Stop Hitting Snooze

What lies at the heart of this issue is the fact that insomnia is a downright epidemic in this country and indeed many worldwide. In an article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, their estimation puts 50 to 70 million Americans the victims of sleep or wakefulness disorders. This is an especially frightening figure in consideration of the dangerous effects of sleep deprivation on the human body. With a population of just over 300 million, this is also a sizeable chunk of the citizens of USA. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. They also report that the majority of these 40 million Americans experience anxiety that affects their ability to sleep, and of these, three-fourths experience stress or anxiety because their stress or anxiety keeps them from sleeping. Americans are sleeping less and less, and anxiety is a common, destructive thread.

People suffering from anxiety-related sleeplessness are won’t to have received the same advice countless times as they seek to battle their affliction. It’s true the same information is pervasive because they are effective ways to battle the night time wakefulness that so many Americans face. Regardless, there are many still scouring the web and consulting their doctors for methods to get more Z’s. Below are some thoughtful and medically informed approaches appropriate for nearly every sufferer of insomnia, but be sure to listen to your body and mind the guidance of your physician.

One recurrent complaint related to insomnia is that people just can’t turn their minds off at night. Anxiety commonly sets in at night because, as we lie in bed and try to close our eyes, little else is happening to distract us. Whenever this happens to you, it could be beneficial to engage in a creative activity to help shut your mind off. The recent adult coloring book trend has become wildly popular because the practice is calming, while also producing beautiful pieces of art. This tiny accomplishment and the peace it offers to troubled minds has shown to be an effective solution for a busy night time mind. If coloring just isn’t for you, there are more alternatives still. Choose something quiet and still, maybe your snoozing cat, and do a quick sketch. If you’re not artistically inclined, you can distract yourself with assembling haikus. These traditional Japanese poems are only three lines, so they aren’t a daunting or overstimulating task.

Meditation doesn’t come easy to everyone, but mindfulness is a very simple form that has grown in popularity in recent years. One of the chief goals of mindfulness is to focus on positive thoughts and achieve a sense of peacefulness. Mindfulness has become a popular and effective strategy to manage anxiety problems in many Americans. Part of clearing the mind is realizing that troubling thoughts are fleeting, and that you have power over them. There are many available methods to study and learn about mindfulness and the techniques that can be employed. You can find mindfulness guides and journals at your local bookstore or an online retailer in order to learn and hone your practice. Another widely used technique to practice mindfulness is through a plethora of apps available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and other mobile stores. Calm is an app available for iOS and Android that offers a comprehensive guide as well as mindfulness meditation techniques, and even a nifty feature called the body scan practice.

If you anticipate that you will have trouble sleeping long before it’s time to hit the hay, there are a lot of things you can do to help beat out your anxiety before it sets in for the night. Physical activity is a popular resource because it promotes the release of endorphins in the brain and helps you feel overall more tired, but be aware that you need to pick the activity that’s right for you. Just like with an overall exercise regimen, it’s important to choose an activity or activities that you actually enjoy, in order to stick with it. If you hate runs, for example, hang up the athletic shoes and have a twenty minute dance party in your bedroom before your nightly shower, for example. The movement and good vibes will promote positivity and help you come down from a long day of studying, working, parenting, or whatever combination. Stick to your bedtime routine and remember to never slack on taking proper care of yourself, including nutrition and hygiene.