What is Insomnia?

by Suzanne Andrews

 Do you often wish at night, "help me sleep!" There is not a specific amount of hours of sleep that is considered "normal." Therefore, doctors define insomnia as inadequate sleep that prevents normal functioning. Left untreated, insomnia can have a negative impact your health. The side effects of insomnia include obesity, heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and diabetes.

The Problem with Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills are often used to treat insomnia. Whether you are using over the counter pills or those prescribed by a doctor, you should proceed with caution. Over the counter medications are not recommended for long-term use. They can cause dry mouth, difficulty urinating, daytime sedation and constipation. Prescription sleeping pills can cause even more serious side effects. Prescription pills are known to be habit forming in some people, cause daytime sedation, headaches, memory impairment, allergic reactions, and impact ability to do normal daily functions such as driving. 


 Meditation Versus Medication for Insomnia

Meditation has emerged in recent years in the Western World has a novel approach to treating insomnia. In a 2010 study conducted by Jason Ong and David Sholtes of Rush University Medical Center, it was reported that patients who suffered from chronic sleep deprivation were able to reduce incidences of insomnia by regularly practicing meditation. According to another study that was at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, meditation helped alleviate chronic insomnia in the study participants. The researchers discovered that total sleep times, sleep latencies, sleep quality and efficiency as well as wake after sleep onset improved in patients who meditated consistently.

Why Does Meditation Alleviate Insomnia?

It is believed that meditation is an effective treatment for insomnia because meditating puts your brain into what is called an alpha state. Normally, when you are awake going about your daily routine, you are in a beta state. When you are in a beta state, your intuitive side is turned off and you are moving about quickly, jumping from one task to the next. Thinks of chaos. However, when you are asleep or daydreaming, you naturally go into an alpha state - you let go, relax and rely more on your intuitive side. Meditation allows you to achieve the alpha state without having to necessarily go to sleep or dream. You are able to achieve alpha state consciously and willingly.

The process of accessing the alpha state through meditation breaks down the barriers that are preventing sufferers of insomnia from sleeping. Studies show that meditation relaxes and de-stresses these patients, which in turn allows them to achieve quality sleep - all without the need for medications and their nasty side effects. I suffered from the side effects of sleep medicine going through college getting my therapy degree.  Medical school is very stressful!  That's why I decided to see about natural methods and after lots of research and success utilizing these sleep techniques on my patients, I designed Help Me Sleep: Beginners Yoga for Insomnia

Sleep great tonight naturally with Help Me Sleep Yoga for Insomnia designed by PBS TV's Suzanne Andrews. Help Me Sleep program is therapeutically designed to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. FREE preview now:

Help Me Sleep Beginners Yoga for Insomnia from Suzanne Andrews on Vimeo.

Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.

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