The mind and sleep eventually intersect like two lines with the center being our ability to recharge. My insomnia makes those lines feel like they are parallel. The lack of sleep makes me more tired and my mind becomes more active escalating into the bizarre. Sometimes I didn't get enough rest because of lack of time but the worse is when I have insomnia. If I don't rest my daily activities feel like I'm asleep at a steering wheel. My body is a vehicle and when I speak it'll be a car accident of choices. I'm irritated, illogical and my eyes burn. When I am trying to fall asleep, it's like I can't turn my mind off from the anxiety caused by stressed. On the other hand, when I am awake my mind is completely shut off. Oh firetruck, it's morning. Will I make it through the day? And so it starts all over.
When the body does not sleep, it does not recover. The most I've gone without sleep was when I was nineteen years old in an out-patient rehabilitation program. I was being treated for pain killer addiction and my anxiety. I stayed awake for at least 48 hours because my mind wouldn't quit.
Here is what they taught me and although they seem simple and obvious, with routine it actually works. This is mainly for if you are recovering from an addiction or having a underlying chronic mental illness.
1. Maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule. Try to wake up at a certain time range EVERYDAY! Even if you sleep at a bad hour, just wake up at the same time. Your body will get trained to wake up automatically even if you have trouble getting to sleep. Then you will get tired throughout the day and help you sleep within a certain hour range.
2. Eat a healthy/balanced/appropriate diet. Your body's fluids and hormones are constantly flowing inside. Therefore drinking water and a lack of high animal-grease foods helps. Water is good to help your blood flow and basically help your cells clear out dead cell "poop," and it also helps your digestion which is good for clearing out groggy headaches. Water may be bleh but you can add various vitamin or tea powder to make it taste better. Many are sugar free and replace electrolytes if you sweat alot. Second, eating a balanced diet just helps you maintain health which can help against colds and headaches. Too much animal-grease foods that are fried can clog up your arteries and hurt the flow of blood circulation. You need blood to carry oxygen to your whole body. It'll also help your metabolism. Lastly, an appropriate diet means to eat appropriate foods at the appropriate times of day such as don't drink too much caffeine before bed.
3. Remove distractions. It helps to get one of those eye masks that cover your eyes to reduce light and help your body's hormones know it is sleep time. There are particular hormones that set in when it gets dark to help you go to sleep so they can recharge. Also if there is outside noise, just get earplugs to help reduce or eliminate the noise.
4. Relax before bed time. You could take a hot bath or shower. Spray a calm scent such as lavender all over your bed to help reduce stress. Do light stretching but do not do a heavy exercise. Heavy exercise will energize you by getting your heart rate up.
5. Do not look at a screen such as a computer or tv prior to sleep time. If you stare at a bight screen for hours and hours such as while playing a video game then your mind will be stimulated. That's not good if you are trying to sleep because also the bright lights will trick your hormones that tell you to sleep to not kick in. So at least turn it off a couple of hours before bed. If you do watch tv before bed, make sure it is not too mentally stimulating like an action film nor bright with explosions.
6. Drink tea with honey before bed and eat a banana. Bananas are often used to help seizure patients, because it is a muscle relaxer. It can however, commonly be used to help relax your body. Tea is great for calming down and is commonly used as a sleep aid, just make sure it doesn't have caffeine. And adding honey to it, will reduce alertness thanks to the small natural glucose in it which turns off neurotransmitters.
These are the tips I was taught but if you guys have any others I would LOVE to hear it. Please leave a comment in the comment box or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org