A good night of rest improves the quality of life considerably. Cognitive abilities and alertness improve, temperaments become more social, and physical strength peaks. Yet, achieving regular, restful sleep proves a challenge for many. Many frustrated insomniacs turn to medication. However, the alarming side effects of certain drugs make them a less-than-ideal solution. In fact, some of the results are far worse than loss of sleep. You don’t want to take another sleep aid until you read more.
Negative Effects of Synthetic Sleep Aids
In a previous post I talked about the nightmarish results for some who use Ambien as a sleep aid. The worst of those effects were not just sleepwalking but, rather, individuals committing serious crimes while on the drug, including manslaughter! Ambien is but one engineered sleep aid among a host of others. It is a glaring example of how strong sleep inducers can create negative psychotropic effects, including amnesia and brain damage. Anyone using such drugs should be aware of their dangers. Searching for a more natural, and far safer, alternative could bring real improvement to your sleep and, subsequently, your life.
What is Good Sleep?
To understand whether or not you are getting a good night of rest, you first must understand what constitutes a good night of rest. Some people complain of waking in the middle of the night and have even had that habit labeled as a sleep disorder. Research by historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech in the 1990’s revealed a forgotten history of sleep before the industrial revolution and electric lighting. He delved into the ignored terminology in written history of “first sleep” and “second sleep.” He uncovered a rather long documented history of a sleep pattern that involved a period of wakefulness in the middle of the night. According to Ekirch, the workload requirements of the industrial revolution and the widespread use of electric lighting brought an end to the practice.
Researchers have backed Ekrich’s claims. Light deprivation and gravity deprivation studies, as described here in the journal Medical Hypotheses, reported subjects adopting two shorter nightly sleep periods. Studies of un-industrialized cultures in the modern world found similar sleep patterns at work. Even in some industrialized nations, a midday nap is still considered the norm.
What, then, is a good night of sleep? Evidence suggests that social expectations and environmental conditions influence sleep patterns. Give yourself a break if your body doesn’t automatically confirm to societal norms. You should think twice before taking strong medications to solve something that might not actually be a problem. A steady eight hours of sleep may be only one of several means to acquire adequate daily rest. Of course, the sleep method you adopt will have to match your lifestyle. Take some time to consider the variations that may be available to you.
Healthy Sleep Aids
Many supplements function as natural sleep aids, like those found in Diamond Nutritionals sleep support formula. Those without a dependency on synthetic sleep aids can use it as their main sleep enhancer. Those who have created a habit of use with prescribed sleep aids should consult a doctor on how to use the sleep support formula to help wean them off of the harsher sleep medications. When you consider the dangerous side effects of synthetic sleep aids, and the fact that they don’t always work, the choice is an easy one to make.
Help Your Body to Sleep Better Naturally
What sleep pattern does your body favor? Has it been trying to tell you it wants the break from sleep in the middle of the night like Ekirch suggested? Listening to what your body has been trying to tell you might solve a large portion of your sleeplessness. You don’t need to suffer the negative effects that accompany strong sleep medications. Adopt natural sleep enhancers as a healthy alternative instead. As always, when you use or discontinue a medication, consult the advice of your doctor. Whether the switch you need is a change in environment or sleep habits, taking a better sleep aid may bring a welcome improvement.