Insomnia means ‘no sleep’ in Latin. It is a phenomenon that can happen to the very best of us. Counting sheep in order to bore ourselves to sleep may sound like a joke, right until it’s not. Statistically speaking, about half of US adults encounter insomnia symptoms for at least a couple of nights a week. It’s quite common.
However, there are some people who have it worse than others. Such people tend to toss and turn in bed for the better part of most nights without catching a wink. When they do, it’s usually just in the fleeting moments right before they wake up for work. Sleep deprivation is not a healthy way to live and may lead to lack of focus and accidents. Short-term issues or poor sleeping habits may cause insomnia. Simply put, it is not something that can be treated easily by taking sleeping pills.
Studies show that at least 1 in every 4 people is currently experiencing symptoms of Insomnia
Given the fact that a day consists of 24 hours, spending a third of the day asleep doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Our bodies operate just like our handy smartphones; every once in a while, we need to recharge. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimates that more than a third of US citizens wake up during the night and fail to get back to sleep. There are also supporting findings that show a different category who go to bed late and wake up feeling unrefreshed.
What to Do
To enhance the sleeping experience, there are a couple of things we can do. When night approaches, dimming the lights can send signals to the brain that it’s almost time for some ‘shut-eye’. Doing this replicates a ‘farm environment’.
By dimming the lights at least a couple of hours before bed, the nerve endings in our eyeballs get to directly communicate with our brain about the activities that are likely to follow. The brain will then subconsciously start preparing us to sleep. Once we handle all business and are ready to start dreaming, dozing off is bound to occur quickly.
Light can greatly influence sleep preparedness due to nerve endings connected to the brain
Interestingly, dimming the lights also works for the blind too. Though they are unable to see, they have nerve endings that are able to synthesize the light and then relay that information to the brain.
Caffeine intake tends to affect neural activities by up to 6 hours. Thus, the best time to take coffee is during the morning hours since that is the time we are likely to be engaged in activities that last long. Taking a cup of coffee a few hours before going to bed can lead to increased insomnia.
Insomnia is at times also caused by restlessness. Engaging in relaxing activities right before bed can help one focus and sleep through the night. Mundane activities like reading the phone book can help one take their focus out of activities that may be making us restless. Writing a journal before bed is another great way to quiet the mind.
Wearing socks to bed is quite essential since they help in warming up cold feet. The warmth generated by the socks helps improve the vasodilation of blood vessels. Once the brain picks up this heat, it automatically takes this information as a sign to switch off faculties.
With socks on, individuals of the recent study were able to snooze 15 minutes sooner than they normally would.
A recent study done by the International Weekly Journal of Science goes to great lengths in explaining the essence of socks around the bedroom. Having socks on helps lowers restlessness and significantly improves the rate at which we can fall asleep.
Traditional Chinese medicine regularly employs the concept of having socks on during naptime due to its importance in improving circulation around the body. Wearing socks to bed is also a great way to improve dry feet. The Chinese posit that cold feet tend to drain the energy out of individuals that obstructs the flow of energy and blood in the body.
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