Do you have insomnia?

First of all, I need to say that if anyone has been contacting Quay Living because of sympathy for me due to the wind chimes, please stop. Thank you.

We are all different in our sleep patterns, though generally we are forced to conform to a rhythm that suits the work place, school, our children. Few people know what sleep depravation is until their first baby arrives. That is a real game changer.

We tend to fall into two categories, famously known as the owls and the larks. I am naturally an owl, but at times my baby, or my work, forced me to become a lark. We are able to adapt from our preference. I must say that I have always loved early mornings when I had them. The light is special, the dew, the last stars etc. Being up before anyone else is a very peaceful time, when one’s mind is alert.

Insomnia is the inability to get to sleep over a sustained period of time. It can become an interference with work, study, relationships, and just enjoying life. What is important, is that an established bedtime routine is in place, preferably from very early childhood. This tells the brain that sleep is needed and desired.

It’s not always clear what causes the inability to get to sleep. Often it is after bereavement, divorce or loss of a relationship, a change in location, newly noisy neighbours, or stress.

There are may theories about curing insomnia, and I don’t subscribe to any particular ones, but here are some that might help.

Eat some food When your stomach is full, your blood rushes there and you are likely to become relaxed and fall asleep. Doctors generally don’t like this idea, but I know many health professionals that employ it and it works for me.

Make your cover heavier or lighter You can be not warm enough without realising it. Adding a layer to your bed covers may well help you sleep. And the reverse is true.

Have a milky drink Milk contains tryptophan which induces sleepiness. It also fills ones tummy.

Inhale deeply and slowly repeatedly This is a remedy for tension caused by stress, and relaxes the body. One can do this at any time that one feels anxious or tense. It is a good habit as part of stress relief.

Do mental arithmetic This may sound counter-intuitive, but the boredom of doing times tables can send one to sleep. It is also good for tuning out pain, and useful for men who need to delay ejaculation during sex.

Play soft music Music that is soothing can really help one to sleep.

Get up and start over Some people find this helpful. Leave the bedroom, do a task and then go back to bed. I’ve heard it works.

If you have tried some or all of these, and you still cannot sleep easily, or relatively easily, please see your doctor. There may be clues in your medical history, but a chat may reveal a niggle on your mind that you hadn’t thought of or had ignored.

Things that cause insomnia are, worries, a bad conscience, a trauma, nightmares, bad neighbours, and anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, physically or mentally.