Insomnia - Getting
The Help You Need
by Donald Saunders
Experiencing an occasional sleepless night
every now and again is normal and transient
insomnia affects all of us from time to time,
especially when we are under personal or professional
stress, or our schedule changes significantly
as a result of jet lag or shift work. But
prolonged insomnia, lasting for perhaps six
months or more, is another story.
If you have been unable to sleep every night,
or most nights, for an extended period, then
you may well suffer from serious insomnia.
If left untreated, such chronic insomnia can
lead to a variety of significantly more serious
conditions, including headaches, high blood
pressure and even an increased risk of heart
attack and stroke. Whats more, sleep
disorders such as this can cause a loss of
mental clarity and difficulty in concentrating.
Insomnia and related sleep problems have also
been linked to depression and other serious
psychological and emotional problems.
Fortunately, addressing the problem, and getting
the help you need for a better nights
sleep, can prove relatively straightforward.
Whether you suffer from initial insomnia (trouble
falling asleep), middle insomnia (difficulty
staying asleep), or late insomnia (waking
up too early), a process of simple adjustments
to your daily routine, exercise, diet and
sleep schedule will gradually result in a
new pattern of healthful and fulfilling sleep.
A variety of natural sleep remedies (herbs,
vitamins and minerals), when used appropriately,
can prove an extremely effective tool in overcoming
insomnia and generating a better nights
sleep. In fact, a few notable herbs and natural
remedies have been medically recognized as
the natural equivalent of several well-known
artificial sleep aids and sleeping pills,
and have been lauded for their effectiveness.
If you still find yourself struggling, even
after making basic lifestyle changes and using
proven natural remedies for insomnia (not
to mention allowing an appropriate amount
of time for these changes to take effect),
you do need to seek the advice of a doctor.
In this case, you could be suffering from
more severe insomnia or a related sleep disorder
like sleep apnea, narcolepsy or restless legs
syndrome, all of which require the guidance
of a medical professional.
The following questionnaire will help you
determine your level of insomnia. Simply answer
true (T) or false
(F) to each question:
1. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed
a good nights sleep.
2. I have difficulty falling asleep at least
four nights out of every seven.
3. I frequently wake up in the middle of the
night and struggle to get back to sleep.
4. I often wake up at least an hour or more
before my alarm clock rings.
5. More often than not, I go to bed and get
up at the same time each day.
6. I follow a regular exercise routine.
7. My diet includes a healthy balance of fruits,
vegetables and whole grains.
8. I watch television or have a computer in
9. My spouse/partner complains about my snoring.
10. I am frequently sleepy during the day
and often wake up feeling tired.
11. I often experience a tingling or crawling
sensation in my legs and feet.
12. I frequently find myself accidentally
falling asleep during the day.
Answering true to any of the first
four questions will help confirm the fact
that you may be suffering from serious insomnia.
Answering true to questions five
through eight, however, suggests that you
have already established the lifestyle habits
conducive to a good night's sleep. Having
difficulty sleeping despite following a healthy
exercise, diet and daily routine suggests
that you could be suffering from some form
of insomnia. You may want to try using natural
sleep remedies to manage your condition, and
considering seeking the advice of a medical
professional if it persists.
Answering true to the last four
questions may indicate that you suffer from
severe insomnia or a related sleep disorder,
and you should seek the advice of a medical
Copyright © 2005 Donald Saunders Help
Me To Sleep Affiliates
About the Author
Donald Saunders is the author of a number
of health related publications including:
"Help Me To Sleep - A Guide To Natural
Sleep Remedies", "Jet Lag - An Alternative
Approach", "Shift Work Insomnia"
and "The Art of Meditation - A Guide
To Meditation, Breathing and Relaxation Techniques"
For further details please visit Cure Insomnia