Everyone wants to sleep well, but our natural sleep cycle is often disturbed, and we experience insomnia. What causes insomnia, and how can we treat it?
Did you know 50 to 70 million U.S. adults face problems sleeping, and approximately 40 percent of adult Canadians suffer from sleep deprivation?
What are the reasons for insomnia?
- Lack of physical activity
Physical activity helps in keeping the body active. It helps in regulating one’s sleep habits. However, we are so busy in our lives that we have almost forgotten the significance of the human body. We do not spare enough time for letting our bodies exercise and grow.
One of the most common reasons for being an insomniac is stress. According to an American survey, money and work are the top two reasons for triggering stress and pressure among teenagers and adults. Stress increases the amount of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is your body’s primary stress hormone. It works with your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear and decrease short wave sleep, increasing the light sleep and sleep-waking.
Among all the medical conditions, pain is seen as the topmost hindrance to sleep. However, pain and sleep are interconnected. Pain interrupts sleep while sleeplessness worsens pain. For example, if you are an arthritis patient and moving while asleep, the pain may wake you up and not let you fall back asleep easily. Chronic inflammation and pain should be treated at the earliest by identifying the real reasons behind them.
Diet has a direct effect on sleep. If your diet is unhealthy and you have irregular eating patterns, you are likely to suffer from sleep issues. In research conducted on 495 women from age 20 to 76, their sleeping patterns and diet were taken note of. It was found in the research that women who consumed more sugary foods and high-calorie foods tend to have sleep issues than women who were conscious of their diet.
Medication has become part and parcel of our lives. However, taking medicine in excess leads to insomnia. It impacts the normal working of the body and interferes with the biological clock of the body. Thus, the normal functioning of the body gets disturbed and we suffer insomnia.
Studies show that more people who are in their late 60’s have insomnia. As we get older, our sleeping patterns change. Poor sleep habits, medications cause this, and inactivity, stress, grief, and worry can affect cortisol levels. Cortisol is an important hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. The sleep-wake process has a 24-hour rhythm; Its concentration in the body peaks in the morning and is lowest at the night. As a person ages, this cycle gets disrupted, and they can face problems sleeping.
Post-traumatic stress is a mental condition that is triggered by a traumatic incident. A study claims that 70% of adults experience a traumatic experience at least once in their life. This experience can manifest itself in PTSD. Researchers say that the cure for depression varies from person to person; therefore, where one person could cure his nightmares and stressful thoughts on his own, while someone else might suffer from the same for decades if not treated on time. PTSD is reported to harm regular sleeping habits and can be a cause of insomnia.
- Blue Light Electronic Device
The blue light interferes with sleep in a bad way. People who read on a blue light-emitting device tend to face more sleep issues as compared to people who take care of their eyes’ health. Exposure to such light impacts the sleep and wake-up cycle because it directly impacts Melatonin’s hormone. While trying to sleep in such a condition, it can cause sore or irritated eyes with heavy eye bags.
How can you improve sleep naturally?
- Wake up at the same time each day
The first step towards getting proper sleep is scheduling your wake-up time. It is a psychological trick. You can consider it as a training session for your brain.
Why does it matter?
It matters because a sleeping habit is a physiological activity, and it follows a pattern. You can understand it as a timetable that the body sets different tasks, called Circadian rhythms. One of the reasons for insufficient sleep is disturbed Circadian rhythms; Therefore, if you try to keep to a sleep schedule, then chances are your insomnia can get cured.
- Eliminate alcohol and stimulants like nicotine and caffeine
Studies show that nicotine stimulates the transmission of signals between two neurons. A person’s thought process can increase post smoking and cause disturbances in sleep, increasing the frequency of waking up in the middle of sleep. Similarly, caffeine, if not digested properly, can affect sleep for several hours. If you are facing trouble sleeping, avoid late-night smoking and caffeine consumption.
- Exercise regularly
Numerous studies claim that exercise helps in ensuring sound sleep. It does not directly aid sleep; however, it indirectly helps in boosting better sleep at night. While exercising, the body drains a lot of energy, because of this, a person craves more sleep. On the other hand, exercise also releases different stress-releasing hormones, which indirectly positively affect sleep.
- Medicinal help
We all know sleep is vital. If natural methods prove not to cure your insomnia, you can use medicine as a last resort. Different medications can stimulate sleep. One of them is cannabis-based medicines. Studies show that there are five stages of sleep the Rapid Eye Movement or REM. The stage crucial for learning, handling mood, and memory. Moreover, this is also the stage in sleep in which a person dreams.
Interestingly, a 2008 study stated that a chemical named Tetrahydrocannabinol, found in Cannabis, may reduce the REM sleep that a person gets. Reducing dreams could, in turn, aid those who suffer from PTSD nightmares. Studies show that there are three kinds of cannabis plant strains that create different experiences and emotions:
- Indica – It is a soothing experience, which is induced by the CBD of Cannabis.
- Sativa – It is a feeling of excitement and happiness, which is induced by the THC of Cannabis.
- Hybrids – It is a blend of both, i.e., of Indica and Sativa. In this, a person experiences both joy and relaxation.
Can CBD help in improving sleep?
CBD may produce excellent medicinal benefits that can be used to treat insomnia, relieve stress, and induce a calm and soothing sleep experience. A research was conducted on 72 subjects out of which 47 were experiencing anxiety while 25 were having poor sleep experiences. Each subject was given 25 milligrams of CBD in the form of a capsule each day. In the initial month of the experiment, 79.2 percent of subjects experienced reduced levels of anxiety whereas 66.4 percent reported better sleep. Likewise, many types of research have been done so far with favourable outcomes.
In what ways CBD can be consumed?
CBD can be consumed in the following ways:
- Oils and tinctures
- Pills and capsules
- Edibles, like gummies
- Vape concentrate
Insomnia is a critical health condition that could hamper the overall normal functioning of the body. It is suggested to treat this issue if faced at the earliest for a healthier and longer life.