Sleep is a wonderful thing. It provides us time to heal and restore part of us that have been worn down by the experiences of the day. It also allows us to process events and learn new ways to manage our lives. So, we all look forward to sleep for its recuperative powers.
Sometimes sleeplessness is caused by illness and health problems. For more of us, it is caused by stresses in our lives we have not dealt with and we need to overcome. But, in reality, we become weakened by not restoring ourselves. Often we will tell ourselves to sleep, but sleep does not come by being told to do it. Rather it is the letting go of stress and becoming relaxed that we can sleep. At times our bodies will take over and force us to sleep, despite our mind. Unfortunately, what often occurs is fitful sleep and often nightmarish dreams—hardly recuperative!
Some will request medicine to help them with their sleep. This may help those who have already resolved their underlying problems and now have gotten into a poor sleeping habit. Another person might reach for a bottle of alcohol which will temporarily put them to sleep but not give them a full sleep that they need to restore ourselves. For others, they might request medicine but that puts them in a drugged sleep, but does not help them with the problems underlying the sleep problems.
A better approach is to seek some counseling for two ways to develop good sleep:
1. Look at what are the problems that upset us and develop solutions to the problems. Sometimes it will be something they themselves can correct, other times they will need to seek help from others – whether that is from family, friends or organizations.
2. Re-instituting good sleep hygiene practices, including: reduction of caffeine, developing a good eating and exercise program, appropriate sleep patterns, and using relaxation techniques.
If you have not been sleeping well for a while and need help, ask a counselor for some assistance.