Insomnia, excessive sleepiness, nightmares, waking up or constant fatigue are just some of the sleep disorders faced by an increasing part of the population. Although our knowledge on this subject is growing, the number of people with disorders is still growing dramatically. What if the standard ways to fight them don’t help?
Weighted blankets, otherwise known as “sensory” blankets are nothing more than classic versions of covers known from our bedrooms, but with a completely different filling. You will not find there goose down or feathers, which – although comfortable – often have a highly allergenic and irritating effect. Good quality weighted blankets have an insert consisting of glass microspheres, imperceptible to the normal touch, but important from the point of view of our internal receptors. Such balls are heavier than other materials and therefore cause little pressure during sleep. When our brain receives information from internal receptors that our body is wrapped (and therefore safe), it starts to regulate the nervous system differently. Tension decreases, stress disappears (cortisol is not released), and we have a chance to get a peaceful and, what is important, deep sleep.
Ironing is one of the weirdest ways to fight the sleep disorders we’ve ever written about. As it turns out, however, it has its own strong psychological foundation and is more effective than it might seem. Federica Cagnoni invented an atypical way of doing this, and she boasts an 85% effectiveness of the research she does at the Strategic Therapy Centre in Tuscany. The therapist recommends her patients to they use the “torture technique”. Before going to bed, one should prepare the ironing board. When they wake up, they must iron until they fell exhausted. Ironing can be changed into organising a wardrobe, books or any other activity we simply don’t like. No wonder that after a few busy nights the body prefers to fall asleep as quickly as possible rather than start doing household chores again.
The 4-7-8 method is also popular among therapists, a method based on the proper regulation of breathing. How does it work? First, you inhale air for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale for 8 seconds. This time schedule allows you to adequately oxygenate your body, which is why you need to count every second. Repeat the entire series four times. Beware, it is also important to keep your eyes closed and touch your palate with the tip of your tongue. Such a procedure will allow you to concentrate on the task. – This method allows you to calm your body and mind, relax and, most importantly, fall asleep quickly,” says its creator, Dr. Andrew Weil.
Although it is not a procedure that can be performed independently at home, its effectiveness encourages one to go to a qualified specialist. Acupuncture, which means pricking appropriate points on the body, is supposed to help with acute and chronic insomnia. One of such points is the outer side of the ear – sticking needles in this location has a relaxing and purifying effect, and Chinese medicine proclaims directly – this part of the body is responsible for sleep problems. Reflexology, which consists in pressing the same points on the body at which needles are inserted in acupuncture, may also have a similar effect..
From a technical point of view, white noise is a kind of acoustic sound with a completely flat spectrum – a high frequency sound, seemingly unpleasant, which, however, effectively, through its uniformity, drowns out the remaining “single” sounds. Commonly, white noise also includes e.g. regular rainfall or the “crackling” of a burning fire. As it turns out, such sounds are used to treat insomnia and hallucinations, also in adults. White noise reduces the symptoms of migraines, which are also positively influenced by people who complain about a so-called “ringing in their ears”. Listening to the sounds of a hair dryer or a fan is also recommended for people with hyperactivity or difficulty concentrating, e.g. in noisy working environments or in open spaces. White noise makes one calm and allows one to “switch off” from other ambient sounds.