Tips to a Good Night's Sleep

good nights sleep

One day you wake up feeling tired and sick. You hardly slept a wink. You have insomnia and you are not alone. This is a common occurrence for many people. Insomnia can afflict anyone at some point in time.

How much a person needs to sleep depends on the individual. Although others can get away with five or six hours a night, the average person needs seven to eight hours.

Importance of Sleep

It's a common knowledge that lack of sleep reduces concentration at work. It makes you irritable, less safe behind the wheel of a car, and more. But a good sleep makes a day bright and welcoming.

Talking to a doctor-friend, he explains that good sleep consists of two distinct states: rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep and the non-REM sleep.

REM and Non-REM Sleep

In REM sleep, the eyes move constantly under their closed lids. Heart rate increases and other body processes and most muscles become inactive. It is also the time when dreaming takes place. For a period of about twenty minutes a night, this phase occurs four or fives times.

The reverse is true with the non-REM in which the rapid eye movements are absent, breathing becomes slow, heartbeat regular, blood flow to the brain reduces. In other words, there is little body movement.
Both sleep are needed to feel good and energized on waking up the next day.


A person is said to be suffering from insomnia when one of these things happen: difficulty in sleeping, waking up and finding it difficult to go back to sleep, and waking up too early.

Causes of Insomnia

Some known causes of insomnia are identified here. Insomnia can be short term, or can last longer than several weeks, and when it becomes chronic, this needs further investigation. A doctor should be consulted. Insomnia becomes more prevalent as a person grows older. Some known causes of insomnia include:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Painful medical conditions, such as arthritis, lingering back aches and similar pains
  • Pregnancy
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), loud snoring which can be a more serious problem
  • Overuse of stimulants, such as alcohol, caffeine, and cigarette
  • Worry at work

Tips to Treat Insomnia

  • Avoid stimulants before bed, instead, drink a warm glass of milk
  • Exercise during the day
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Avoid dependency to sleeping tablets
  • For snorers, the most common treatment is the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in which the snorer wears a cushion over the nose which is connected to an air pump by a tube
  • Consult a physician or a clinical psychologist, if necessary

These simple approaches to insomnia can decrease it even if it might not go away during the first nights.

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