half hours after sunset, ranging from 21:00 to 23:30 hours, according to the local time zone. If a person skips “X‑time”, passing by a temporary “sleep window”, because he needs to finish work, make a plan for tomorrow, watch his favorite series or browse the Internet, insomnia, sooner or later, is guaranteed to him.
His body thinks, “If you can’t sleep, then there is a great danger. It was not otherwise that a war or transcontinental migration began … ”To save itself, the body mobilizes and produces hormones that support wakefulness and give additional energy. Thousands of years ago, this natural response of the body to adverse conditions of existence was useful for survival. But today it’s a completely different story.
With cortisol running through the blood vessels, people get to their beds at midnight or later and are very surprised that they cannot sleep. The release of cortisol is felt as anxiety, panic, it leads to excessive excitement, chaotic jumps in the mind, despite physical and mental fatigue, exhaustion.
How to Cultivate the Good Habit of Falling asleep on Time: 3 Tips
Going to bed at 9:00 pm is an unfeasible advice for many people, not out of habit, but simply because many still do not return home from work by this time. But before 11:30 pm there is still time for which you can try to have time to get into bed. Try to do this for at least a week, for the sake of experiment.
Check out these simple tips to help get rid of insomnia.
1. Try to fall asleep before the “second wind” opens
When a person begins to look for a “second wind”, additional energy, he himself does not notice how his body is overtired. At this moment, he may suddenly feel warm, or a burst of energy will be expressed in a slightly different way: someone with redoubled energy takes up a computer game, someone cleans the kitchen. Don’t wait for a “second wind” to open up, go to bed if you’re tired.
2. Determine Your Sleep Window
Many people do not even know where the boundaries of that time interval are, in which it is easiest to fall asleep. For some, the “sleep window” is somewhere between 9:30 pm and 10:00 pm, for others, sleep comes from 11:00 pm to 11:30 pm, etc.
Instead of, following a long-standing habit, to drive away sleep, because “childish time” is too early, you need to listen to your own body and satisfy its pleas. We advise you to immediately go to brush your teeth and make your bed.
It is important to discard the desire to take up the TV remote control, smartphone or tablet in time. Don’t be tempted! Otherwise, some time later, overwork will reach the point beyond which insomnia will wait.
3. Push everything back
If a person feels tired in the evening, he should go to bed. All cases must be postponed until the next day, when the body is rested and rejuvenated. Following this rule, it will be possible not only to increase labor productivity. After a quality night’s rest, people can perform any task better. By acting quickly, in anticipation of fatigue, when a wave of fatigue rolls in, it is easy to put the body into sleep. If a person’s head touches the pillow in time, his body will have no need to increase the production of cortisol, and restless thoughts will recede.
Reducing the level of stress in general is the main condition for the prevention of sleep disorders. The first step towards this should be correcting the circadian rhythms by developing the habit of falling asleep earlier, between about 9:30 pm and 11:30 pm, when the first wave of fatigue hits. Even if it seems incompatible with the usual way of life, we advise you to try the new mode as an experiment. Go to bed at 10:00 pm during the week to banish insomnia.