How refreshed do you feel after a good night’s sleep? You start the day feeling naturally energized (with the assistance of a little coffee) and you are ready to tackle your day’s To Do List.
Now think about the last time you didn’t sleep well. You tossed and turned, and once you did fall asleep, you didn’t stay asleep for very long at all. Your whole next day was affected. You couldn’t concentrate on work or school. You couldn’t stay present and patient with your loved ones. Irritable and annoyed, and all you want to do is get caught up on sleep.
That night you sleep like a baby. You fall asleep right when you lay down, and you wake up refreshed. One day sucked, but then you got the rest you needed. All’s well that ends well.
What Insomnia Means
What if you couldn’t ever really get a good night’s sleep though? What if the sleepness night that ruined your next day was not followed by that solid night of sleep? Instead, you lay down, exhausted head to toe, but you cannot fall asleep. There is no way to counteract the insomnia that refuses to let you just sleep.
A large percentage of the population suffers from insomnia. Adults with high levels of stress report an inability to sleep enough hours each night, or enough total hours at any given time.
What are we left with? An over-caffeinated, under-rested adult population who thrives on work, stress, and money. When you get less sleep than your body needs, and you pump your system full of a stimulating drug all day (and make no mistake about it, caffeine is definitely a drug), it’s no wonder people are not able to sleep the next night.
The Vicious Cycle
The cycle continues until you visit a doctor. Hey doc, I’m having a really hard time sleeping at night, what should I do? The doctor then shells out 30 sleeping pills, in whatever pharmaceutical form is being highly marketed that quarter, and you start popping a pill.
You may take an opiate to alleviate pain, or a benzo to allow relaxation. When you stop taking Vicodin, for example, the opiate withdrawal insomnia sets in, but I digress.
Your doctor may give you Ambien or another sleep agent to help you get some rest (instead of a narcotic that can lead to the opiate withdrawal insomnia that puts you right back where you started), but then then the pesky side effects kick in and you need another pill for those.
What could really benefit people suffering from insomnia is a little consistency and stress reduction. See the big picture. What is ultimately most important in your life? How long can you go on living latte to latte? And how many pills do you want to be taking?
Let’s draw the line and make rest and relaxation a priority, for the health of everyone. Maybe we could even incorporate a midday siesta for well-being? Do you think big corporations would go for that idea? (Google or Apple might!)