What Happens If I Just Can’t Sleep?
Are you tossing and turning in bed, constantly looking at the clock, and wondering why you are not asleep yet? The sleep specialists at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders are here to help. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, Brewster, NY, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI.
Sleep should be rejuvenating and relaxing, but for some people, it can be a struggle. Many people who just can’t fall asleep do not have an obvious cause for their sleeplessness. Fortunately, there are medical professionals who dedicate their entire careers to improving other’s quality of sleep and can help determine what is causing the problems in the first place.
What to do if you can’t sleep?
If you are struggling to fall asleep, try following these steps:
Be Patient — Do not be discouraged and get out of bed 10 minutes after closing your eyes. It is normal to lie in bed for 15 to 20 minutes before actually falling asleep.
Go Back To Sleep — If you wake up in the middle of the night, try to go back to sleep. As with falling asleep, it is important to be patient and not give up too soon.
Try, Try, Try Again — If you cannot fall asleep after 30 minutes, get out of bed, stretch, and do something low-key or tedious, like folding laundry, organizing your junk drawer, or reading a book. Avoid screens and electronic devices.
Embrace Sleep — Dedicate yourself to falling asleep. Relax, focus on your breathing, and repeat to yourself that you are tired. These affirmations, when silently repeated, can influence your disposition and encourage a more sleepy state.
Prepare A sleep-friendly Environment — Turn off all lights and sounds (or turn on a white noise machine) and lower the temperature in your room. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleep temperature range is between 60º F and 67º F.
Stay Positive — If stress or worry are occupying your mind, it can often prevent you from falling asleep. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, try to think about positive things, like things you are grateful for, something you are looking forward to, or a recent positive experience.
Distract Yourself — Although it is easy to focus on not being able to sleep, do not fixate on the fact that you are not sleeping when you should be sleeping. Think about something else or nothing at all. It helps to focus on your breathing, and relax your entire body, muscle by muscle, moving from your head to your toes. Focus on each area falling asleep and becoming incredibly relaxed. You may feel like you are floating or experience a tingling sensation. These are signs your body is falling asleep, and your mind will quickly follow.
Is insomnia a mental illness?
Insomnia—the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep—is a sleep disorder, not a mental illness. However, insomnia and other sleep disorders can often be caused, or worsened, by mental illnesses.
Changes in natural sleep patterns can lead to several types of sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Numerous studies have shown that sleep disorders are highly likely to appear in several forms of mental illness. It is a circular relationship that can make treatment challenging, however, it is not impossible.
What is the root cause of insomnia?
There are many potential causes of insomnia. In many cases, multiple factors can be involved. Insomnia may be caused by:
- Mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression
- Chronic pain and physical illness
- High levels of stress
- Certain medications
- Irregular sleep schedules
- Lifestyle habits, such as:
- Keeping the brain stimulated until late in the evening
- Napping late in the afternoon
- Sleeping in later to make up for lost sleep
- Using your bed for activities besides sleep
- Consuming caffeine late in the day
- Using nicotine throughout the day
- Drinking excess amounts of alcohol
- Eating heavy meals and spicy foods before bed
If you or someone you love is having trouble sleeping, visit the sleep specialists at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in helping people improve their quality of sleep and can develop a treatment plan to meet your unique needs. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you!