Insomnia is usually the result of the modern way of life and mental tension to which it leads. Innumerable persons suffer from insomnia.
Though sleep is important for us, no general rules can be- laid down regarding its duration and depth. Some people are not satisfied even with 9 to 10 hours of sleep. Others can easily do with 4 to 5 hours' sleep. In fact, we devote a lot more time for sleep than is actually essential. Mental tension and sleeplessness are intimately correlated. Worry or excitement may keep sleep away. Lack of physical fatigue, adverse weather, tight clothing, and uncomfortable mattress, consumption of stimulating drinks like coffee or tea and sexual dissatisfaction all can lead to sleeplessness. Indigestion and gas trouble can also drive sleep away. Besides, sleep has a tendency to gradually decrease with age.
Drugs used for sleeping are undesirable because
(a) They produce harmful side-effects and
(b) One becomes addicted to such drugs.
( 1 ) Have your supper quite early. The food should be light and easily digestible. Do not eat such things as do not agree with your digestion or which produce gas. Do not take liquid foods in large quantities during and after the supper.
( 2 ) Take a long walk after supper. Sleep is the natural sequel to physical fatigue. In fact, labourers find it difficult to keep awake.
( 3) A hot water bath immediately before going to bed also stimulates sleep.
( 4) Acupressure, too, has been found useful in inducing sleep.
( 5) Finally, wear lose clothes and lie down on the bed.
As a matter of fact, sleeplessness itself is not as harmful as worrying about sleeplessness is. Persons who make efforts to sleep by forcibly keeping their eyes shut invite headaches.