The Beauty of Sleep

 By Deline Tan

Sleep – the beauty of life is a gift to mankind. After a hard day’s work, we rest and go into slumberland. It is one way to repair the body after a strenuous day of hard work. Our body needs recovery from the exertion of the day, as the cells replenished itself during sleep.

However, some people are robbed of this special rest. Insomnia, the robber of sleep, destructs one from enjoying the beauty of sleep. Stress and anxiety can be the reasons why insomnia occurs. It is a complicated situation to understand, as the brain stays active and the mind is denied of rest.

Those who suffer from depression usually experience insomnia, as the mind is restless and anxious. Medication might help, but the best cure is to be free from fear and anxiety. The problem we face sometimes overwhelmed us and we may react and does not know how to recreate positive thoughts. Rest and recreation are the best form of de-stressor. It has been found that exercises calm the mind and body and produces chemicals in the body that balances the system.

There are three types of insomnia that we can identify with. They are:

1)     Transient Insomnia – which lasts for less than a week and can be caused by different sleep environment, or the different timing of sleep, as well as cause by severe depression and stress.

2)     Acute Insomnia – the inability to sleep for about less than a month.

3)     Chronic Insomnia – which lasts approximately about a month and can be due to muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and mental fatigue.

Let’s look at the pattern of insomnia, its causes and effects:

1)     The causes may be due to mental disorder, which makes the person having difficulty sleeping in the beginning of the night.

2)     Awaking in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep after that. It is referred to as nocturnal awakenings.

3)     Waking in the early wee morning hours followed by clinical depression.

Statistics on insomnia shows that it affects more women than men. Stress is the main trigger that affects short-term problem known as acute insomnia, and if the problem is not addressed, it will lead to chronic insomnia.

Due to busyness of life, people don’t exercise, and excessive accumulated work-loads also do trigger stress-inducing chemicals in the brain that causes insomnia. Bad relationship is also one factor that causes stress and produces harmful effects on the body. Usually a crisis aggregates tension and stress that develops into insomnia.

How does one get rid of insomnia? You must have heard that people count sheep when they can’t sleep. The real solution is to change your lifestyle and lead a healthy way of life. Most conflicts that we face in our lives are caused by our own selfishness and sinful lifestyle. We fight and gossip, and we have strings of enemies. We strife at work and we want to be the best above everyone else. We fight to stay at the top and we have no regards for our fellow men. In another word, we are our own worst enemy.

A lifestyle change is what we need. We feel good when we do a kind deed, or, when we’re politely served by the waiters/waitresses, that made our day? A kind word is soothing to the ear and brings health and healing to the body. A good deed done blesses us with good relationship with people and as we love and accept people, know that we can safely fall soundly asleep. What the mind needs is rest (free from strife) and as we constantly live a healthy way, we’ll not have insomnia.

Think healthy lifestyle. Avoid quarrels and seek to be a peace-maker. Enjoy the bliss of life by doing good and sleep will follow you. You reap what you sow. If you intend to have lots of friends and able to sleep soundly, then keep your mind sound by doing what is good and right.

Your body listens to you. Your mind responses to your environment. Sleep follows you if you remain a good friend to your neighbour. You don’t have to count sheep, you only sleep, if your mind is aware of a good deed that you did during the day. Stay free from stress and rest will follow you.

Let’s look at how we can help ourselves through the available help for insomnia. One of the ways is through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. In the therapy, the patients are taught improved sleep habits, like regular hours to go to bed and to sleep early. Attention to sleep hygiene is an important first line treatment strategy. Massage therapy would be very beneficial for sufferers of insomnia too.

Another way is through medication, which stood at about 95% of treatment for insomnia. It may not be the best way for cure as the drug can cause physical dependence which manifests in withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not carefully tapered down. Other side effects include day time fatigue and cognitive impairments.

Whatever way you seek treatment, know that prevention is better than cure. Live a healthy life style with no worries and you will beat the blues as you strive to be the confident you. Beat insomnia, beat life and you will be free from insomnia.

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