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There is nothing worse than insomnia. Most of us have probably experienced the frustrating of lying awake in bed desperately wanting to sleep, but your mind just keeps running like a hamster in it’s wheel.  Chronic insomnia can be caused by a variety of circumstances and is often just a symptom of a deeper issue. Mental health disorders are one of the leading causes of insomnia. Anxiety and depression can keep you lying awake long after bedtime or cause you to wake up repeatedly through the night. Often the prescription drugs that are given to combat mental health disorders can disrupt sleep so if you struggle with anxiety or depression and are battling insomnia then be sure to talk to your doctor about it!

Chronic insomnia is linked to more than mental health. Other common culprits include:

Complex Schedule: If you travel frequently or your work schedule is prone to change then it’s likely that your internal clock has become confused. Circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your metabolism, body temperature and sleep-wake cycle. Consider ways you can regulate your schedule so that you can enjoy more predictable circadian rhythms.

Caffein or Alcohol Use: Caffein may be your best friend in the morning, but if you’re relying on it as a late afternoon pick-me-up it could be causing your insomnia. Try substituting your afternoon caffein hit with a workout. You will improve your overall wellness and enjoy the energy benefits that come with an endorphin rush. Alcohol is great at inducing sleep, but it actually prevents deeper sleep cycles and often causes people to wake up more frequently throughout the night. Aim to keep alcohol consumption to one or two nights a week so that you benefit from deeper, more restful sleep most of the week.

Sleep Hygiene: When a new baby is born the parents quickly establish a bedtime routine to help prepare the restless newcomer for a good night’s sleep. Treat yourself to the same luxury and establish a calming routine leading up to your bedtime. Make sure you are going to sleep in a dark, cool environment that isn’t polluted with screen time. You can even purchase a sound machine or a fan to help block outside noises and create a soothing atmosphere for rest.

Insomnia is a terribly frustrating condition and lying awake in bed counting down the hours of sleep that you won’t be getting that night only tends to exaggerate the issue. Plan ahead to create the best sleep environment possible and consider seeing a doctor if your insomnia seems to be linked to anxiety or depression. Self care is important so make like a newborn baby and establish a routine that will encourage optimum sleep! 

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