When a disaster strikes it can lead to both trauma, and insomnia.
This is completely understandable and there could be many reasons as to why sleeping becomes an issue. It could be due to:
- Personal loss and grief
- Property damage
- Fear and uncertainty
- Ongoing hazards
- Economic hardship, or
- Physical injury and illness
After all, if your home has become flooded or destroyed during an earthquake, where are you supposed to sleep if you could?
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is defined as an inability to go to sleep, waking up too early, or feeling unrested after sleep for at least three nights a week for at least three months.
If the insomnia is long-term, it can make routine tasks difficult to complete. It can also lead to further issues such as depression, heart disease, and even stroke.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Difficulty sleeping is the most common symptom of insomnia. It isn’t always necessarily about not getting to sleep but it can also be difficulty staying asleep, or you may keep waking up throughout the night.
- Lie awake for a long time without going to sleep
- Wake up during the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep
- Not feel rested when you wake up
Without sleep your body will not have been able to rest properly leading to no energy the following day.
You may also start to feel anxious, depressed, or irritable, and you may have a hard time concentrating or remembering things.
While insomnia may be able to be treated after a visit to a doctor, that may not be possible after a disaster and so we want to share with you some tips for how to beat insomnia naturally.
There are several natural remedies that can be used to help induce restorative sleep. A relaxation tea such as mint or chamomile works great.
It is recommended that you avoid drinks such as coffee and eating foods like chocolate within 10 hours before going to bed.
Almonds, bananas and milk are all great sources of tryptophan which mirrors the results of Prozac, by increasing the amount of serotonin the brain. This will help to boost relaxation. Also, adding a tablespoon of coconut oil will improve ketone body production and help to stabilize blood sugar.
A great nighttime drink to help induce restful sleep would be organic almond milk, half a banana, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of coconut oil and a scoop of vanilla non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein. Drink this a couple of hours before bed.
The tips below are highly effective in allowing you to get a better night’s sleep naturally.
One thing you need to try and avoid us blood sugar imbalances that are caused by foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates as these will cause sleeping problems. Instead, your diet should be of meals that are built around phytonutrient rich vegetables and healthy fat sources such as avocados, coconut products, nuts, organic and grass-fed animal products. Avoid caffeine and chocolate within 6 hours of bedtime as these are stimulants.
The human body works best on routine rhythms. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time. This is the key to beating insomnia naturally.
The Bed is for Sleeping
If you do any other activity on the bed such as just laying watching TV or listening to music, it has to stop. You need to train your body that when you get in your bed it is time to go to sleep.
Turn off all the lights in the room, turn your alarm clock away from you and close the blinds. If needed, start using an eye mask to cover your eyes.
Poor sleep posture can lead to neck and lower back pain and it also disturbs your ability to oxygenate and sleep soundly through the night.
For optimal sleep your body needs a certain hydration balance. You don’t want to be dehydrated but you also don’t want to have so much hydration that you wake up needing the bathroom. Be sure to drink 8 ounces of water 90 mins before bed and leave a glass of water near your bed in case you wake up thirsty. Use the bathroom and empty your bladder before getting in bed.
Noise of any kind impacts our ability to sleep properly and may keep you awake. Be sure to turn off anything that would distract you. If needed, consider wearing earplugs to bed to help block out any noise.
When you fall asleep your body temperature lowers. If the room temperature is too cold or too hot it can cause stress on the system and disrupt your ability to sleep. The typical range that works best is between 65-70 degrees F. You can further make the room more comfortable by using a fan to improve the air flow.
There are many organic teas on the market that are loaded with herbs like chamomile and passionflower which naturally help relax the body and induce sleepiness.