DIY: Conquering insomnia


Graphic by Megan Oosthuizen

Olivia Bragg, Staff Writer

Many teenagers deal with the unpleasant and underestimated disorder of insomnia. Insomnia can be defined as the inability to fall asleep at night, and makes for irritable attitudes and lack of focus the next day. Insomnia can be helped and cured, so stop counting sheep and start getting sleep. Lying on your bed to do homework, text or read teaches your body that your bed is not for sleep, so when you try to fall asleep in bed, you lie awake for hours. Use a chair to do homework, text and read. Save your bed just for sleeping so that when you go to catch some Zs, your body knows that your bed is just for sleep. Another way to condition your body to sleep at night is to get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep in more than 30 minutes. Lying awake in bed for a long time can also train your body that your bed is for staying awake, so try a trip to the kitchen for some water or pace around the plush carpet for 15 minutes and then try to fall asleep again. Those sheep can wait to be counted. Studies have proven that sleeping next to a cell phone, tablet or other technology can cause restlessness. Sixty-three percent  of people responded in a survey that they use gadgets right before bed and claim that their sleep needs were not met. The artificial light from the technology simulates light during the day, which decreases your body’s production of melatonin, a sleep inducer. Stop browsing Twitter, and pause “2048” and turn off your phone and iPad for the night. You can live without technology until the morning. Some teas are made to warm your body and promote the production of melatonin, so instead of a grande Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks, try a caffeine-free sleep promoting herbal tea. Bananas are more than just snacks for the cute minions in “Despicable Me.” They contain tryptophan, which stimulates the production of melatonin that helps to induce sleep. Bananas also contain magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant. A warm bath can be useful for getting rid of the typical stinky smell a teenager has by the end of the day. It can also help relax your muscles, making it quicker and easier to fall asleep. Teenagers need exercise to lose their belly fat, but studies have shown that teenagers who exercise regularly sleep better. Exercise tires the muscles, so when you lie down to go to sleep, your body is more willing to comply. The countless number of teenagers suffering from insomnia can start getting sleep with these tips. Peaceful sleep starts now. For further tips and a study on insomnia, visit the nutrition breakthroughs website. For my personal experience with insomnia, visit my column.