Are You Sleeping?

by Ed

Insomnia is one of our society’s epidemics. In order to make money from insomniacs, people are advertising beds, drugs and herbs. Do they work? Why are so many people having trouble sleeping? I’d like to hear from people who have a hard time sleeping. Why do you think you can’t sleep? What helps you sleep?

Over the next few Sundays, I will be posting about insomnia and it’s causes, natural sleep aids, the problems with sleep medications and why I don’t recommend them, and anything else I cant think of about sleep and insomnia.

There are several factors about our modern lifestyle that I believe contribute to our problems with getting enough sleep. First is lack of exercise. Until about one hundred years ago, we kept very active all day long. Our bodies were tired by the bed time. Also, all that activity kept our systems clean of adrenaline and other wakeful chemicals. Every day, something makes you anxious, or you get a surprise, or someone almost cuts you off while you are driving. Every time something like that happens, your body gets flooded with fight or flight chemicals. If you don’t start fighting or running or something, those chemicals build up in your body, keeping you from sleeping. Ironically, they also tire you out, so you are exhausted and you can’t sleep. Even if nothing happens to you, yo watch tv. Most popular tv shows these days are good adrenaline boosters. Another thing is that the brain does not seem to act like muscles. You use a muscle and it gets tired. When you use your brain, it may get tired, but it also gets wound up. It needs an opportunity to wind down.

So my 2 big tips are get more exercise and learn to unwind in healthy ways. I’ll go into more detail next Sunday.


1 Scott 02.11.07 at 6:43 pm

What helps me sleep is working hard all day long and knowing I have to get up and do it all over again.

What helps anyone NOT sleep is eating right before bed time, especially heavier meals. The digestive tract starts slowing down between 7pm and midnight, and many people are eating their final meals of the day between that time. By midnight I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) the digestive system pretty much slows to a crawl or shuts down entirely. So, if you have eaten heavily it will not make for good sleep, because your brain is aware that something is going on in the stomach but can’t do anything about it.

Another thing that really helps me fall asleep if I am restless is using cream or ointment and massaging my feet vigorously, sometimes even painfully. By the time I’ve done that I get very sleepy, and I know other people have had success with that too.

Hope this helps!

2 Ed 02.12.07 at 10:03 am

Thanks for the great tips, Scott. I’ll have to try the foot rub, sometime. About the food tip, I agree with you 97%, and I will be posting on that, in more detail, some Sunday soon.

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