Can’t sleep? Want to fall asleep quickly and naturally?
Do you toss and turn all night rather than sleep and dream? Do you struggle to drop off no matter how tired you get? Or are you waking up in the early hours, lying awake and anxiously watching the clock?
If so, you’re not alone. Insomnia is a very common problem that drains your energy, affects your mood and your ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even lead to serious health problems. But you don’t have to rely on sleeping medications or put up with sleepless nights. By tackling the underlying causes, receiving support with natural supplements, and making simple changes to your daily routine and where you sleep – it is possible to break the cycle of insomnia.
At IMI, we take the integrated route, involving effective, natural alternatives for treating insomnia. From balancing body and energy levels to soothing the mind. Insomnia is a condition that often responds best to taking a truly integrated treatment approach.
Have a look at some of the more common symptoms below. Two or more could mean that you’re suffering from insomnia.
- Finding it hard to go to sleep
- Waking up several times during the night
- Lying awake at night worrying
- Waking up too early and not going back to sleep
- Still feeling tired after waking up
- Finding it hard to nap during the day, even though you're tired
- Feeling tired, irritable
- Decreased performance in work or at school
- Finding it difficult to concentrate during the day because of tiredness
A large-scale study conducted in 2010 by Dr Wong Wing-sze (associate professor at the Department of Psychological Studies at The Hong Kong Institute of Education), confirmed that four out of 10 adults in Hong Kong suffer from insomnia. And that it took them an average of 21 minutes to drop off, resulting in just 6.46 hours of sleep a night. So, it’s clear that sleep deprivation is quite common in adults and children alike, especially with our 24/7 world that never seems to switch off.
Insomnia can be caused by a number of physical, psychological or lifestyle issues. But if sleepless nights persist for more than one month, the problem is considered chronic.
Medical conditions and illnesses such as asthma, suffering from pain, sleep apnoea and hormone imbalances such as hyperthyroidism, that upset the body’s natural day/night circadian rhythm.
Certain life transitions or stressors such as major life events, significant changes at work or in relationships, loss, shock, anxiety and depression directly affect our mind and emotions, which in turn, disrupts our sleep pattern. Our early attachment behaviours from when we’re a baby, can also affect how we sleep as an adult. Which might explain why some people sleep more when they’re experiencing a problem, while others find dropping off more elusive.
All sorts of things, from caffeine and alcohol to food intolerances can harm your ability to sleep and sleep quality. It could also simply be the situation you’re currently in – such as being a new parent, or being in a bedroom that’s too light, hot, cold, noisy or full of other distractions.
Your first port of call could be with one of our naturopathic practitioners. They begin by investigating the main cause or causes for the insomnia, before putting together a suitable treatment plan. Supplements such as the hormone melatonin, for instance, can be very beneficial in the short term if you’re having trouble falling asleep. While stress-related sleep disorders often respond well to mineral and herbal and homeopathic remedies. They may refer you for further treatments such as acupuncture, osteopathy, homeopathy or counselling. If your sleeping difficulties are connected to underlying mental or emotional problems such as a lot of stress and unhappiness at work, in your relationships, or unresolved trauma our counselling and psychotherapy services could be a good place to start.
“Blue light from mobile phones and some other lights on electrical equipment are most disruptive to melatonin levels. Turning off the phone 45 minutes before bed is one way to prevent sleep delay.”
– Graeme Bradshaw, IMI Founding Director
Articles and Further Information
From acupuncture to traditional Chinese Medicine and homeopathic approaches. We have various articles on the topic of sleep, sleep disorders, medications, tips and natural alternatives to sleeping pills – including the latest scientific research and treatments.
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