I cannot sleep – Insomnia Causes and Cures


It’s 3 o’clock in the morning, for the 5th day in a row, you finally admit to yourself- “I am suffering from insomnia.” or “I cannot sleep”.  I also think it’s time to move out of denial mode that you have Insomnia. Find the causes of why you cannot sleep and then easy fixes that ensure you sleep like a baby. 

The baby effect

The crux of the matter is in the word ‘baby’. Babies small and big sleep the way they do because they do not have a care in the world until their next feed time comes around. Then when they feel the need they scream and rave and rant till they are fed happy and full. After which they fall asleep again. Have you ever seen babies having insomnia? never! Well, that is what we need! The question is how do we achieve it? 

Stress busts sleep

The largest causes of insomnia or sleep disorder or sleep deprivation are stress. No matter how hard we try, we bring work back with us. We as a civilization haven’t learnt to turn off our mobile phones when we return from work. We haven’t learnt to disconnect and therefore we wake up at 4 am our head filled with the to-do list for our next workday. You could also be distressed by fears and thoughts. Often these play out in your mind when you put your head on your pillow or troubling thoughts. Often they may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. They leave you saying the three words you just dread – “I cannot sleep”.

Emotional stress keeps you awake

Emotionally stressful events like the death of someone who you are close to, break up with a close one, or tragedies like victims of natural calamity can cause anxiety, sleep disorder or insomnia. This anxiety builds over time. Because we relive memories in our minds this keeps us awake at nights. A loss of a job or downfall of a business likewise can cause us anxiety as well, but this is of a different kind. The fear of losing or having lost and the anticipation of what is going to happen next is a lethal cocktail. It may keep us awake all night many a time.

Rhythms of the night

The reason you tell yourself I cannot sleep many a time might not be as big as work stress. Sometimes especially if you are in a new place or on a new bed, just the tick of a clock on the wall can make you toss all night. It could be the street light that filters through a curtain or better still the drip of a tap in the washroom that just engages your mind and keeps you awake. You might not know this, but the ticking of a clock on the wall induces your brain to keep time. That is if you pay attention to it and that in itself causes stress. Moreover, counting every second keeps you awake. The same function as the street light, causes your eyes to think it is waking time and therefore you cannot sleep. These are a very large cause of insomnia or sleep disorder. 

Why we stay awake due to Insomnia

Simply put the human brain is made up of two clear halves. Firstly, our sympathetic system which gives you energy. It focuses on solving problems and fighting what we perceive as an emergency our flight or fight system. Secondly, the parasympathetic system which allows us the ability to reason. It is when the sympathetic fight or flights system remains ON all the time then we are unable to sleep. It is because we don’t slip into a parasympathetic system of an autopilot mode. Insomnia or sleep disorder may have many causes however, the cure is actually quite simple.

Stop Insomnia to – sleep sound

Ancient Indian medicine traditions brought to us by the sages have more than one cure for insomnia. Sleep apnea, sleep deprivation or whatever else modern science may like to call a sleep disorder. It especially happens when you are stressed.

Exercise to Put you off to Sleep:

Step 1:

Turn over on your back and lie down flat and straight.

Step 2:

Now close your right fist with your thumb left extended and exposed. Take your right thumb to your right nostril and block the right nostril. This enables you to breathe with your left nostril.

Step 3:

Do this for about three to four minutes. More often than not your left nostril passage may be blocked. Make sure your nose is clear. Begin again till you can breathe in deeply with your left nostril. You will be asleep in a few minutes and never experience insomnia again.

The scientific reason for this is that breathing through your left nostril relaxes your body and that relaxation leads to sleep. And you sleep like a baby.

How to Relax or Meditate – to get rid of Insomnia

If you are suffering from insomnia and cannot sleep when you get into bed, or you are already tossing and turning in bed – here is a simple exercise.

Step 1:

Lie straight on your back and close your eyes. 

Step 2:

Breathe in as deeply as you can, Check to see if there are no blockages in your air passages.

Step 3:

Begin breathing in as deep as you can and breathe out as well a couple of times. Then returning to a regular breathing rhythm begin to watch your breath as it goes into your body. Slowly breathe in, then breath out. Become aware of your breath as you inhale and then as you exhale.

Step 4:

Let whatever thoughts come to enter your mind float there and let them out. Do not interfere with any thoughts. A calm will begin to descend and before you know it, you will be asleep.

How sound? As sound as a baby. Oh yes if there is a distraction in the room like a clock ticking or a light filtering at the moment you close your eyes and focus on your breathing. All these factors will cease to exist. No more will you say – “I cannot sleep.” Because you will not be awake in the first place. It is one of the simplest ways to get rid of insomnia or sleep disorder.

Take the heaviness away

Another good way to over insomnia and induce sleep is to sleep with your body turned over on your left side. Ancient Indian medical tests expounded that sleeping on the left side can relieve flatulence and the buildup of gases in the digestive system. This leads to an improvement of circulation thereby being good for the heart as well.

Another important factor responsible to sleep like a baby is the feeling of ‘snug as a bug’. It is for that reason that you cover a baby well and support him or her with pillows to make the baby feel snug. So make yourself snug. Stick a pillow between your thighs, cover well and surround yourself with pillows and cushions if the weather permits. That way, when sleep comes you will be snug as a bug in a rug.  “I cannot sleep”, Insomnia etcetera will soon fly out of the window.

Related Articles:

Proven Yoga Poses for Sound Sleep 

10 Best Anxiety Management Techniques

How to Detox from Social Media Addiction – Psychologically

12 Easy Steps on How to Meditate for beginners

Best time to Eat – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

How Your Intuition Works








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