My Top 10 Tips for Healing Insomnia

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Does fibromyalgia cause insomnia or does insomnia cause fibromyalgia?  I do not have a definitive answer.

I first succumbed to fibromyalgia in 2003, and insomnia took hold of my life for seven long years; I now only suffer from occasional short bouts.

My top 10 tips for healing insomnia are:

Limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol 

Sugar and caffeine are both stimulants. Eating sugar causes a spike in blood glucose levels, causing an immediate stimulation of the brain.

Caffeine acts on the central nervous system to increase alertness and attention. It can stay in your system for up to 12 hours – not so good if you are prone to insomnia!

Alcohol may help you fall asleep more quickly, but you will spend less time in a deep sleep, and more time in the less restful REM or Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep. In addition you may have to visit the toilet more often during the night…

Avoid exercising close to bedtime

The jury is divided on whether exercising before bedtime affects sleep quality. If you suffer from insomnia, it is worth experimenting on exercising at different times of the day.

Personally, I find exercising in the evening delays sleep and impairs my sleep quality. I avoid it completely.

Avoid watching television, using a computer or mobile phone 

In the evening, our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that helps us feel sleepy, fall asleep and stay asleep till daylight. It then naturally dissipates.

However, televisions, computers and mobile phones emit blue light, which can prevent the body from producing melatonin.

If you suffer from insomnia you may find it helpful to avoid watching television, using a computer or mobile phone 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

Bloggers please take note!

Keep to a regular bedtime

Our brains and bodies are subject to a Circadian Rhythm which regulates our sleeping patterns, our energy levels and appetite…

I was born a lark, and always feel better going to bed and waking up early. Sadly, I find late nights a problem, as my Circadian Rhythm takes a very long time to return to its usual balance.

Sometimes, I decide it is simply not worth it.

Epsom salt baths

Epsom salts are rich in the mineral magnesium, which helps to regulate neurotransmitters responsible for calming the body and the mind.  Magnesium also regulates melatonin levels.

I find Epsom salt baths help my muscles to relax, and aid restful sleep.

I have also been taking Magnesium in supplement form for many years; I do not thrive without it.

Keep you bedroom free of clutter

One of the insights I gained through my years as a natural medicines therapist, was that CHI or energy needs to have a clear channel to flow in both our bodies, our homes and our workplace.

Clutter impedes the flow of CHI and can contribute to a busy mind, poor quality sleep, blockages in our career, the flow of abundance…

If you suffer from insomnia, please consider having a major clutter clear out in your bedroom and removing excess books, furniture, clothes lying on the floor…

Keep electronic equipment out of the bedroom 

I have already touched on the detrimental effects of televisions, computers, and mobile phones on sleep quality.

If you are finding it difficult to sleep, please consider removing them from your bedroom.

Decorate your bedroom in restful colours 

Pastel colours will aid restful sleep. Bright colours on your walls will do the opposite.

If you have your bedroom walls decorated in shades of yellow, orange, lime… consider changing your decor to more restful hues.

Invest in a good quality bed and bedding

We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep, therefore it is worth spending a little extra on a good quality bed. I have also invested in hypoallergenic bedding, which I wash in environmentally friendly products.

Keep a journal by your bed side

As a blogger, I often find I get my best ideas just before I nod off. I write them down immediately, lest I forget!

Life can be tough at times, but keeping an attitude of gratitude has helped me through life’s ups and downs. I write a note of ten good things each and every day in my journal, no matter how small.

If life is challenging, I remind myself that:

“This too shall pass.”

Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Creative Visualisation, Reflexology, Dr Bach Flower Essences, Emotional Freedom Technique and my SAD lamp have also aided in healing my insomnia.

Brigid P. Gallagher

Memoir: “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow” is available from Amazon and all good online book stores.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk

Twitter: @watchingthedai1

Facebook: https://facebook.com/watchingthedaisies/

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

 


76 thoughts on “My Top 10 Tips for Healing Insomnia

  1. I have to admit, I’m going through a bit of a bad phase work wise but I am sleeping well only because I know this isn’t going to stay for long, this phase will pass by and there will be a day I will laugh about this. My father’s advice to me get over bad phases is to ask, in 10 years will this really matter? I haven’t faced anything yet, the answer to which is yes…

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I have suffered on and off with insomnia for a long time. Currently, I wake up very early in the morning, maybe one or 2 AM and can’t fall back asleep. I have found that it’s a good time to start working on blogs or doing research. The majority of my blogs I write on my phone, so it’s pretty easy to grab it in the middle the night and not take the chance of waking anyone up.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Many years ago I chose to not talk on the phone or be on the computer after a certain time in the evening. I think your tips are great. It is worth thinking about how to unwind from the day before you get in bed to go to sleep. I notice a difference when I break from my unwinding routine.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am reading this post for the second time and I find many suffer from this insomnia.
    The tips given are heavenly and if done as said one shall I have sleep; that should be heavenly.
    Thanks Brigid!
    I am going for my Sunday nap, hope it is heavenly, as meanwhile I shall remember your tips.
    Shiva
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi – just a little tip – some people really thrive after doing a series of cleanses (whole body – not just colon) and then supplement with enzymes and amino acids.
    Also – the epsom salt baths are amazing for detox and calming, but would suggest checking out magnesium chloride as it is more absorbable and really helps certain people with a variety of ailments.
    And source naturals makes a mineral blend that helps with kreb’s cycle and then while cleaning out the GI many folks take orthinine and it helps sleep.
    I like your tips – but add that root causes need to be addressed and in my experience of working with folks – most of the time sleep is disrupted from an imbalance inside the different systems – and enzymes and minerals and some vitamins are key.
    Oh and kelp or any thyroid support is key!
    Also suggest a good liver support for NAC and ALA
    Peace – 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes, I have insomnia, too. I think just about everyone I know with fibromyalgia, has insomnia, too. I have to have my electronic devices in my room because well, that’s where I live. all day, every day, unless I have an appointment to go to, and I have a minimum of 2 in any given week. But, what I have found to be working, since I decided to go ahead and do what my 2 therapist’s have been telling me to do for quite some time now, and that is to get out of the bed. I cannot stay in bed all day, even though it’s the most comfortable place to sit. I have a Tempurpedic bed and I can’t help it, it’s so much more comfortable than my recliner in here. Anyway, I did this for a week and it worked great and I was sleeping like a baby. I would get up, shower, put clean clothes on, brush teeth, and all that, make the bed and stay out of it all day. I just moved right next to the bed to the recliner. My therapist’s kept telling me that I wasn’t sleeping because my body doesn’t know the bed is for sleeping and one other activity only. They were so correct. I then got depressed and that ended, but I’m going to try to get back to doing that this week. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I would like to add that I use magnesium lotion. Like the Epsom salts, the magnesium soaks into the skin. But with the lotion, I put it on specific places/muscle areas that are sore. You don’t put it on your whole body and a little goes a long way. It relaxes me enough that I get to sleep faster and aren’t up as often in the middle of the night. I sleep better. It wasn’t very expensive. I got the Life-Flo brand, 8 ounces for $7. On Amazon, it’s $10. There is also a spray available. I buy it at Natural Grocer, so I would assume it’s at Whole Foods or many natural foods or supplements store. You have a nice blog! Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thanks for using the word ‘Heal’ rather than ‘Help’ in your title, so much more powerful! My psychologist husband uses this phrase: ‘positive reframing’ with clients and it ties in with your last two points on being grateful and knowing the tough times will pass. I believe it is mostly our heads that keep us awake rather than our bodies and in that case it is so good to capture those whirling thoughts and look at them with positive eyes, to identify the good and tell the bad to go packing. I have been struggling with some insomnia (a few hours some nights a week) and it’s always anxiety that keeps me awake. Once I ask myself what it is I am afraid of, identify it, put it on a mental shelf and then find a good thing to replace it, I fall asleep! Why is it everything seems worse at night?!?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi, my friend Nikki at Flying Thru Water told me about your blog and thought I should pay you a visit. I’m glad I did. I battled with insomnia for about 15 years before I found out that I have severe sleep apnea. Around that same time I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Now that I wear a CPAP at night I sleep better but still have a sleepless night now and then, mostly due to pain. I will try to remember these tips and looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another wonderful post, Brigid. Just linked in the Relateds to my most recent sleep article. NOW, if folks would just take your advice – lol. Change is hard – and those devices seem to have addicted the universe.

    Most folks simply don’t realize that the blue-spectrum light emitted from the screen is alerting (signalling the brain that it’s morning, not night). Many believe that if they turn down the brightness all is well. NOPE! At least not for many who struggle to fall asleep.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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