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Man suffers from insomnia
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A Insomnia can really make your life miserable. We'll show you where it comes from and what you can do about it to get a good night's sleep again.

Insomnia- what is it about?

Our daily lives are so stressful that sometimes you don’t really find time to think until you’re lying in bed. But then you can’t stop. Your thoughts spin faster and faster and you wish for nothing more than to finally be able to fall asleep. That happens sometimes. But it gets really bad when you can’t sleep through the night for a long period of time. That’s when doctors call it a Insomnia. Here we explain exactly what it is and how you can relax again at night.

Insomnia: causes and their effects

As already mentioned, it’s not necessarily a health problem if you don’t sleep well in between times. In case of regular sleep problems, however, you should consult a doctor, who will then find out the cause of your problems. For most people, insomnia means that they have problems falling asleep, wake up very early and wake up more often in the middle of the night. The result: lack of concentration, imbalance and even psychological problems. Snorers in particular tend to suffer from sleep apnea. These are breathing pauses that occur because the windpipe is not clear, for example because you sleep on your back and your tongue falls backwards during sleep. Drinking alcohol, tobacco or coffee before going to bed can also be a cause of sleep disturbances. Here you can find out how to organize your evening so that you can sleep peacefully.

How to Beat Anxiety and Insomnia | Neuroscientist Matthew Walker

Man suffers from insomnia

What does Insomnia therapy look like?

Insomnia test

First, your doctor will need to determine if you actually have a Insomnia. To do this, you will keep a sleep diary in which you note on which days you had trouble falling asleep, when you wake up at night, or how often you wake up too early. Monitor your sleep for a period of 1 to 3 months. If you have regularly been unable to sleep at least 3 days a week during this time, this indicates a Insomnia. In addition, the doctor will ask questions about how deep your sleep is and whether you wake up due to muscle twitching or snoring, for example.

Therapy for sleep apnea

Through the conversation, the doctor tries to get to the real reason for the Insomnia. Sleep apnea, for example, can become quite dangerous if the breathing pauses last too long. It is usually treated with a breathing mask for sleeping, you should also pay attention to a good sleeping environment and light meals in the evening.

Therapy for Restless Legs Syndrome

If you often can’t fall asleep because you feel tingling in your legs and feel like you need to move now, it may be due to restless legs syndrome. It is particularly unpleasant because this urge to move always occurs when you are just trying to relax, especially when you are falling asleep. The cause can be, for example, iron deficiency, impaired kidney function or Parkinson’s disease. Restless legs syndrome can also occur during pregnancy. The syndrome itself cannot be cured, but the symptoms are alleviated if the cause is treated. For example, if iron deficiency is the trigger for restless legs syndrome, you can get relief with iron supplements.

What home remedies for insomnia really help?

The right sleeping environment

Not a medicine, but especially important is a healthy sleep environment. Make sure you have a good quality mattress and bedding that are adapted to your sleeping position. This will prevent you from tossing and turning while you sleep, trying to find a comfortable position, and waking yourself up. So find out which pillow and mattress you can sleep on. It is also important that you sleep in a quiet and darkened environment, so that you are not jolted out of sleep by blinking or loud noises. The indoor climate is also important: especially if you suffer from sleep apnea, it is important that the air in your bedroom is not too stuffy. Remove dust regularly and make sure you don’t have materials like grasses, down or wool nearby if you are allergic to them.

Warm feet

It’s as simple as it sounds: If you’re comfortable, you’ll fall asleep faster. Cold feet, in particular, are often a reason why you don’t feel comfortable and may huddle in an unhealthy position to avoid freezing. Therefore, warm up your feet by, for example, taking a foot bath before going to bed, putting a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed or going to bed with cuddly socks. When your feet are warm, the rest of your body can relax as well.

Tea for peaceful nights

If the main cause of insomnia for you is that your thoughts are spinning faster and faster in a frantic hamster wheel, tea can also calm you down inside. The warmth combined with calming essential oils, such as those of lavender, valerian, or chamomile, helps you let go and relax. It’s especially effective to incorporate your evening cup of tea into a calming ritual, for example, by burning a scented candle while you do it or reading a few pages from the feel-good book on your nightstand before you go to sleep.

Calming scents

Smells also have a powerful effect on how you feel. Therefore, remove all extreme sources of odors from your sleeping environment. Especially new appliances that still smell strongly of plastic or intense perfumes can disturb your sleep. Also, if there are strong cooking smells, be sure to ventilate before going to bed. Instead, look for soothing scents in the bedroom, such as aromatherapy oils. Lavender, vanilla or cinnamon can be particularly calming. Place a small bowl next to your bed and focus on the pleasant smell as you fall asleep. For an oil that doesn’t smell too intense, you can also spread a few drops between your fingers and massage it on your temples.

What to do about Insomnia in children?

Sleep problems in young children are typical

Children often wake up at night, either because of nightmares or a sudden fright. Because young children in particular are often not yet able to articulate their worries, you can often tell from sleep problems what is bothering them. However, a Insomnia does not always have to be present. Particularly in the case of major developmental steps, children aged 1 to 2 years may experience sleep disturbances, but these will subside with time. However, if the restless sleep is a serious impairment for the whole family, you should clarify this with a doctor.

Hidden diseases as a cause of Insomnia

If the sleep disturbances in children appear suddenly, pain can be a reason. For example, middle ear infection is common in children. Allergies affect breathing and also cause Insomnia. If illnesses are the cause of Insomnia, it’s time to see a doctor.

Insomnia and depression: what remedies help?

Insomnia and depression are mutually dependent

It is the well-known vicious circle, which makes especially mental illnesses worse and worse. On the one hand, sleep disturbance can be the trigger for depression, on the other hand, it can be caused by it. Studies at the University of Rochester, for example, were able to show that sleep disturbances occur about 5 weeks before the onset of a depressive phase, whereby they become worse and worse.

Remedy sleep disturbance, alleviate depression

The physicians concluded: If they can identify and treat sleep disturbance as a precursor to a depressive episode in time, the depressive phase will be lighter. In depressed people, medics also found that they have a prolonged dreaming phase, while deep sleep comes too short. The lack of sleep increases depression, which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep, and the downward spiral takes its course.

Taking the right measures

If a depressive phase is looming due to sleep disturbance, you will certainly try to counteract it. The important thing here is: Don’t try to catch up on your sleep. Taking a nap now will only make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not a cure for a good night’s sleep. You may fall asleep faster, but you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. Distraction helps you combat heavy thoughts. Instead of lying in bed and not being able to escape your worries, you should keep yourself busy. It doesn’t matter how. Read a book, clean your apartment, watch TV, solve a puzzle – the main thing is that you don’t fall into a mope.

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