Insomnia – my sleep disorder or my daily dis-order?
What is insomnia?
Well, like most of us, when asked this question you will probably answer that it has to do with sleeping, or difficulty with sleeping. And if you suffer from this debilitating and problematic illness, it can be a nightmare ... in more ways than one.
When thinking about 'what can I do about insomnia?’, the answers will normally revolve around how to make sleep better. There are a few temporary solutions such as prescription drugs, alternative medicine remedies such as herbs and hypnotherapy or even simply trying to make your room as dark as you can.
Statistically, according to Sleep Disorders Australia, 1/3 of people have trouble sleeping at some point in their lives.
About 4% of adults in the United States — or 8.6 million — report taking prescription-sleeping aids, according to a new report released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
So if you suffer from this, you are not alone!
Very many in the world are struggling with this … so what is really going on?
- Are there only temporary solutions and band-aids?
- Could there be more?
In some cases, the cause of insomnia is medically related, but is it possible that in many cases our lifestyle choices are contributing to the problem?
We all know that the way we sleep at night affects the way we are during the day. But have you also considered that the way you live during the day equally affects the way you sleep at night? This is a simple question, but perhaps one that you have never stopped to consider.
There is no doubt that modern life is demanding; the pace of living seems to be increasing with each new generation. The advent of the smartphone, email and social media now means that information overload is a daily reality for many. Faster forms of communication have created a faster lifestyle. Our minds never stop. Multitasking has become the new corporate buzzword. Over the years, shopping and retail hours have crept into Saturdays and Sundays, and late into the night. Having both parents at work has become the norm.
Most of us feel robbed of ourselves by the pace of this modern life, and so the immediate solution that many of us turn to is to seek that rainbow of all solutions – work/life balance.
In retaliation against the burdens that life forces upon us, we seek increasingly grander forms of entertainment and escape in order to feel that we still have a life outside of work and parenting. We live for the weekend (if we have one) or the next holiday.
Perhaps we stay up late at night trawling the internet, or devote time out to our hobbies, whatever they may be. ‘Work hard and play hard’ has become the philosophy of the modern man.
Meanwhile it seems that we have lost the connection to the simplicity of just being.
It is not hard to see then how the way we are living during the day is affecting our ability to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Sleep is something we seemingly demand of our body, something that we ‘must do'. It is an inconvenience.
We put it off until the last possible moment. We delay it with late night activities that keep our minds stimulated and our bodies adrenalised. We wait for exhaustion to overwhelm us before yielding to its call. Yet for many of us, it is also becoming difficult to achieve, despite it being a natural and necessary part of the cycle of life.
Maybe we turn to alcohol or sleeping pills for assistance, or read a book right up until the last possible moment.
- But are these really answers, or just temporary remedies?
- And is it possible that such remedies hinder the quality of our sleep?
Perhaps we need to consider that it is no good for us to be active to the last moment before bed, and then expect and/or demand that we can or must be able to shut down the 'busyness' of the day in that very moment.
Does it not make sense that if our body is anxious and frantic throughout the day, then if we do nothing to address it, our body will be anxious and frantic at night?
Yet most of us cannot change the busyness of our life during the day. We need that job, we have children to take care of, responsibilities that are waiting for us when we wake up.
Consider that there is a way of living during the day that assists us to deal with the busyness of life and remain steady throughout the day, despite the haste that is all around us.
It is a way of living that is not based on what we do, but rather based on the quality of presence we bring to what we do. Ultimately it is the rhythm, or relationship we develop with who we are that determines the quality of our day, and thus the quality of our night.
Conscious presence with everything you do
Discover the ultimate form of not checking out and how having an evenness in life can be joyful and not boring.
Developing a rhythm that is true for you is not just the key to a good night’s sleep, but is ultimately the key to understanding all of life, to bringing us into a closer and more harmonious relationship with who we truly are.