Help for Insomnia
Many people have the occasional problem night as far as their sleep pattern is concerned. Everyday stress or worry can leave you lying awake mulling over the day's events in your mind, or anxiously thinking about what difficulties may lie ahead tomorrow. These temporary blips usually subside once the issues have passed. However, anyone who spends night after night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep despite a lack of worry or stress, will understand the detrimental effect that lack of regular sleep can have on your body and mind. Aside from the obvious general fatigue and drowsiness, insomnia can often cause irritability, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and in extreme cases may even lead to depression.
Insomnia is defined as experiencing difficulty falling asleep, or a disturbed sleep and repeated waking after falling asleep easily. It is generally categorised in three different groups: transient, lasting less than one week; short-term, lasting between one and four weeks; and chronic, lasting more than one month. At any given time around thirty to fifty percent of the population is believed to be experiencing transient or short term insomnia, with around ten to fifteen percent suffering from chronic insomnia. So the next time your boss snaps at you unexpectedly, or your partner feels too tired to go out at the weekend, maybe something as simple as a good night's sleep is at the heart of the problem.
So, what can you do if you find yourself suffering from insomnia? Luckily, doctors today are much more sympathetic and less inclined to prescribe medication than they were a few years ago. Prescription sleeping pills may be effective for short term usage, but with the fear that you may become dependent on them, many people seek alternative methods of dealing with insomnia. Exercising good sleep hygiene is often seen as essential. This can be difficult, as it may mean giving up something you enjoy, but the effects can often be worth the sacrifice. Actions such as cutting out nicotine and caffeine; no siestas; no reading or television in the bedroom, and no long lie-in no matter how tired you feel, are all seen as effective methods for dealing with problem sleep patterns. However, if you have no desire to take pills, and some of the sleep hygiene suggestions feel a bit too drastic, there are many complimentary therapies that have a high success rate. Reflexology being one of them.
I have successfully treated many people over the years who have been suffering from insomnia. In fact, the reason I became a reflexologist in the first place is due to the fact that a doctor suggested I try reflexology when I was suffering from insomnia myself as a student. He was reluctant to prescribe medication, and thought something more natural would be beneficial. The results were astounding. My sleep pattern improved from the very first session. I was so amazed with the results that I did my own research as to how reflexology was having this effect on me, and discovered that reflexology stimulates the pineal gland. This is a small endocrine gland in the brain that produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of our sleeping and waking patterns. So stimulating this gland was helping to regulate my sleep. This is why even when people see me for health issues other then insomnia, they usually report that they "slept like a baby" the days following their sessions. Also, just finding the time in our busy schedules to unwind and relax can have a wonderful effect on our sleep.
So if you or anybody you know suffers from more than just the odd bout of insomnia, why not try reflexology? An hour spent lying down listening to gentle music with no emails to answer, no phone calls to make, and nothing to worry about whilst somebody rubs your feet...makes you feel sleepy just thinking about it.
Benjamin Milton is a qualified Reflexologist with a practice in Zebbug. You can find out more by visiting his website here: www.reflexologymalta.com.