Insomnia – How It Affects Your Health, A Brief Study, Introduction to a Guide in Overcoming Insomnia
Insomnia hits most people at some time or another in their lives. Disturbed sleep can be responsible for a number of ailments some of which can be life threatening or life shortening. It may lead to irritability, or worse, which may in turn be the final straw, causing the breakdown of an already severely damaged and weakened relationship.
I have researched a number of techniques and strategies to aid in overcoming this problem. If you are under medical supervision you should not cease any treatment without first discussing with your practitioner.
Remember the amount of sleep required by each individual varies quite considerably, however in an ideal world we would all awake at the time we require feeling totally refreshed and ready to take on the tasks of the day ahead.
There are numerous ways of preventing one getting a good nights sleep and most people hanker to get back to the days when they slept like a baby.
Cast your mind back to when you first had sleeping problems – for me it was the birth of our first child. I know I never seemed to sleep as deeply after she was born, then my job changed meaning overseas travel with time changes and the pressure of getting to airports, delays and all the other stresses that go with this type of occupation. Worse still the type of sleep problem would vary, sometimes I could not get off to sleep, at other times I awoke after an hour or two and could not get back to sleep, or I would be waking one or two hours before I really needed to. There was always one thing in common, in all instances I felt far from refreshed when I did get out of bed, therefore concerned that I would not perform my job to a satisfactory standard, and my standards are high.
The good news is I have found strategies that work for me most of the time. Why do I say strategies? Well as I have said my problems vary from month to month and I have found if I do not make the conscious effort to get on top of the problem it can become chronic.
Were you aware we spend about one third of our life asleep? Yet there is no clear agreement as to what the function of sleep may be. We do know that disrupting sleep can have quite devastating effects on individuals. Sleep disruption has been used as a form of torture for a long time.
Sleep consists of a number of different stages one of which is dreaming. Dreams consist of imagery which is sometimes ordinary but sometimes odd and quite extreme. There are a number of theories on dreaming which are too complex to go into in this book.
Stages of sleep can be divided into “slow wave sleep” (SWS) and “dreaming or rapid eye movement sleep” (REM). SWS sleep actually has four different stages all measurable.
The world is full of “rhythms” e.g. the rise and fall of the tide, rising and setting of the sun, the four seasons. The body also has its natural rhythms e.g. menstrual cycle, sleeping and awakening, evacuation of the bowel etc.
Of course the main “natural rhythms” depend on the orbit of the earth round the sun and its rotation on its axis. Tides are the result of the gravitational influence of the moon on the earth. It would therefore be logical to assume that our “rhythms” are controlled by these external influences.
However squirrels kept in a constant warm environment still went through the hibernating procedure increasing body weight and decreasing body temperature at the same time of the year. They also awoke as spring approached in the outside world. So there must be a DNA effect or something similar.