How Natural Stress Reduction Can Eliminate Sleep Problems
by N J Howell
Suggested for Pain Relief:
Ayurveda for Fibro
Healing Raindrop Session
This is part of a series on insomnia and, in particular when restless sleep may be caused by fibromyalgia pain. Any kind of physical pain causes stress over time. It stresses the body because the natural reaction to pain is contraction. We get tense, muscles tighten. Pain also causes emotional stress because we sometimes can't do the things we want or need to do because of pain. Prolonged "fight or flight" states effect the immune system, digestive system and eliminatory system. Being in a constant state of tension overworks the adrenals and keeps the body in a state of unhealthy vigilance. We need that hyper readiness when we're being attacked by a bear but when the bears we are watching out for are mental or emotional, it's just hard on the entire body.
Stress in modern life is unavoidable. We may try to avoid it by any means, it refuses to go away. We may be stressed at small things such as being late to work, our child's school report and whatever else the day throws at us. A certain amount of situations that may induce momentary stress is normal in everyone's life. It's good to know that stress isn't bad, as long as we are able to respond correctly and release the stress after the situation has been addressed to the best of our ability. It is our choices in response to stress that may need attention, if stressful sleep is an issue. Managing stress is so important for overall good health. The truth is that constant stress reactions create a wearing down of the body, in general, on all levels.
When we don't manage stress, the body stays in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Our body acts as if it is in danger all the time. Overworked adrenals result, along with a host of other physiological reactions such as colon congestion. Stress reactions may become very harmful over time and may be a contributing factor in the development of serious conditions like depression, phobias and panic and anxiety disorders. Also, the mind has trouble letting go and relaxing into deep sleep when we go to bed in a stressed condition. We can't turn the mind off and end up tossing and turning for hours.
Over a period of time, poor stress management and interrupted sleep patterns can lead to physiological problems like gastric problems including ulcers, dizziness, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, palpitations, shaky motions and sleep problems like insomnia.
Natural Techniques to Eliminate Sleep Problems and Insomnia
Natural techniques are devoid of any side effects and allow you to relax and have a quality sleep by distracting your mind from your worries.
* Relaxation: The Best Solution For Sleep Problems
Before going to bed try this relaxation technique. Sit in a comfortable position and breathe deeply with eyes closed. Focus on your breathing. Count till six as you breathe in, hold your breath for a few seconds and then breathe out totally, again counting up to six. This is an excellent method of reducing stress and inducing sleep.
* Relaxation Music for Sleep Problems
Select an audio cassette or CD that has soothing music. Play it at low volume and see the difference it makes to your tense nerves. You could also use metronome quality music to regulate your breathing when doing breathing exercises. Music has been scientifically proven to be a stress reliever. Once you are de-stressed, sleep follows automatically.
* Shut Out Your Worries To Cure Sleep Problems
Unwind and relax. Pick up a book and read or massage your feet or give yourself a manicure or whatever that will help you to disassociate from whatever that is worrying you. Another way is to keep a journal and write down your worries just before you switch off the lights. Distraction and getting worries out of your system by expressing them help in reducing stress and inducing sleep.
* Workaholics Often Have Sleep Problems
Having a compulsive need to work may be one of the major reasons behind stress and sleep problems. Assess your capability and set targets accordingly. Excessive mental and physical fatigue often translates into sleepless nights. Take a break during the day by taking a walk or just go down the stairs even it is for getting a glass of water or whatever that takes you away from the scene.
* Assess What is Causing Stress and Solve Sleep Problems
Stress is as bad as you allow it to be. Assess what is causing you stress. Sometimes it is a problem that requires a hard decision. Stress and sleep problems can cause immense health problems. Your health is much more important than continuing with a job that you hate or a partner that you cannot live with.
Talk with your pharmacist for other potential aids for combatting stress and insomnia. Also, ask your doctor and your pharmacist about including natural adjunctive therapies to your sleep management regimen. Ask your doctor about the risks and side effects which may be associated with any prescription sleep aids they may suggest. I highly recommend integrating alternative medicine therapies. Aromatherapy and the topical application of pure essential oils may be incredibly helpful in cases of insomnia or restless sleep. Cedarwood essential oil is one of my favorites. I apply a dab on the soles of both feet and take a little whiff and off to dreamland I often go. Reiki is another excellent option. Most find Reiki treatments to be extremely relaxing and stress-reducing. Some even experience cleansing and healing emotional releases during a Reiki session, which may help with sleep. Reflexology is also relaxing and wonderful for relieving internal congestion as well as increasing circulation.
Important Health Care Disclaimer: Stress levels that have gotten so high as to regularly cause sleep problems and insomnia may require evaluation by a mental health professional or medical testing to rule out underlying health challenges. Natural stress reduction techniques are not presented as a replacement for any needed medical care.