Health issues with Claire Connellan: Insomnia

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CANNOT fall asleep and cannot stay asleep!

This condition is very difficult for all ages. Whether it’s anxiety, depression or stress, having little sleep affects our mood, memory, concentration and energy.

Sleep deprived children and adults perform as badly as intoxicated people and a serious lack of sleep can lead to diabetes or high blood pressure. Whether it’s a long-term or short-term condition one needs to receive professional attention.

Sometimes insomnia is caused by an underlying medical condition such as Arthritis, Asthma or Thyroid disorder. Reminders that you  aren’t receiving enough sleep would be slowed thinking, trouble paying attention, headaches, migraines, heavy eyelids, feeling irritable, or lack of vitality  – dozing off while reading or sitting for a short period of time.

Bsc Licentiate Acupuncturist, Therapist and The Natural Health Centre proprietor Claire Connellan has nearly 20 years’ experience in her field.

Here she offers her advice on what you can do to combat insomnia.

What can I do?

Try going to bed at a regular time each night, avoid napping or eating greasy heavy foods, exercise daily, avoid caffeine late at night, stop watching TV one hour before down time, learn to associate your bedroom with sleep not work.

If you have a problem with waking during the night I would recommend that you move to another room and try reading or meditation until you feel restful and then go back to bed.

Create an environment that is conducive to sleeping – soft bedding and a warm environment.

Darkness triggers the release of melatonin

Our bodies secrete a hormone called melatonin that helps regulate our body’s circadian rhythm, or internal 24-hour ‘clock’, which plays a crucial role in our sleep cycle. Darkness triggers the release of melatonin, while light can have the opposite effect.

“Light resets your clock and tells your body that it’s time to wake up”. While I would not recommend napping frequently, it can be effective, if it is for the right length of time. If somebody sleeps longer than 90 minutes, they’re going to be tired.

Why? Because they develop what’s called REM inertia.  REM inertia occurs when someone wakes up during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep cycle. It normally takes 80 to 90 minutes for someone to enter into a deep sleep, so I would suggest napping for no longer than 30 to 40 minutes during the day if you are too exhausted to keep going. You’ll wake up feeling more rested because you’re only in stages one or two.

Sleep

We (should) spend almost a third of our lives doing it – and for good reason. Quality shut-eye boasts a variety of physical and mental health benefits; “Typically, Adults need seven to eight hours, and children 9 to 10 hours sleep. For further information and a free consultation this week with Claire please contact her on 086 1550442 to book an appointment in one of her centres throughout Co Clare. More info available at thenaturalhealthcentre.ie.

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