Leliana Valentina Parvulescu

How we manage insomnia

Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli

One of the consequences of the period in which we live, marked by fear, uncertainty, confusion is related to sleep problems; so I will address this topic in the following lines, given that you are among those who find it difficult to sleep and would like to know how to overcome insomnia and rest better. Insomnia is very common and, despite the fatigue of the day, being able to fall asleep is sometimes very difficult. However, there are very practical psychological tools that you can use if you want to try to overcome insomnia, one of which is a simple relaxation exercise that can really make a difference.

Before talking about the exercise I propose, I would like to present the relationship between anxiety and insomnia. Scientific studies have shown that anxiety significantly affects the quality of sleep. In fact, anxiety seems to be at the top of the list of problems that can be related to insomnia. Among other things, anxiety causes above all intrusive thoughts, which can lead to loss of sleep. Another element to consider is the inability to give up these thoughts thus making it difficult to calm the mind. So keep in mind that the step you need to take to know how to overcome insomnia is to learn to let go of stress and relax. Anxiety leads to physical tensions throughout the body, people suffering from insomnia are already struggling with anxiety every day. When we are anxious, the body releases more hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline, which increase energy and alertness, increase heart rate and blood pressure and prepare the body to “fight or run”. Along with other symptoms of anxiety, these hormonal responses help determine the characteristic symptoms of insomnia. Usually, the symptoms of insomnia are mainly attributed to night hours and are related to difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night, restless sleep, fatigue on waking. All this causes fatigue during the day, altered general sensation, increased irritability, decreased ability to concentrate, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms.

How we manage insomnia
Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli

Unfortunately, insomnia is becoming more widespread, especially in the context of the period we are going through. I suggest you evaluate together the insomnia you may suffer from by answering a few questions.
· Do you sleep disturbed at least three times a week?
· Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep?
· Do you often wake up at night and stay awake for more than 30 minutes?
· Has this condition persisted for more than six months?
· Do you feel irritated during the day and in a bad mood?

If you answer yes to most of the questions, here are some simple exercises that you can do when you go to bed that can help you sleep. This exercise consists of using a simple, relaxing and very effective breathing technique. 3-step breathing:
· Inhale deeply and completely abdominally, if possible
· Hold the air for a few moments, for 2 to 8 seconds
· Exhale very slowly.
· Breathe slowly, deeply, with exhalations longer than inspiration.
· Count up to 10 breathing cycles. When the 10 cycles are over, start counting again to 9 cycles. Then up to 8 cycles, 7 cycles and so on. Generally, you will fall asleep before the end of the exercise.

You can complete the above technique by optimizing your psychological state, relax before bed, maintain an orderly lifestyle, follow a healthy diet. I hope that the regular practice of the above exercise and what I have written will be useful to you.