Sleep is something that every human being requires. For some people they only need a few hours of sleep every night, but for others if they don’t get at a minimum eight hours, they cannot function properly during the day. Their work, their relationships and their life is impacted. Sleep in fundamental to a healthy and happy life.
Insomnia is a problem that affects millions of people each night. If you are one of these individuals and you’ve spent a night filled with sleeplessness, you would most certainly welcome any method that would guarantee sleep. Having first hand knowledge of how difficult it is not to be able to sleep, gives a person an appreciation for how valuable resting our bodies is.
Insomnia can be a chronic condition for some people. It may begin as a symptom of an illness or during a particularly stressful time in someone’s life and it causes such a drastic disruption in the individual’s sleep pattern that they struggle to find a way to regain a normal sleep pattern. Spending years struggling to find a method to sleep is a frustrating experience.
Traditional medicine offers many alternatives for people who have suffered from serious insomnia. Sleeping pills are a commonly prescribed remedy. Although they do adequately treat the insomnia, they also often have serious side-effects. One of the most serious side-effects is that they are often addictive. It becomes a trade-off for those who choose this approach. Although their insomnia is treated, they become dependent on medication and in some cases have to stay on that medication for the rest of their lives.
There are natural alternatives that a person can take to treat the insomnia. Some of these are in the form of a pill or a tablet which consists of a combination of herbs. Herbal teas are another popular choice for people who suffer from sleep problems. You simply brew a pot of the fragrant tea and sip it shortly before bed. The soothing effects of the tea lull you to sleep without the chemicals associated with traditional sleep medication. There are a variety of these types of teas available and the taste is very welcome and pleasant.
An old stand-by that many people turn to when they suffer from the occasional bout of insomnia is to warm a glass of milk. There is a chemical that is released in milk once it is heated. This chemical is called tryptophan and it works to relax the body and help you to drift off to sleep. Besides being a natural remedy for insomnia, milk also has the added benefit of being a significant source of calcium.
Suffering from insomnia can change a person’s life in many ways. Without the foundation of a steady and regular pattern of sleep, they aren’t able to function to the best of their ability. By researching natural remedies for insomnia, the sleeper will once again find the rest they need and do so in a way that is healthiest for their entire body.
by Esther Bowen
To be able to relax and drift off into a warm and fuzzy state of slumber and wake up refreshed knowing that you have had a good night’s sleep has to be one of the best feelings you can encounter.
Can you imagine then how it must feel to know that as many as 1 in 5 of the population have been denied the above, simply because they suffer from insomnia a cruel condition that robs people of vital rest.
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can affect anyone at any time and at any age. Common signs of insomnia include:
Waking up tired and not feeling rested.
Feeling tired or sleepy throughout the day.
Having difficulty focussing on everyday tasks.
Feeling irritable and depressed.
Sleep is essential for good health. It is the body’s way of rejuvenating and repairing itself, and without it health problems such as heart disease and diabetes can occur. Indeed studies from New York and Chicago Universities have shown that a good night’s sleep can cause you to live longer and even help you to stay slim!
There are two types of insomnia, primary and secondary.
Primary insomnia is insomnia that occurs without an underlying cause.
Secondary insomnia is insomnia that is caused by an emotional, physical or neurological disorder such as stress, grief, pain, jetlag or illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimers.
Secondary insomnia is easier to treat than primary insomnia as you can usually pinpoint the cause. When it comes to sleep everybody needs are different and we should have a rough idea of how much sleep we need to function well. The following tips below are known to improve or restore the sleep of the sufferer.
We need to be in tune with our body’s natural rhythm and try to get up at the same time even on weekends.
Try not to take naps during the day.
Take moderate and regular exercise such as walking or swimming.
Drink alcohol in moderation, it may make you feel sleepy but it can cause you to wake early.
Avoid tea and coffee in the evening as it is full of caffeine and will make you more alert.
Do not eat heavy or late at night, a classic reason for insomnia. Eat a light meal 4 hours before bed and choose protein foods such as eggs, fish or bake beans as these contain trytophan an amino acid which aids sleep.
Drink hot milk containing nutmeg as both are calming and can induce sleep.
Sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night as this has a sedative affect.
Avoid doing anything mentally stimulating before bed, wind down and relax using meditation and yoga to prepare the body for sleep.
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and well ventilated. Turn off the television or the computer.
Play soft music and make sure that the bed is comfortable.
Doing any or more of the above should encourage sleep to come back and allow you the privilege of a good nights rest.
Are you unsatisfied with your quality of sleep? Do you feel tired and un-refreshed on waking in the morning? Do you stay that way throughout the day or lack energy and have difficulty concentrating?
The World Health Organization says that one-third of the world’s population experience insomnia at some stage in their lives, with approximately five per cent needing medical treatment.
To avoid medical intervention, try these natural techniques and remedies, and help put your insomnia to rest.
Relax before going to bed. Do some deep breathing, listen to soft music. According to Dr. Timothy Sharp from Sydney University, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine will also help.
Develop a bedtime routine so your body knows it’s time to go to sleep. By winding down your physical activities and following a set routine prior to bed, your body will start to associate some of these actions with going to sleep. Start with a cup of hot milk. Milk contains a protein called tryptophan, which helps to promote sleep. This can be substituted with chamomile tea, which is known to calm the nerves. Follow this with a hot bath or shower, the heat will help to lower your internal body temperature, again telling your body to go to sleep.
For sleeping only
Make your bedroom your sleep-room. Turn the lights off as soon as you get into bed. Don’t read, eat or watch television in your bedroom, or do any activity that is not sleep related. Make sure the room is dark and cozy; include extra pillows on the bed and even some teddy bears. Make your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, a room that you will instantly feel secure and comfortable in, and best of all, a room that you will crave to sleep in.
Clear your mind
Clear your mind of the day’s activities or things that are due to be done tomorrow. Write a ‘to do’ list for the following day. Organize uniforms, lunches, etc … the night before. Make arrangements earlier than usual so you don’t worry.
Kill all the mind demons from yesteryear. Many of us have issues or events from the past that may still affect our daily lives. These issues can also mess up our sleeping patterns. Whatever these issues may be, now might be a good time to finally set things straight; forgive that person, give back that item, start talking to that family member again (or even make that appointment to see a psychologist if necessary).
Give time back to yourself
Allow time to sleep. Instead of trying to cram as much as you can into the day then find you haven’t left much time to sleep, try to find short cuts or solutions to give a little time back to yourself. Make a double casserole and freeze half for another night. Spot clean the house as you go. Have more barbecues, using paper plates (less washing-up). Offer to pay the kids, or the neighbour’s kids, to do some extra chores.
Check your diet
A balanced diet helps to make a balanced mind. If you’re lacking in essential vitamins and minerals your body cannot operate at its best. Throw out the junk food and fizzy drinks, and make a new start to good physical and mental health. Add in some regular exercise and watch your body respond with some improved sleep.
Don’t lie in bed if you can’t sleep. If you don’t feel sleepy enough to drift off, your mind will probably anguish over the fact that you can’t get to sleep. This will only make it harder to get to sleep each time you experience this. Get out of bed and go into a different room. Do something to distract yourself until you do start to feel sleepy and then try to sleep again later.
Medications to watch
Medications may interfere with your sleep. It has been shown that some of the medications below may cause sleep problems. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing insomnia and are also taking any of these medications – amphetamines (diet pills), antidepressants, beta blockers (heart and blood pressure), cimetidine (ulcers), clonidine (blood pressure), cortisone, diuretics (fluid), levodopa (parkinsons), methyldopa (blood pressure) and ventolin (asthma).
Above all, de-stress. Sharp says that stress is the worst cause of insomnia. Use some of the techniques above and try to remove as much stress out of your life as possible, and finally put your insomnia to rest.
When there is a new baby in the house, it is common to hear the parents complain about the lack of sleep. During the first few months, babies go through erratic and interrupted sleep patterns. It is during this time that parents can put forth a considerable amount of effort to put baby to sleep. Usually, baby ends up sleeping in the parent’s arms as they rock or breastfeed baby to sleep. This, however, leads to more trouble as baby begins to anticipate falling asleep in the parent’s arms.
Don’t allow your baby to fall asleep in your arms. This is the first step in training your baby to sleep independently. The baby’s bed is the best place for your baby to fall asleep. This gives the baby an opportunity to fall asleep without unnecessary fuss. Also, remember to put your baby down awake, but sleepy.
The second step is to make sure that your baby goes to sleep at the same time every night. Be consistent and soon baby will establish a sleeping schedule. Be persistent in this method and your baby will soon learn how to fall asleep independently. After 2 months of age, you may start to encourage baby to fall asleep without your help.
As much as possible, don’t allow your baby to sleep in your bed. Babies who become accustomed to sleeping with their parents will not want to sleep in their own beds. If you choose to sleep in the same bed with your baby, care should be taken to avoid using soft sleep surfaces.
One factor to be wary of when training your baby to sleep on his own is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is the leading cause of death among infants under one year. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is an unforeseen and unexpected death of even a healthy baby. It is also known as cot or crib death. It is recommended that you always use the back sleep position instead of a side sleep when you put your baby to bed. It provides the best safeguard against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However if your baby has reflux, have your physician recommend the best sleeping posture for your baby.
Also, use a firm sleep surface such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered by a fitted bed sheet. Clear any blankets, soft toys and other soft items. Keep your baby’s sleeping area close to you but separate from where you and other family members sleep.
By engaging in this technique, parents can slowly teach babies to sleep on their own. Babies will cultivate good sleeping habits and parents will eventually welcome back a good night’s rest.
Sleep apnea is described as the pausing of breathing during the night-time while a person is sleeping. This is a problem that can occur over and over during the night. There are many warnings to alert a person that they may have sleep apnea.
Some basic understanding about sleep apnea will help a person to better understand the problem as well as help them find a way to treat it. One sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. This is an indication of breathing problems or blocked air passages. The cessation of breathing or even choking spells in the middle of the night is also a warning sign of sleep apnea.
For more severe cases, a person can choke during their sleep many times in the night. This will cause the person to loose sleep and not feel as rested in the morning as they would like. Many people are faced with being tired during the day and may even have trouble concentrating.
Another warning sign and basic piece of information for sleep apnea is going to the bathroom more frequently during the night. There are a lot of people that have problems staying focused at work because they are up and down all night long. For others, driving is dangerous because they are so sleep deprived that they cannot keep their eyes open long enough to drive safely.
The following information should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.
Mood swings are another basic sign of sleep apnea. Many people that do not get the rest that their body requires will find that they have terrible mood swings. They will get irritated more easily and may also have hard time getting along with others.
Having a decrease in a person’s sex drive is also another sign of sleep apnea. They will not have the energy to even think about being intimate let alone performing. This can cause stress in a relationship as well.
Many people will also have headaches and body aches when they awake after a night of interrupted sleep. They will be so stressed that they cannot even think straight and this will be a sign of a sleep apnea. When person wakes with a sore or dry throat, this may indicate to them that they are having a sleeping problem.
If a person has one or more of these symptoms, they should consider seeing a doctor to find out more. They may be suffering from this condition needlessly when there is treatment available.
Do you or someone you care for have snore trouble?
Snoring is a comparatively frequent occurrence with nearly 40% of adults in America. Many people have snoring problems every single night.
There is not a simple reason for snoring. Each person is different and there are many reasons you may experience the nuisance of snoring.
We will briefly cover 10 possible causes of snoring in this article.
Snoring can be caused by the fact that you have gained weight. Extra pounds cause excess fatty tissue to form and that fatty tissue in the neck can cause your throat opening to become smaller and increase your chances of snoring.
One cause of snoring can be traced to your heredity. Regrettably our ancestors can pass on the characteristic of a smaller throat which can cause you problems with trying to breath properly and lead to snoring.
Males tend to snore more because they have more narrow airways in their body than females. This gives men more likelihood of snoring than women.
As you get older your throat becomes more narrow. Also as you age, you begin to lose muscle tone in your throat. So the combination of weak throat muscles and narrower air passages can lead to snoring.
If you drink alcohol it relaxes your body which includes your throat and
tongue muscles. The more these particular muscles relax, the great chance of snoring.
Some sleeping pills and antihistamines cause the same effects on muscle
relaxation as does alcohol and this can lead to snoring.
Deformities of your Nasal Passages:
If you have a deviated septum this can cause snoring.
Sleeping on Your Back:
Sleeping on your back sometimes produces more snoring than sleeping on your side. Simply try sleeping in a different position to reduce snoring symptoms.
Sleeping with Soft Pillows:
If you sleep with a soft pillow, you can raise the slant of your neck, and
that can obstruct your airways and cause snoring.
Quite often a symptom of allergies, is stuffy nose and clogged nasal passages. Lack of air flow makes breathing difficult and the labored breathing may cause snoring.
These causes of snoring are in no way a complete list. When trying to figure out your problem with snoring, reviewing this list will give you a starting point for which direction to go to get help with your snore problems. Your next step is to see your family doctor and get their opinion on what might be causing your snoring.