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9 weird cures for sleep deprivation that actually work
Apart from one cure (Buy A new Mattress) the rest were indeed quite weird for me when I had my Insomnia issues, (See “My Story” post here) as I really hadn’t considered any of these could be aiding my Sleep Deprivation. Since “My Story” started it’s been a never-ending fact-finding mission with trial & error by me to come to all these conclusions that I now have. This is the reason I write these blogs. I want no-one else to suffer the overwhelming loneliness that I felt during my troubles. You can leave comments and even email me direct. I will always try to answer whenever possible.
Some of the recommendations I give will take you to specific products from Amazon (usually). I do receive a small commission from these purchases, but that all helps to provide funding for this site and other sleep enhancing ideas I have for the future. Thank You for your support and here is my Blog!
1. Get a Sleep Face mask
It’s a scientific fact that the human brain responds to light. It’s something to do with receptors in the brain! Once those receptors see darkness, they begin to shut down the Body for sleep, so it’s natural that it’s easier to fall asleep in the dark than it is in the light!
Many people get sleep deprivation because they wake up as soon as light hits the bedroom. There could be many reasons for this, their curtains are too light, their bedroom is in direct position of rising sun, partner who sleeps with curtains open, etc. Whatever the reason a sleep mask is a cheap & easy way of maintaining enough darkness for sleep. You simply place the mask over your eyes and this imitates the darkness you need for sleep.
One quick tip with Facemasks – Try one out before you order, or only order if you can size the mask, as like with one that I bought, the elastic band was too tight which meant I had more problems sleeping with the mask than without it. This was cured once I bought one that actually fitted my head properly.
I have since heard good reports about “Heated Eye Masks” but I haven’t bought one yet, so I don’t want to recommend unless I have tried it myself. Looking at Amazon reviews I do see lot’s of good comments, so you might want to try one yourself.
Ok, so this is weird, but because you’re not sleeping well means you sort of enter into a vicious circle. You don’t sleep well at all one night, so your too tired to get out and about the next day, so now you haven’t got any sunlight, which means your body has less Serotonin when you go to bed. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that controls mood and happiness. Your Brain also produces a sleep enhancer called Melatonin, this promotes sleep. By getting early morning exposure to sunlight, you are improving both of these chemicals in the brain, and thereby improving your chance of a better nights sleep. The Daylight Box simply sits by you in the early morning and emits non harmful rays that stimulate the chemicals in the brain.
These Daylight Therapy boxes also work in the same manner (enhancing Brain Chemicals) for SAD sufferers. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder and means the sufferer suffers mainly depression, sadness & lethargy during the winter months mainly. So using these Therapy Lights can counteract this disorder leading to a more alert, happier, less irritable soul.
I use it mainly in the mornings if I can’t get out and about early light. I truly believe it has improved my mood and definitely improved my sleep deprivation.
There are a few safety issues with these lamps. Don’t use for more than 20/30 minutes at a time, try not to look directly into them. Don’t get too close. That sort of thing. But please read the safety instructions before using. Saying that, I have never had any issues at all and still use mine to this day!
My one is quite old and not produced anymore, but I believe this one is of the same quality and gets great product reviews from Happy Amazon customers. Check out the price here.
Ok, this isn’t weird really, but what is weird is how people spend so much money on their Cars, Houses & Holidays but ignore their own mattress for endless years. In fact when was the last time you changed your mattress? Anyway, from my own experience in “My Story” this is very crucial to a good night’s sleep. Indeed, my problems started with Work related Stress, but I can go further back to when I had a sprung mattress. One of the springs had broken and meant that I had to move my normal bed position to enable my body to miss the broken spring. It all seems so silly now, but I truly believe it was the pre-cursor to some of my troubles. I did this for a about 2 years, during which time I had my work related stress issues to add to the problem. Things had to change and when I eventually bought a new mattress, my sleep improved. I can’t say that one single item bought about my sleep improvement, but a comfortable mattress obviously helps a great deal so I am recommending a memory foam mattress from Amazon
Yes, it costs quite a bit and you may find cheaper non memory foam. But I truly believe people do not spend nearly enough on their mattresses compared to other household items, and you will notice a difference. If you can’t afford the price for the mattress, I would recommend a “Memory Foam Topper”. This is like a thin mattress that sits on top of your old one and acts in a similar way. It’s a very good cheaper alternative but make sure your old mattress is still relatively comfortable. Check out Price, Availability and customer reviews here Amazon Memory Foam Topper
4. Ditch ALL your electronic equipment including your cell phone before bed
This is another vital recommendation. If you are watching TV, or using your laptop or messaging your friends on your cell phone, you will not sleep well. End of. I truly believe this to be a future ticking time bomb. Your brain doesn’t need stimulating for sleep, it needs relaxation. So any stimulant such a Blue light rays from mobiles or laptops doesn’t help with your sleep. Apparently the Blue light affects the amount of Melatonin by reducing the amount of it in our brains. Hence we have trouble sleeping. I mean you could buy a “Blue Light Reducer” cover for phones or laptops, but why not just ditch them all an hour before bed?
Ok, I know that’s difficult. You might need your phone for your alarm (I do) so next best thing is banish the TV & Laptop totally from the bedroom and just keep your phone in case of emergencies or for alarm purposes. I promise you that you will sleep better. Oh, and if you have an illuminated alarm clock, then ditch this also. You do not want to be seeing the time if you do indeed wake during the night. I have spent many sleepless nights after waking up early and looking at the time. Then worrying about how much sleep I can now get in! I have definitely learnt the best thing to do is ignore the time completely and follow some simple “get back to sleep routines” (to follow).
This also applies to your cell phones. If you awake during the night, please don’t look at the time on your phone as once you know that, you will struggle to get back to sleep. I don’t know why, it’s just some sort of physiological stuff that goes on in the head, especially a head of a sleep poor person.
5. Write a Worry list
I’m going to do a separate Blog on Mind games & Sleep, where I basically list the ways to get yourself to sleep or back to sleep, but there’s one very important thing you can do before you even go to bed.
Write your self a “worry list” of ALL you concerns, whether Family, Financial, Health etc. I have many many times, lay in my bed worrying about my “troubles” before I knew about the “worry list”. Now I simply think about the list and where I placed it and I tell myself I will read it tomorrow and think about it then. And that nothing can be achieved tonight, here in the dark. It does work. Again, it’s a mental thing, some people will benefit more than others, but by doing this one simple thing, you alleviate a lot of sleep deprivation that you would have got. Let’s remember what we are trying to achieve here? We are trying to alleviate all possible causes of sleep deprivation, so any reduction in stress, any reduction in what we worry about, any reduction in the pressures of life, all lead to a healthier person and to healthier sleep. And please trust me, I know!
Just a simple example of adding to these tips. You could also see your list in your mind’s eye, safely tucked away in a safe. In the morning, you see yourself unlocking the list and reading it, acting upon some of it, then storing it safely away at night. All this works. I very rarely lie awake now because of worrying about these sort of issues so I believe anyone can conquer this part of their problem!
Another quick tip to do with worrying- Let your head rest on your pillow and simply tell yourself that things could be a lot worse, your still a lot better off than some people no matter what your current situation is, and maybe everything is about to improve. I know this is a mental issue again but just simply try it. I think you’ll be surprised at how effective this all is. Once again, different people will see different results with different things, so that’s why I am trying to get across many different techniques for the cures of sleep deprivation.
It’s sometimes difficult to get across to people suffering with sleep deprivation issues, the importance of conquering the mental issues affecting their sleep. I once believed that my issues where physical ones, you know, like my high Blood pressure, my constant insomnia, my racing pulse etc. But of course, all these physical problems were merely the effects of my mental issues, such as, Stress & Anxiety.
A great way of reducing stress and anxiety is to use Hypnosis. Now, I have a great deal of experience with this, and I even once went to a Hypnotist in desperation (That’s another story for later) so I believe totally in this. I can honestly say that one of the best investments I ever made was in a book by Paul McKenna-I can make you sleep.
In it, Paul explains all the reasons why your sleep is poor, but then helps you get your good sleep back by providing all sorts of tips and tricks to take, before, during and after your sleep. I don’t want to go into any of the details here as I believe the best way is to read the book in it’s entirety, but I have used these tips and tricks ever since my problem started so I know they work, sometimes better than other times, but in general, my problems greatly reduced because of this book.
I recommend it! You can try any Hypnotist book, but I chose Paul McKenna because he is a trusted Hypnotist and someone I can believe in. You also get a CD with the book. I uploaded it to my PC, then transferred it to my phone and listen to it with earphones. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever got to the end of the “Talk” before I am asleep. Paul’s voice is very Hypnotic as you might expect and you will quickly feel relaxed and sleepy. I give this my 5 star rating for reducing sleep deprivation! Check out the price here on Amazon
7. Try Melatonin
It’s sometimes difficult for an insomnia sufferer to get the right sort of balance with everyday sleep essentials like enough daylight, exercise and healthy eating. I have found that enhancing your amount of Melatonin aids sleep and reduces sleep deprivation to a certain extent, but shouldn’t be taken exclusively instead of the other solutions. But it does help regulate the body’s internal clock, so should at least be tried by someone struggling with their sleep. As always with even Herbal medication, check with your Doctor before taking this or any new medication. Some people have low levels of Melatonin so this is the reason they are suffering with Insomnia.
8 Check your medication isn’t affecting your sleep
When I was really in trouble with my sleep, I was put on antidepressants. Guess what they did? Yep, they interfered with my sleep. The type of AD I was taking actually increased my sleep deprivation! Along with other nasty side effects, this was the reason I gradually weaned myself off the AD’s. And it’s not just antidepressants that can mess up your sleep, other medications such as Beta Blockers & Thyroid Medication can also cause problems with Insomnia. Also, some medications contain Caffeine, which is a stimulant which increases your heart rate and BP (some folks more than others)
A quick tip here. Your Doctor may not always know which medications are bad for your sleep. You may have to do the research yourself, but if you do find a medication that you believe is making your suffering worse, then take your evidence to your Doctor to discuss suitable alternatives-Please don’t stop taking your medication because you are not sleeping well. We don’t want your current illness to get worse because you want better sleep. Let’s try to compromise if we find a situation with the medication!
My first experience of Acupuncture was when I had a foot injury. I visited my company’s health advisor who put me in touch with an Acupuncturist. I was sceptical as I had had this problem for a number of years and meant I was now limping badly when worse affected. It was a ligament problem on my left foot, inflamed and painful. The Acupuncturist used a needle to manipulate some nerve or something in my left calf. I’m not exactly sure what they actually did. It wasn’t painful and lasted around 5 minutes. 2 days later I woke up and No pain.
I was amazed. Although it has since been giving me trouble now and then, it is never has bad as it was before the Acupuncture. So I was very interested in a Acupuncture cure for sleep deprivation . I didn’t think the Acupuncturist would want to turn up at my house at bedtime and if he did, he would probably want an awful lot of money to get him there, so instead I bought an Acupuncture mat, called a “sleep induction mat” This works by stimulating Acupressure points on your back and eases the body into deep relaxation. You use the mat 20/30 mins before bed and I can tell you it really works. You will feel relaxed even if you were stressed not so long ago, and definitely ready for sleep. I don’t know if Acupuncture works for everyone, but it does aid your sleep, so I think you should try it. I recommend this one from Amazon
10. Count backwards from 300 in 3’s
I said earlier that I want to write a whole blog about mental tips and tricks that get you to sleep and how to stay asleep. But I love this so much I must tell you about it here and now!
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, or if you have woken up and now can’t get back to sleep. Try this. Start at 300 and count backwards in 3’s. It’s so mathematically challenging that you simply cannot think of any of the other things that were keeping you awake. I want you to try in tonight.
If your like me, mathematically challenged that is, I almost always get to sleep before zero, if you reach zero, simply start again, from 300. I guarantee that you will fall asleep, now the trick is to stay asleep, but that’s why we have talked about all the other things you can put right before your 3’s become z’s!
There are other variations of this of course, and if you try this and it doesn’t work, try some others, but this is always the best one for me and 3 is definitely my favourite number because of this.
Thank you for reading my first blog on this very common problem. I would like to hear your comments and maybe your own ideas on the subject in the comments section below. To comment I would like you to subscribe to my site, which gives me the chance to cut down on Spam (yup, some folks still do that sort of thing) If you wish to email me direct you can at firstname.lastname@example.org I will endeavour to answer all queries.
If you are on a strict budget and you can’t afford any of the items I recommend, then save up for the Paul McKenna book-I can make you sleep. This is the first step to your recovery. I promise you that you will get greatly increased sleep from this one source alone. In fact I guarantee it. I know your sleep deprivation will reduce. How much will it reduce by, well, if you follow all the basic rules, a lot. This time next year you won’t believe the difference a few changes can make to your life.