DEV Community

Cover image for Can Insomnia Be Cured?
Maulik
Maulik

Posted on

Can Insomnia Be Cured?

Insomnia is my old friend. I like to work at night as there is no disturbance and I can concentrate well due to that. So I used to read, learn, and complete assignments at night from the 10th standard(year 2011) and I continued. It eventually became a habit and now I have trouble falling asleep. It many times helps though and many times I want to get rid of it.

I have read a few remedies, haven't tried anything yet but I am curious Has anyone been cured of insomnia? If yes, please share How in the comment!

Thank you

Discussion (4)

Collapse
djnitehawk profile image
Dĵ ΝιΓΞΗΛψΚ

I don't think it can be cured 100% but it can be dealt with. I used to be a full-time dj so I've had my fair share of sleeplessness. I've tried everything from melatonin to hypnosis to meditation etc. etc. nothing worked with consistent results until a couple of years ago after I totally gave up.

what needs to happen is a lifestyle and mentality change. you need to reset your sleep cycle and get your brain to catch the first wave of sleep around 10pm everyday. the first few weeks will be torture. but don't give in no matter what. even if you can't sleep, just lay in bed in pitch blackness. don't try to force yourself to sleep. just listen to some ASMR on spotify or youtube.

the key is to not fight your current reality that sleep just isn't gonna happen. simply drop that expectation and be genuinely ok with not being able to sleep. something weird happens to your mind when you stop fighting the present moment and accept it wholeheartedly. the resistance to what is, is the fuel that drives your monkey-mind.

but make a determination to never turn the lights on say from 10pm to 6am from now on until the day you die. also browsing on your phone in bed is not allowed.

also if you burn through (deplete) your sleep aiding neurochemicals throughout the day with activities such as high stress situations, high concentration, physicality straining work, you may not be able to fall into a deep level of sleep. for example on days that I go too hard at the gym i am unable to sleep til at least after 2am. I believe I've used up most of my serotonin on those days.

insomnia does some really bad shit to your overall health the older you get. so might as well avoid a whole lotta future crap by dealing with it now.

good luck!

Collapse
maulik profile image
Maulik Author

Thank you so much @djnitehawk . Your comment is really very helpful.

Collapse
ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Completely cured? No, not really.

Mitigated significantly? Definitely.

Suggestions for mitigating it:

  • Go to bed and get up at a consistent time each day. This sounds like stupid advice, but it’s remarkably effective. Just like your habits that have lead to insomnia, this will get your body used to sleeping at certain times, which in turn will make it easier to get to sleep then. For bonus points, figure out what your natural sleep cycle is (that is, how long it takes your brain to cycle through both REM and quiescent sleep, for most humans it’s usually around 90 minutes), and then time your sleep schedule so that it includes roughly 5 cycles with your wake up time timed such that it happens right as you’re coming out of a cycle. This will help significantly with actually waking up on time, because people wake up more readily right at the end of a cycle.
  • Try lowering the ambient air temperature of your bedroom. Most people sleep most comfortably when the room feels slightly cold (try about 20°C as a starting point if your room is normally warmer than that, otherwise I’d suggest trying about 18°C) and they can lay comfortably under a blanket. Additionally, some people have trouble sleeping if their feet are cold, so just wearing a pair of socks may also help.
  • Lower your stress levels wherever possible. High stress throughout the day makes insomnia flare up more readily due to the neurochemistry of sleep and stress. For a decent percentage of people who suffer insomnia, stress is a major factor why.
  • Minimize light exposure (especially artificial lights, and even more so lights with a higher color temperature (bluer)) after sunset. Light exposure, even just ambient light on skin, negatively impacts the neurochemistry involved in getting to sleep and staying asleep. This is ultimately an evolutionary artifact of humans being primarily diurnal animals.
  • Avoid late night snacks just before bed, and consider eating your evening meal earlier. Blood sugar levels have an impact on how well most people can get to sleep, and avoiding heightened blood sugar levels can help significantly in getting to sleep more reliably.
  • Try cutting back on caffeine and other stimulants later in the day. Sounds obvious, but a lot of people don’t think of this. Alternatively, if this makes things worse, you probably have an atypically fast metabolism (like I do) and may find that a (small) amount of caffeine a few hours before bed actually helps you sleep.
  • Melatonin. Probably the ‘easiest’ option. Melatonin levels are directly tied to the human sleep cycle. You can get melatonin supplements in many parts of the world over-the-counter for a reasonably inexpensive price. Obviously talk to a doctor about this if possible before hand, and pay careful attention to your health as there are quite a few potential side-effects (most mostly harmless, some potentially nasty though). Long-term use is generally a bad idea (you’re likely to become dependent, and the risk of the nasty side-effects increases), but short-term it can be helpful to reinforce the habits mentioned above.

When I was younger, I had serious insomnia (bad enough that I was lucky to get more than 3 hours of sleep a night). Ultimately, what helped me was a combination of all of the above. The key is to actively commit to doing it, there’s no other way to break habits and form new ones.

Collapse
maulik profile image
Maulik Author

Thank you so much Austin. I knew I would get such a nice and helpful response here.