One of the common complaints I receive from my clients this time is inability to sleep or insomnia.
We all have had some sleepless nights, and we know how it feels. We would rather go without food than chronically have no sleep.
It is very disturbing, especially if it is continuous. It makes us feel groggy in the morning, lethargic, irritable, and even depressed. It changes biochemical processes in the body and makes us susceptible to illnesses as the body weakens from working overdrive.
We toss and roll on the bed, with our eyes closed but minds wide open. Some get a reprieve by a bargain of an hour or two. However, as soon as they wake up, and surprisingly always at the same time (the 3 a.m. phenomenon?), they can never go back again to limbo try as they might. Truly a disaster.
Some experience sleeplessness only for a few days, and as soon as the stress subsides, they get their oh so sweet slumber again.
But the chronic one is insidious. It lingers. And when other comorbid problems manifest (which is sure), the body gets weary and the soul is depleted.
It is true that the present Covidpandemic has risen the anxiety response of most people thereby making them restless, but I believe the pandemic has also only compounded a rather existing epidemic of sleeplessness especially among young people and the elderly.
Online activities mostly make young people stay up long in the night. Furthermore, when they sleep with their cellphones on, the radiation delays and reduces sleep, perfectly creating an environment to elude sleep.
Among the elderly, insomnia is quite common. My own father complains about this. This is because total sleep time decreases with age as study shows.
Sleep becomes lighter and more fragmented. They sleep early and they wake up early as well and would have a hard time slumbering again.
Circadian rhythm in old age is also altered. This causes a change in the sleep pattern among the elderly. And not to mention physical illnesses related to the heart, metabolism and digestion, degenerative diseases, and of course psychological disorders which may be comorbid or a primary illness.
Sleep is a doctor in itself, along with water, sunlight, and nutritious food. It heals the body naturally, increases longevity, and give vitality to body and soul.
If doctor sleep is sick itself, how do we heal the healer? How do we treat sleeplessness?
It depends on the cause. If a physical illness such as a heart disease is affecting sleep pattern, then it must be addressed by a cardiologist. But if it is a problem of the heart (so to speak) that brings anxiety and depression, then a psychological intervention is necessary.
However, there are general conditions in which sleep can flourish. It only takes a little conscientiousness, creativity, and a change in behavior so that sleep can thrive and is assured.
But let us talk about that next issue. For now, let me get to my bed and let doctor sleep do his natural healing.