If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep” said Dale Carnegie. Sleeplessness is called Insomnia. It is caused by irregular bed-timings, changes in life-style, constant thinking about problem(s), bad family relations etc.

The main approach to treating insomnia is to remove the underlying cause, may it be physical or psychological or both.

Medical treatments can vary depending on the conditions and sometimes require surgery also.

Dependence on sleeping tablets is not advisable without the supervision of a medical practitioner.

People with insomnia should avoid naps in the day time. Keep the bed room very comfortable. Light an incense stick.

Various techniques

Relaxing techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, listening to soothing music and stopping work-related activities before bed-time may also help.

Regular daily exercise, performed preferably four hours before sleep can improve the quality of sleep.

Sleep has five stages; entering into sleep stage (normally it takes ten minutes to one hour depending on the age and physical exercise during the day), rapid eye-ball movement period (half-an-hour), deep sleep (for 4 to 5 hours), drowsy phase and awakening stage totalling to seven to eight hours again depending on the age.

Great leaders avoid the other stages of sleep and enjoy only the deep sleep.

That is the reason why they sleep only for four to five hours and still are cheerful and energetic.

Reasons for Insomnia

Saturday night fever: Watching regular late night movies in Television is a vice and leads to insomnia at a later stage.

More than insomnia, hypersomnia (excess sleep) is predominant in children, due to junk food habits; prolonged bedtime cell phone talks etc.

A student who is awake in the night, watching a Saturday night movie wakes up late on Sunday morning, enjoying the holiday.

Same night he goes to bed at scheduled time, preparing for next day school or college. But going to bed is different from sleeping.

As he woke up late in the same morning, he does not enter into the ‘first stage’ of sleep.

Irrespective of it, he has to cut short his deep- sleep phase and hurry to his class on Monday and that leads to yawning in the class room.

Sleep re-adjustment

It takes three days to get his sleep-clock re-adjusted, but again the next Saturday is waiting at the corner.

Hence maintaining regular sleep timings is a must.

One has to cut down intake of caffeine and chocolates, avoid cigarettes and alcohol.

They increase the ‘drowsy stage’ but affect the quality of the sleep that leads to dozing in the day time.

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.

YANDAMOORI VEERENDRANATH

yandamoori@hotmail.com