4 Ways Moms Don’t Take Care Of Themselves Like They Should

Before you were a parent (and while you were pregnant), the chances are that you took self-care extremely seriously. However, now that you are a mom and your whole life revolves around your little ones, the majority of your self-care has probably gone out of the window.

While it’s perfectly normal to have very little time for yourself when you are a mom, the problem is that a lack of self-care can have serious consequences for both your physical and emotional well-being. The fact is that it is important to take care of yourself because as a mom you are under a lot of pressure, and pressure can have an impact on your wellness.

 

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Don’t think you are worth taking care of or that everyone else should always come first? Look at it this way; you are the center of your family’s world, you are (probably) your children’s main care giver. You are important; you matter a lot. You are worthy of good self-care.

Bearing that in mind, below are four ways that moms don’t take care of themselves like they should do, and tips for how you can change that and ensure that you get all of the self-care that you need.

  1. Making no time for themselves

Far too many moms focus purely on the needs of their family, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can end up having a negative impact. If you don’t make time for yourself and your needs, you can’t expect to have a healthy mind and body. Whether it’s just 10 minutes each day to sit down with a cup of tea and a magazine or half an hour to practice pilates, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you are getting some time for yourself, to do what makes you happy.

  1. Not taking care of their health

Your health should always come before anything else. The truth is that if you aren’t in the best health possible, you can’t provide your children with the best care possible. That is why taking care of your health (both physical and mental) is so important. For your physical health, eat well and follow a clean diet – by cutting out junk food and refined sugar you will be healthier and will have more energy, so it’s something that is worth doing. Make sure that as well as eating well, you also drink plenty of water, to keep yourself hydrated. Not a fan of plain water? Opt for flavored water instead, such as strawberry, peach, or lime water, or infuse your own water at home. Don’t make the mistake of failing to look after your health, because it will have an impact in one way or another.

  1. Letting stress take over

Stress is a part of family life and one that you need to learn how to handle effectively. Everyone has their own coping methods when it comes to stress, which is why it is so vital that you learn what works for you when it comes to alleviating stress. While some people swear by exercise, others find that the best stress reliever for them is a bubble bath, glass of wine and a feel good movie. How you choose to reduce your stress levels is up to you, just make sure to make an effort to do so. Stress can have a huge impact on your health and well-being, which is why it’s so important to take dealing with it seriously.

  1. Not teaching the kids to help

Once your little one can walk and talk, it’s important to start asking them to help around the house. Obviously, their chores should be age appropriate, but every child from two or three years old should learn to help. Whether it’s simply putting their toys away or helping you to fold the washing, it’s important that you teach your children from a young age that helping is a part of life and is something that you expect from them.

There you have it, four ways that moms don’t take care of themselves like they should do, and hacks for changing that.  

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Protecting Your Smile for Years to Come

Protecting your smile comes with a lot of work and dedication. It’s not just a case of brushing your teeth two to three times a day. It’s not just using mouthwash and flossing. And it’s not even about visiting a dentist several times a year. It’s a combination of all those elements plus much more, and unless you’re thinking of taking the easier route via cosmetic surgery, then you’ll have to put in some hard work and dedication.

So to get you started, here are a couple of tips that will help you protect your smile for many years to come.

 

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Dental checkups at least twice a year

 If you’re not visiting a dentist at least twice a year then you’re not taking great care of your teeth. You’ll have to visit a dentist once every 6 months (minimum) in order to keep track of how your teeth and gums are doing, as well as your dietary changes and how they’re affecting your dental health. Combine these checkups at your dentist of choice with a hygienist session and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and with a clean mouth. Checking the overall health of your teeth is important for several reasons, but the main focus is to ensure that you’re not developing bad habits or gum disease.

 Learning to brush and floss

Did you know that most people don’t brush their teeth properly? It doesn’t matter if you use a manual or automatic toothbrush—you have to know how to brush properly in order to get the most out of your cleaning sessions. Brushing and flossing are an essential part of anyone’s tooth care regime, which is why you should learn to brush properly and also learn when the right time to floss is. Most people floss in the morning and before bed, but you only really need to floss at night so that the bacteria and food between your teeth don’t have a chance to make your teeth worse.

Visiting a nutritionist

People don’t always associate dieting with healthcare, but it’s actually an incredibly important component that will make a huge difference in the quality of your teeth. Most cases of tooth decay, disease and even loss can be prevented entirely with the help of a good diet. Most people know that eating sugary foods can be detrimental to your health, but there are also foods that can help improve your oral health overall, especially if you suffer from a case of halitosis (bad breath). A nutritionist can give you a lot of sound advice that will help deal with most of your dental issues, and you should think of it as a preventative measure that will reduce the chance of you suffering a long-term dental problem in the future.

 Protecting your smile takes a lot of work, but for those that are dedicated and stick to the plan, they’ll see long-lasting results that will keep your teeth in your mouth for many years to come.

Simple Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

During pregnancy, looking after yourself is important. There’s your health to worry about, as well as the development of your baby. It can come as a bit of a shock to read about all the things you are and aren’t supposed to do. Everyone seems to have advice for you, from qualified doctors to friends, family and even sometimes random strangers. It might be a lot to process, but you still want to look after yourself and your baby. Knowing some of the main factors to pay attention to for a healthy pregnancy will get you on the right path and help to make things less confusing.

 

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Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise are often the main two points of focus when talking about healthy pregnancies. What you put into your body and what you do with it are always important, but your pregnancy might make you think about it more than usual. Eating a balanced diet is even more important to get all the nutrients you need. There are also some particular things you need to make sure you get enough of, such as folic acid, which helps to prevent birth defects. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat for two, but a few extra calories is a good idea. When it comes to exercise, don’t stop exercising when you get pregnant. Keeping fit is important, helping to keep you healthy.

Getting the Right Healthcare

You want to make sure you have a good team looking after you during your pregnancy. Good obstetrics and maternity care are important to keep an eye on your health and the health of your baby. You can find many health services that can offer you top care. Some, like Lahey Hospital services, use state-of-the-art technology and have highly-qualified doctors, midwives, and nurses. You can research a medical service or person before you choose to use them. It’s easy to find reviews, and you can even check qualifications and certifications to make sure you’re happy to use someone’s services.

Navigating All the “Don’ts”

As soon as you’re pregnant, you can realize that there are an awful lot of things you’re told not to do. As well as some of the more obvious ones, like not smoking, drinking or having caffeine, a lot of other things seem to be off limits too. You’re warned off eating steak that’s not well-done, sushi, unpasteurized dairy products, and anything else that could pose a risk. It’s not always easy to know what to listen to and what you can safely ignore, especially as advice changes all the time. It’s often best to speak to your doctor or midwife to get the facts.

Getting Vaccinations

Becoming ill while pregnant isn’t something you want to happen. Getting vaccinated against some illnesses is a good idea. There are some vaccinations you can’t have while pregnant, but others are recommended. You should get the flu vaccination, and it’s also a good idea to have a whooping cough vaccination. The whooping cough vaccine helps to protect your newborn baby as it can be very dangerous for them to get the illness while they’re small and unable to have the vaccination themselves.

Staying generally healthy will help to protect you and your baby during your pregnancy. There are a few extra things to pay attention to as well.

It’s About Time You Began To Love The Body You Were Born With


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It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it starts, but body shaming and body negativity tend to start early in women. Whether you’re a teen or a young adult, or even a child, there all comes a time when we begin to get a little more conscious of how we look. And it almost always extends to the shape of our bodies, regardless of what size or shape you naturally are.

Whether you’re thin or curvy, everyone judges themselves based on how they think they should look. And it can be tough. We’re often hard on ourselves to the extremes that we damage our health, bother physically and mentally. But there comes a time when we need to say enough is enough; we need to love the skin we’re in. And now’s the time. So let’s take a look at the ways you can start to feel more comfortable in the body you were born in.

Adjust Your Mindset 

First of all, you’re going to want to work on that mindset of yours. Because the issues often start in your mind, and after a while, you’ll find that you tend to think in a routine way, rather than being kind to yourself. So, you’re going to want to try and find a healthier mental state that can help you to see your body differently. This won’t happen overnight, and it will take work, but it’s important that you adjust your mindset if this is going to work.

Enjoy Eating

At the same time, you need to be able to work on your attitude with food. If you often restrict yourself or overeat, you’re going to want to change the way you think about your food. A great way to do this is to start eating for pleasure. You need to be mindful when you eat, enjoy your meals, and not feel shameful about food if you want to change your mindset and feel comfortable in your body.

 

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Exercise For Mental Clarity 

When you struggle with your body, it’s likely that you have an unhealthy relationship with exercise as well as food. It’s either going to be something that you’re terrified of or addicted to. However, to start loving your body more, you need to see exercise as a tool, and not a means to an end. Because exercise can help your mental state here and allow you to clear your mind while working towards a new way of thinking.

Set Yourself Goals

Then, you should think about setting yourself goals. Whether you need to make changes in order to accept your body as it is, or to feel better in yourself, goals can often help you to get there. As long as you’re working towards feel better about yourself too, you’ll be on the right track.

Take Action

Then, you’re going to need to focus on some action. A part of accepting your body shape is working with it. If you’re really unhappy about your body, you need to take action to make yourself better. Whether you want to work with sustainable weight loss or even build some muscle, nows the time to do it. By taking action in line with your goals, you will start to feel better about your body.

 

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Practice Positive Thinking

But you should also work on some positive thinking. Adjusting your mindset is just the start because you need to not only avoid the negative thoughts and pressure but actually be kinder to yourself too. This will take you some work, but by finally being positive about your body, you will start to feel more comfortable. 

Get A Glow

Combined with your new positive thinking, you’re also going to want to work on other ways to be happy. When you’re focusing on happiness and positivity overall in life, you will be able to take away from any body shaming or negativity that you’ve previously obsessed over. To do this, you’re going to want to take steps towards making yourself happier, whether it’s with self-care and pampering, or taking up a new interest.

Dress For Success 

Finally, as your start to get a bit more positive and begin to accept your body for what it is, you then need to put the cherry on top of the cake. To do this, you should focus on what you wear. When you dress for your body shape and make clothing choices that allow you to feel good, you’ll begin to feel more confident in your skin. When fashion flatters, it can go a long way to help you feel happier in the body you were born with.

 

Managing Your Medication: What To Do When You’re Not Happy With Your Prescription


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We live in a medication age. When we have a headache, we reach for the paracetamol. When it’s something more serious, we head to our doctor and get a prescription. In many ways, medical treatments available now are miracle workers. Most minor ailments come complete with a cure in pill form.

But, the prescription story isn’t always happy. For proof, you need only look to the opioid crisis. While many of us think addicts of illegal drugs are at the forefront of the issue, evidence suggests otherwise. Figures reveal that an estimated two million people are addicted to opioid medications. People who trusted their doctor to give them the right medicine are finding themselves in rapid opiate detox centers. Pain prescription addictions are rife, and the issue only seems to be worsening.

And, that’s not the only problem you could have with the prescription your doctor gives you. Severe side effects can also ruin your recovery. Some patients would go as far as to say that their tablets make them feel worse than the ailment they’re treating.

But, does this mean we should go back to suffering in silence? Not at all. It just means we should be more willing to question what we’re taking. Pills are often prescribed on a trial and error basis. If you don’t get along with one, there’s sure to be an alternative. But, it’s up to you to find it. To help you on your journey, we’re going to look at a few steps you should take if you aren’t happy with your tablets.

Make a note of side effects

Making a note of your side effects is important. This will help you to keep track and follow your progress. Every medication leaflet will have a list of possible side effects, most often including –

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety

Certain medications also have more specialized side effects, including slurred speech, and hair loss. If you experience any of the effects mentioned in your leaflet, make a note of their severity. And, don’t be afraid to jot down anything else. Medication affects us all in different ways. As such, you may experience side effects which aren’t listed.

Do your own research

With Google at our fingertips, we all have access to endless medical information. As such, there’s nothing to stop you doing a little research into alternative treatment. Start by looking on forums. Here, users often discuss medication struggles and offer alternatives they’ve found effective. Write down medications you think sound right for you, and research each in detail.

Take your findings to your doctor

Once you’ve completed the above points, take your results to a doctor. You may feel reluctant to contradict their prescription. But, once you open the conversation, they’ll be more than happy to discuss options. The chances are that they’ll also be pleased to see you have some suggestions with you. Your doctor needs your input to understand what you’re after. Together, you’re sure to develop a treatment plan which works.

Too Proud for Therapy? Stop Being Old-Fashioned!

Therapy is a term that is commonly associated with a bunch of misconceptions. No matter what kind of trouble you have in life, you’re usually expected to just deal with it however you can. Unless it’s a worrying medical condition that you can’t possibly deal on your own, most people would just chalk it up to a lack of rest and a healthy diet.

However, there are conditions such as bad joints or depression that can feel far too overwhelming to battle alone. This is when people turn to therapy, but there’s an increasing number of people who seem to be far too proud to even ask for a recommendation from their doctor. Therapy, whether it’s physical or mental, is one of the cornerstones of good medical care and it can make a huge difference to your well-being.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have with therapy and why they’re completely wrong.

 

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  1. Therapy is NOT a sign of weakness

Whoever first introduced the idea that people who go to therapy are weak was completely out of their minds. It’s quite the opposite, in fact, because it takes far more effort to visit a therapist about your problems (especially mental conditions) than to simply sit at home and let the problem fester. In fact, there are many people that still believe their joint conditions can simply be fixed at home on their own. Orthopedic rehabilitation wouldn’t exist if this was the case; people need a helping hand in order to restore their joints to a working condition, and it takes a lot of effort from both the patient and the doctors in order to see a successful recovery.

  1. Therapy is NOT a waste of money

Compare the cost of therapy to whatever home treatments you plan to get and you might see a stark difference. However, there’s also another disparity between the two: knowledge. Experience plays a huge part in almost anything in life, and when it comes to restoring life to your joints and giving you the best medical care, a professional therapist is worth every penny. This is your life and well-being that is on the line, so do you really want to leave it to the hands of a cheap product you found on the internet that makes crazy claims, or a professional who has healed countless patients? The choice is pretty clear.

  1. Therapy is NOT just common sense

Joint pain? No problem, take some painkillers and use those joints more often. Depression? Go watch a happy film. How many times have you heard (or even used) these arguments against therapy? It’s completely silly and it’s actually damaging to give out false advice that you don’t understand completely. Therapy is not just common sense and there’s a whole lot of research and knowledge that goes into the conclusions a therapist arrives at. Think of it this way; the advice you get from therapy is unique to your situation and probably won’t apply to everyone in the world. In that case, how can it be called common sense?

Therapy is a fantastic tool to heal all manner of aches, pains and even psychological issues. If you’re curious about therapy, then forget the idea that it’s a waste of time, common sense or a sign of weakness. It’s a real thing that has helped many people all over the world, so trust in it.

The Path To Achieving A Healthier Mental State


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The majority of people deal with mental struggles to some degree. For some, that might simply involve a little stress at work or school. For others, the mental struggles might stretch deeper into their minds. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you shouldn’t simply “make do” with a poor mental state, in much the same way as you shouldn’t make do if you’re physically poorly. Here are some helpful pieces of advice that might just help you on the path to achieving a healthier mental state.

Look after your body.

For many people, the core thing which is negatively affecting their mental states is a failure to look after their bodies. Even if you think you’re doing all you can to take care of your body, you should consider all the different aspects of your daily routine and whether any of them might be hindering your physical and mental state. A lack of sleep is a problem that you should definitely fix. Sleep-deprivation essentially starves the mind of the energy it needs, so the downsides don’t involve simply “feeling tired” all day; continuing down this route for too long can lead to mental health problems such as depression. Alongside sleeping better, doing some form of exercise can help to improve your mental state too. Even if it’s just a long walk, find a way to get your body moving every day.

Talk about your problems.

It seems like an obvious piece of advice, but the best way to get through your mental struggles is still the simplest: you need to talk about your problems. Family, friends, and other loved ones will all be desperate for you to open up to them and allow them to support you. You need to give them that opportunity because problems can often become worse when you allow them to spiral out of control within your own mind.

Of course, if you can’t bring yourself to talk to your loved ones about certain difficulties for whatever reason then you might want to consider other routes to healing through talking. You could see a clinical psychologist because a proper medical diagnosis of whatever seems to be affecting your mind can also lead to a proper medical solution to your problems. Talking always leads to the solution. Sometimes talking with friends is enough to heal your heavy mind. If not then talking with a professional can lead to a physical diagnosis and solution. The point is that you’ll only be moving forward if you talk to people about your problems.

Start a diary.

If you don’t have it in you to talk to anybody, for whatever reason, then you could try different routes to getting your feelings out in the open. You can start a diary and log all your feelings every single day. You’ll have the similar feeling of expressing the thoughts in your mind out into the real world but you won’t have to actually show anybody other than yourself the contents of your mind. It might also help to see these thoughts on paper to help make sense of your brain. It can help you deal with anxiety, depression, and stress.

5 Reasons To Shop Around For Medical Treatment


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We shop around for holidays. We shop around for furniture. But few of us shop around for medical treatment. There can be great advantages to doing your research before committing to a particular clinic or prescription. Here are just five reasons to shop around for healthcare.

You can avoid previous treatments that didn’t work

Not every form of treatment works for everyone, particularly when it comes to medicine for mental illnesses. Shopping around could allow you to find an alternative option. For example, Ibogaine treatment for heroin addiction has worked for many as an alternative to commonly prescribed naxalone. There are then holistic medicines such as St. Johns Wort for depression and ginkgo for slowing down dementia.

You could save costs

The costs of procedures aren’t fixed. Certain hospitals may have more high tech scanning and monitoring machinery, which may result in more expensive treatment rates. As for medicine this is easy to lower the cost of by shopping around. Most people will automatically opt for big well-known brands when there could be smaller independent brands out there that are just as effective but cheaper.

The risk could be lower

Surgery risks are generally calculated on a nationwide basis, meaning that you’ll be given the same stats from one hospital to another. However, this could be untrue in some cases. A specialist doctor within your area of surgery such as a specialist heart surgeon may be able to provide a better success rate due to their greater experience and more specialist resources for the job. Some people may even look at lists of best rated surgeons/clinics around the world in order to minimise risk.

Meanwhile, in terms of medicine, hypoallergenic alternatives may be needed if you’ve previously had a bad reaction to particular prescription drug

You could jump the queues

If you want to jump the waiting list for an appointment, travelling to another clinic other than your local one could be an option. There are many specialist private clinics abroad that specialise in providing low waiting periods for patients. In serious cases such as needing a new heart, this could be an option for ensuring that you get treatment in time.

You may get better quality care

If you’re not too worried about the cost, shopping around private clinics might be able to ensure a better quality of care in terms of more individual attention and a more comfortable setting. You may even want to travel abroad and stay in a luxury hospital (such people are known as ‘medical tourists’). You may even be able to spend some of your recovery lying on a beach. Such treatment is expensive and not for everyone.

 

Why Aftercare Is Important For Coming Out Of An Addiction

Facing addiction is one of the bravest decisions a person can make in their life. Once it’s been conquered and you’re well on your way to recovery, staying sober and upright in your life is extremely important for your own health and wellbeing of others around you. But staying on the right track is just as hard. Only about 11 percent of people with addictions receive specialist care, and aftercare is an integral part of that process. If you choose to go your own way, there’s a higher chance of a relapse, and your hard work can often seem like it’s for nothing. So what are the reasons that you should you stay in aftercare?   

 

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It’ll Keep You On The Right Path 

After you’ve made it through a rehab program, you deserve to stay on track. Using aftercare support, counselling, and advice will do just that for you and make it ten times easier at the same time. It won’t mean you’re thrusted into the world once again, and paces you so making that kind of transition is manageable and something you want to do. After coming out of such a structured environment, the real world can seem a huge challenge, so using aftercare facilities is a guiding light to navigating outside pressures. You can find yourself surrounded by what you worked hard to get away from, meaning it’s essential to have a safe base to navigate from.

The Advice Is For Your Own Good

Aftercare is created with you in mind. All sorts of rehab centres such as The Recovery Village offer compassionate care specialised for you, so be sure to take them up on their advice and aftercare programs. If you have outpatient aftercare then the advice will be more applicable to your daily life as you work double time to readjust and attend the meetings that make the period one of less difficulty and full of rewards. If you feel yourself on the brink of a relapse then you’ll always have someone on hand to contact with the right words and actions to keep you healthy.

It Places More Responsible Role Models In Your Life

It’s a good idea to cut all negative influences out of your life when it comes to recovering from an addiction. Yet sometimes this can leave quite a considerable hole in places that friends once filled. At this point aftercare comes in once again with supportive counsellors that you can look to for help in making new relationships. Aftercare can comprise a lot of different methods, one of which being support groups with others who have successfully ‘graduated’ from the program, which immediately opens you up to success for yourself.

No matter what kind of demon you’ve just defeated, aftercare is the next step in recovery. Don’t deny yourself the help you have a right to as a human being. Aftercare can place positive influences in your life, help you manage relationships, and become a healthier person with a long life ahead.

Spotlight On Insomnia: The Reasons Why You’re Not Sleeping

If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. An estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. You often hear and read about insomnia, but what exactly is it and why can’t you sleep? If you have questions about insomnia or you’re craving a good night’s sleep, this guide should come in handy.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder, which makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay sleeping for long enough to enable your body to get the rest and recovery time it needs. If you have insomnia, you may find that it takes you a long time to drift off to sleep, even if you feel incredibly tired before you go to bed. You may also find that you wake up during the night. It’s very rare to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and energized when you suffer from insomnia, and you may struggle to rest during the day even if you feel lethargic or fatigued. Insomnia is very common, and in many cases, it’s a temporary problem, which doesn’t cause too many issues. Most of us can recover from a couple of sleepless nights. The problems lie in cases of more severe or prolonged insomnia. There’s a reason why humans are designed to sleep during the night, and if you miss out on good quality sleep over a period of time, your health may suffer.

 

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The importance of sleep

Ideally, adults should sleep for between 7 and 9 hours every night. There’s no universal rulebook when it comes to sleep because everybody is unique and some people need more sleep than others. Sleep is important for a number of reasons, and this is why a lack of rest can have such negative consequences for both your mental wellbeing and your physical health. While you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t shut down completely. A number of essential processes are taking place, which enable the body to undergo repairs and to recover in preparation for the next day. When you’re resting, almost every organ and system in the body is getting ready for the day ahead. Your brain is processing information and developing new pathways, your blood vessels are healing, and your immune system is working to protect you from illnesses and infections.

It’s hard to put into words the importance of getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that people who don’t sleep enough have an elevated risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and depression. In children, deep sleep promotes healthy growth and development.

Sleep is also important when it comes to your behavior and your ability to function normally during the day. If you miss out on a good night’s sleep, you may feel irritable, you may be more clumsy than usual, and it might be harder to concentrate. You might find that you’re more susceptible to making mistakes at work and you may be more sensitive and emotional than usual. Your energy levels are also likely to suffer.

 

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What causes insomnia?

There are many possible causes of insomnia. Sometimes, there are problems that are easy to remedy, and in other cases, it can take a lot longer to determine the cause and find effective solutions. The most common causes of insomnia include:

Anxiety and stress

Almost everybody will be affected by stress at some point in their lives, and most of us are familiar with feelings of anxiety when we’ve got a big day ahead. If you’ve got an important meeting or presentation, you’re awaiting exam results, or you’re going to the dentist the next day, increased anxiety levels may make it hard to get to sleep. Stress can also affect sleep patterns. If your mind is active, you’re worried, or you feel uneasy, it’s hard to shut down and distract yourself from the things that are stressing you out. Often, stress and anxiety cause short-term insomnia, but if symptoms persist, it’s important to seek medical advice.

 

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Mental health disorders

If you have a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, this can put you at greater risk of insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, see your doctor. Sometimes, taking certain types of medication can affect your ability to sleep, and it may be possible to switch to another drug.

Medical problems

If you have an underlying health condition or you’ve sustained an injury, you may find that you have difficulty sleeping, especially if you’re in pain.

Your sleeping environment

Often, your sleeping environment can have a significant influence on your sleep patterns. If it’s noisy, there’s light coming through the curtains, you’re too hot or cold, or your bed is uncomfortable, you’re going to find it harder to sleep than you would in a dark, quiet room with a comfortable bed.

Your lifestyle

Sometimes, it can be hard to get a good night’s sleep if you’ve been drinking alcohol or you’ve had caffeine late in the day. Inactivity during the day can also hinder your chances of enjoying a restful night.

 

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What can be done to combat insomnia?

Insomnia can be a very serious condition, but it’s almost always possible to find a cure. The most important thing to do if you have trouble sleeping is try and identify the cause. 

Improving the environment

If you’re lying awake in bed every night listening to your neighbors playing music or the glare of streetlights is keeping you up, take some steps to alter your sleeping environment. Your bedroom should be a tranquil space where you can escape and relax in peace. Use heavy curtains or blackout blinds to keep the room dark and wear earplugs if noise is an issue. If you’re having persistent problems with your neighbors, put a polite note through the door or knock and ask if they would mind being slightly quieter at night. If you find your bed uncomfortable or you’re prone to pain, consider looking for a new mattress.

 

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Establishing a new routine

Getting used to a new routine can also be hugely beneficial for people who have insomnia. Sometimes, it’s impossible to stick to a pattern, for example, if you’re traveling in different time zones, but if you can adopt a time to get up and go to bed each day, this will make such a difference. Your body operates on an internal clock, and if you can set times, this should mean that you find it easier to get to sleep and that you wake up feeling refreshed. Avoid waiting until you’re falling asleep on the couch to go to bed and hitting snooze a hundred times before you get up. It may take a few days to get used to your new routine, but once your body has adapted, your risk of insomnia should be much lower. When you’re in your bedroom, don’t do anything that could distract you or keep you awake. Leave your phone in another room and don’t watch TV or turn your tablet on and start looking at emails. A third of people admit to waking up and checking their phones in the middle of the night.

Combating stress

Stress causes many people to toss and turn at night. If you’re feeling stressed, take some time out to relax and try and wind down before you get into bed. Exercise, stretch, meditate or use self-help hypnosis to ease anxiety, clear your mind and help you feel calmer. Run a bath, have a chat with your partner or put some uplifting or soothing music on. Read a book, catch up on your favorite TV program, paint a picture or take the dog for a walk. Do anything that makes you feel relaxed. If you can climb into bed feeling chilled, you should find it easier to switch off. If you find that you’re guilty of bringing work home with you, draw a line once you leave the office. Don’t look at your work phone, avoid checking your emails, and focus all your attention on spending the evening doing things you enjoy.

Exercising

Studies show that regular exercise aids sleep. If you’re active, you’re much less likely to suffer from sleep disorders including insomnia. Exercise tires your body out, but it’s also a very powerful stress-buster. If you’re not as active as you should be, try and increase the amount of exercise you do. You don’t have to take out gym membership or start running miles every day, but make an effort to move more. Take some classes, go for a walk every morning, get your bike out, learn to dance or join a local tennis or golf club. Expert guidelines recommend five 30-minute sessions of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week.

 

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Do you find it impossible to sleep? Are you struggling to remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep, or you woke up not feeling tired? If insomnia is an issue for you, it’s time to make changes. Your body needs sleep, and if you continue to lie awake at night, you may face serious, long-lasting implications. Take these tips on board and if you’re still not sleeping, see your doctor.