Sleeping Problems? Try Wakeup Lights!

On the average, adults require 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night, but Americans are not getting this much. According to a telephone poll done by the National Sleep Foundation, 20% of Americans reported getting six or less hours of sleep in 2009. Furthermore, one in four adults suffer from some kind of sleeping disorder, and even worse, approximately 95% of those with sleep disorders are undiagnosed.

In fact, whether you do not get enough sleep or sleep too much, it can be dangerous to your health. Regardless of whether you do not get enough sleep or sleep too much, it can result in an increased risk of workplace and motor vehicle related accidents, decreased alertness, an increased risk for heart problems and diabetes, and more.

Although sleeping problems can be caused by several different factors, one common cause is circadian rhythm sleep disorders. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour, internal biological clock. It can affect the way we have, eat, and sleep. Driven by the level of light, if we do not get enough light during the fall and winter, it can affect our levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a light-dependent hormone that induces sleepiness. Melatonin is produced in the darkness, and peak levels are secreted between 2 AM and 4 AM in the morning. If we secret too much melatonin, it can cause us to be excessively sleepy and tired. On the other hand, if we do not have enough melatonin, it can make it difficult to fall sleep.

Thankfully, there is a solution. Wakeup lights and sunrise alarm clocks can balance our melatonin levels and help us get a better night's sleep. While some wakeup lights only have dawn simulation, some have both dawn and dusk simulation. Dawn simulation uses a gradually intensifying light over a set of amount of time, and dusk simulation uses a gradually decreasing light for a set amount of time. While dawn simulation helps you awake more easily in the morning and feel more refreshed, dusk simulation helps you relax, fall sleep faster, and sleep deeper.

There are several name brand wake-up lights on the market. Despite most offer dawn-dusk simulation, some offer even more features. Dependent upon which brand you buy, some of the features include: iPod jacks and or rechargers, nature sounds, white noise, random security lights, and more. However, before you buy one, be sure to research them carefully. Some brands have light bulb issues, and the light bulbs are not replaceable. Consequently, the longevity of your wakeup light can be reduced.

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Causes For Sleep Apnea – But Are There Any Treatments?

What are the causes for sleep apnea?

There is an association with snoring and sleep apnea because it's the same muscles involved. Snoring is not as serious as apnea except when the snorer's partner gets fed up enough to bang the snorer over the head with the alarm clock as either the snorer nor the apnea sufferer will likely be aware of their condition.

It's the muscles in the upper airway passage that are not as strong as they should be which cause the airway to narrow and close temporarily. This causes a halt in the breathing for 10 to 25 minutes which results in a reduction of oxygen to the brain.

The brain then sends out an emergency signal which raises the person forcing a gasp of air to balance the oxygen debt. The sufferer does not need to wake up fully and these events can happen 300 or more times in a session.

Although the apnea sufferer may not be aware of the night-time events they may recognize symptoms such as waking up with a dry throat and mouth in the morning, headaches and sweatiness.

The muscles in the pharynx which lack muscle tone and are at the heart of the problem may be like that for one of two reasons.

It may be that the physiological make-up predisposes the individual for the condition or it may be a problem that has developed due to the sufferer's lifestyle or it could have been a combination of both.

So physiologically anyone with a mild abnormality to the facial structure which affects the passage of air is susceptible to the condition. This could mean a backset jaw or what is commonly known as an overbite, the shape of the hard palate, large tonsils, adenoids and tongue, any inherent nasal blockage as well as the general size and shape of the middle of the face and neck.

From a lifestyle point of view obesity is the most important factor associated with apnea sufferers followed by alcohol consumption and smoking. The three big no-no's are culpable once more – not surprising really.

People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more are considered obese and more at risk from sleep apnea and if the weight distribution is centred around the waist as opposed to the hips the risk is greater.

Alcohol can reduce the activity of the upper airway and relax the muscles responsible for stopping the airway from closing. In extreme cases excessive and continuous drinking could suppress the breathing reflex. This respiratory drive can also be similarly affected by so called sleeping pills, tranquilizers and short-acting beta blockers.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

For mild to severe cases of apnea it's widely accepted that the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device is the best treatment for the serious consequences of sleep apnea.

As the name suggests it's a machine that generates timed air pressure via a mask keeping the upper airway open during sleep.

There are a variety of devices and masks any one of which can be fitted for your particular needs.

It does not cure the sufferer but allows the individual to get the intense benefits allowed to those that sleep properly. This means that he or she (more likely to be a he) will not be so at risk for conditions like high blood pressure (CPAP), heart attacks, strokes and diminished memory and intellect.

In mild cases lifestyle changes can be made to temper or even cure the problem so weight loss and a healthy diet with regular exercise are recommended. Cutting down on alcohol especially before bed and quitting smoking is always a good idea. Watch the type of drugs which are used specifically sedatives.

If possible asleep on the side rather than the back may help.

If the problem is with the structure of the jaw it's possible to get a device fitted that looks and feels like a sports mouth guard called a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This allows the lower jaw to be drawn and kept in a more forward position. It's used to treated apnea, snoring and bruxism (teeth grinding).

Are there any other options?

There are also some more unusual techniques that are worth trying specifically as they have been proven to be affective in certain cases and are not invasive as is the case with CPAP machines.

Breathing techniques have been studied and developed that can instill in someone a breathing pattern that comes from the belly instead of short breath made from the chest. This process helps tone the muscles of the airway.

What about singing? It seems logical that anything that strengthens the relevant muscles are going to be affective in treating apnea and although it's been shown that there is a positive link between singers, singing and the absence of apnea opinions are still divided.

Sleep apnea can be very serious and in rare cases fatal. It is more common than asthma or diabetes and it is increasingly so in the western world which may be a link to lifestyles.

The most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the CPAP device which a lot of people find uncomfortable. Any evidence, even anecdotal of solutions to this increasing problem would have been welcomed by a huge number of sufferers.

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Can’t Sleep? What’s the Purpose of Sleep and Why Do We Need It?

If you can not sleep you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Health between 30 and 40 percent of adults admit to insomnia symptoms within a given year whilst around 10 to 15 percent say they have chronic insomnia which is insomnia a month or more.

Modern life

More and more we are devising ways through technology to very quickly deliver those things that entertain, excite and stimulate us. In a world full of these stimuli we sometimes overlook the three essential ingredients that we sill need if we are to be able survive let alone enjoy this fast paced way of life.

It is acknowledged these days that two of those ingredients, good nutrition and regular exercise are important for us in taking advantage of the way we lead our lives even though the temptation to ignore them is obvious. However the third ingredient that is often overlooked in our pursuit for instant gratification is sleep. Sleep is of the utmost importance today more than ever for our general well-being and health, if we want to continue enjoying modern day living.

We spend a third of our lives sleep but research into the exact processes of sleep and what it does for us is relatively new. It's an interesting thought that prior to the invention of the electric light bulb and the advent of artificial lighting the average American slept for ten hours on average.

Negative effects of poor quality sleep

Without good quality sleep you are more likely to have mood swings, irritability, diabetes, reduced immunity, anxiety, depression and a more recently discovered a 75 percent higher chance of becoming obese. The negative impact of sleep deprivation is a huge subject in itself. If you have never suffered the extreme symptoms of sleep deprivation, you have no doubt woken up from a short, poor quality sleep feeling a bit dizzy, a bit sick, disorientated, moody and generally rubbish as opposed to waking up refreshed and ready for the day ahead that you feel after a good night's sleep.

OK! So sleep makes us feel good in the morning. What else?

Tests done at Harvard Medical School have shown that volunteers allowed to sleep after learning new information where able to recall them far better than those after after learning the same information but went without sleep. If you can not sleep you are less likely to be able to perform even simple tasks and articulate properly.

Immune system is our defense against sickness and it tracks down and deals with damaged cells. A healthy immune system needs vitamins, nutrients and most importantly sleep. A lack of sleep suppresses your immune system making it less efficient in the fight against infection. When you are ill the immune system releases chemicals that make you feel lethargic and sleepy.

Internal Clock

We are all governed by an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which is responsible for setting the pace for the day. It does this by controlling the release of hormones at different times of the day and does it in conjunction with the strength or absence of light. Light is the confusing factor when you travel through time zones. If the circadian rhythm is working optimally you should feel perky first thing in the morning and then dip quite dramatically after lunch – so it's not the heavy lunch that is responsible – and then feel more alert in the evening.

How much sleep is enough?

This is a very difficult question to answer as it differs from one person to another depending in particular on age. It is broadly thought that between 7 and 8 hours is generally the norm but if you are waking up full of the joys of whatever then you're probably getting enough. There are many examples of individuals who seemed to manage on little sleep like Bonaparte, John Kennedy and Churchill although at least Churchill was fond of an afternoon nap. Another famous example of a “short sleeper” was Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb – well there's irony for you. There was also Einstein who famously slept 10 hours a night.

Why can not you sleep?

If you feel refreshed and eager to start the day, your mind is clear and you are emotional well balanced then you have had the right amount and the right sort of sleep. If however you feel fuzzy in the mornings and you get irritable and feel anxious as well as suffering more frequently from colds and viruses, then you are probably sleep deprived.

There are a large number of possible reasons for this and it could be any one of the following.

  • Ageing
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Birth of a baby
  • Depression
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome
  • Illness
  • Jet lag
  • ME chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Partying too much
  • Snoring partner
  • Stimulant overuse
  • Sleep apnea
  • Shift work
  • Work pressure

So you can not sleep – what can be done?

Whatever the reason is, if you can not sleep, there is help at hand but I would not recommend sleeping pills of whatever description as a long or even medium term solution. There are sleeping techniques that can be used to combat stress and lifestyle pressures. There are foods that you can use in your diet that actually help with sleepiness and there are foods and substances that you should be wary of. There are ways of creating a sleep-inducing haven. There are natural sleeping techniques and holistic therapies that can be used in conjunction with orthodontic medicine if necessary.

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How Much Sleep Is Good Sleep?

As individuals, we all have our own specific needs for nightly recreational sleep. The variables are many and include your sex, age, genetics and other physical conditions. Snoring or sleep apnea may also be factors. A new white paper produced by the National Sleep Foundation attempts to answer that age-old question: “How do I know how much sleep my body needs?”

As the Sleep Foundation explains in its comprehensive new white paper, every individual has their own unique requirement for the amount of sleep that they need to feel its restorative effects, and to feel alert and productive through the day. As they stated “a simple definition of sufficient sleep is a sleep duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves one feeling refreshed and alert for the day.”

Over the past few decades, it has been documented that Americans are getting less and less sleep. In 1959 for example, middle aged adults got an average amount of sleep of between 8-9 hours a night. Whereas in 1992 the average amount of sleep by the same age group was 7-8 hours. They cite a recent study, the National Health Interview Survey, reports adults across several different occupations reported that they're sleeping only 6 hours or less per night, an increase of this group to 30% from 24% over the last 20 years.

But is this lack of sleep a danger their health? According to the Sleep Foundation, “these findings probably demonstrate the development of widespread partial sleep deprivation or sleep 'restriction' which is most likely related to external environmental or social factor (s) such as the need to work more than one job or longer work shifts rather than a biologic change in need for sleep. ” Certainly it can be when considering that shortening the amount of time in restful sleep can produce negative consequences in quality of life, job performance, mood, and as recent reports conclude, health issues such as increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

When assessing how much sleep you need, it's important to be in tune to your own body and understand what you need to personally function properly. The National Sleep Foundation describes a common type of research that “examines changes in performance of specific tasks following normal sleep duration and compares it to performance after a period of sleep restriction.” For example, they mention studies that reduce participants' sleep from 8 to 6 hours, which left them significantly more sleepy the next day. When sleep was restricted to 5 or 6 hours per night, participants showed increased sleepiness and delayed response time such as taking a longer amount of time to apply their car brakes. Additionally, participants' short-term memories were declined, they had poor performance on newly learned or complex tasks, and difficulty paying attention.

Depriving people of more than 5 hours of sleep per night has shown significant effects in raising participants' heart rate and blood pressure, increased inflammation of a protein marker which has been suggested as a risk factor for coronary artery disease, and impaired glucose tolerance which can lead to diabetes. Recently there was a study that also showed that a lack of sleep caused the body to produce a hormone that increases appetite which can lead to obesity. The Sleep Foundation also cites a study that showed that people who did not get enough sleep over a prolonged period of their life are at risk for earlier mortality, most likely because of the many health reasons mentioned.

To know your body's ideal sleep time is to know how much sleep you need to keep away from developing the symptoms of daytime fatigue and long term health issues. Few people can maintain 6 hours of sleep or less without developing these issues. However, if for example, you typically receive 7 hours of sleep but you still are sleepy during the day, try adding an hour to your bedtime to see if that does the trick. If you are receiving on average 8 hours of sleep a night and you still have daytime fatigue, the issue may be an undercoming physical symptom such as snoring or sleep apnea which rob you of recreational sleep, so you should see a snoring specialist in your area to seek treatment.

The full white-paper from the American Sleep Foundation is available on their website here .

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Easy and Helpful Tips on Getting Better Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause a lot of trouble. A lot of people tend to get irritable and impatient when they did not get the normal hours required to rest. This is because every human being requires ample time to rest their body and mind, especially for people who spend much of their time working to become more flexible and efficient.

It is a given fact that all people sleep. Unfortunately, not all people have the chance to take rest at the right time with the right amount. These are common to people who work at night, people who suffer from sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or commonly known as RLS, insomnia, and the likes. If you are one of many unlucky people that do not have the proper sleeping habit, then this article is for you. Below are the proven effective tips on getting better sleep that will guide you towards dreamland.

Create and follow a daily timetable. You do not really have to include your entire day to day task, but it is important if you will have a bedtime schedule to follow like what would be the most appropriate time for you to go to bed and the time that you need to get up . In this regard, you could maintain a permanent body clock, which can then help you get enough sleep.

Try to keep your room dark, free from noise, and comfy. These could be the simplest tips on getting better sleep and the most common to all. We know for a fact that there are people who tend to be disturbed while sleeping if they hear anything, even the slightest noise like message alert tone, door closing, foot thumping, and all that. But these can be resolved by wearing comfortable ear plugs and eye mask, which help to separate you from the “real world”.

Lessen your nap-time. If you are one of the people who love to take nap during break-time or after several hours of working, you may possible have experienced difficulties in sleeping. Speaking of this, it is highly recommended that you maximize your energy and strength during day time so you will get the higher possibility to get better sleep at night.

These are just some easy and helpful tips on getting better sleep from sleeping expert advisers. You could find a lot of valuable reading materials related to this topic online. But always remember that you can resolve all kinds of sleeping disorder by yourself. You just have to maintain self-discipline and consistency starting from the food that you eat down to the kind of lifestyle that you have.

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How Dream Journaling Can Help You Learn And Understand Messages From Your Subconscious Mind

The jumble of images, memories, feelings and insights that make up our dreams can be filled with meaning, if only we can make sense of them. But how often have you woken, perhaps abruptly as a result of something dreamt, only to find your memories of your dream slipping away almost as you open your eyes?

So often this seems the case with those dreams you feel really had the potential to teach you something, the ones that seemed to provide answers to your great unresolved questions, the things bugging you enough that your subconscious keeps chipping away at the problem once your eyes are closed. The subconscious is indeed often the smarter part of our minds, and the unconstrained processing it can undertake whilst you sleep can be extremely productive … which is why you can wake up feeling on the brink of great insights and breakthroughs, that eluded you during the day of conscious fretting.

It's vital that you do not lose that insight, and you need to get into the habit of remembering and recording your dreams on a routine basis. Keeping a dream journal can be a huge help with this process, as it gets you into the habit of immediately focusing and reflecting on your dream memories, in the few moments after you wake.

There are many ways to keep a dream journal, some prefer writing long-hand, others online, and for many it's easier just to make quick audio notes immediately on waking. It all depends on your preferred communication style, the important thing is to get it down quickly, as the memories fade so fast … do not worry about interpreting or extrapolating any meaning at this point, in fact it's often more effective to come back to your dream notes later and try to make sense of them. You can learn to interpret the symbolism of your dreams, and how to fit those interpretations into the patterns and archetypes that are significant in your own life.

Of course some may appear to have no meaning at all … but if you maintain your dream diary over some time, you may start to see patterns in the apparently random stream. At first it may only make sense retrospectively, and you will come to recognize the recurring symbols and the meanings that they hold for you in your life.

Dream journaling is a powerful and effective way of finding deaf insights, making better decisions, and living a fulfilled and contented waking life …

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Eating Too Much Food Caused By Not Enough Sleep

Yet another reason to get the sleep you need. A new study suggests that those who are suffering from not enough sleep are also sooner to eating too much food. When you're overtired, and hungry, you're not going to make the wisest, most healthy food choices.

Sleep is essential for the healthy functioning of all systems of the body, but science has yet to understand it fully. We do know sleep needs change over our lifetime, and problems become an issue for many people at some point in their lives. Maybe you have trouble falling off, or you've yet to be diagnosed with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, night terrors, narcolepsy or sleep paralysis … whatever the reason, sleep problems should not be ignored. The good news is that treatment of sleep issues is getting better all the time.

To understand the role between sleep and eating, the researchers evaluated 13 men and the same number of women in a controlled setting for six days over two different occasions.

For the first visit, the subjects spent 9 hours each day in bed, as opposed to the next visit when they were given only four hours to spend in bed. For four of the days the subjects were given the same diet, on day five they ate anything they wanted. On this day, the subjects ate about 300 extra calories, mostly from saturated fat, when they felt sleepy as opposed to when they felt well rested.

The female subjects were most vulnerable to eating too much when they were overtired. They ate 328.6 added calories, as opposed to tired men who ate 262.7 additional calories. The female subjects were more likely to select fat laden foods, but men selected the same levels of fat whether tired or not.

A natural question … with all that extra time (5 more hours not sleeping), did not people just use those hours to get an extra meal in? The researchers does not think this is the reason, since only 7 of the 26 participants ate after they'd gone to bed. More of the subjects took in the calories during the time they were awake.

These findings may be the explanation for the link between the duration of sleep and obesity. If these choices are made over the long haul, it will be easier for you to pack on the pounds, while also raising your risks of heart disease. Obesity comes from regularly taking in more calories than you burn off, because the body stores any unused calories as fat. This added weight puts stress on every part of your body, as well as being a significant threat to your health.

We know too, that a healthy, balanced diet along with sufficient regular exercise are both important to getting your weight under control. Forget all the programs and quick fixes to overcome eating too much food, when it comes to lasting, healthy weight loss it's down to burning more calories than you take in. Now it appears that not enough sleep plays a role and while there's no magic number for the right amount of sleep, seven to eight hours a night is a good place to start.

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Remedy for Insomnia – Some Amazing Tips On How To Overcome This Disorder

Ever heard of insomnia? It is a sleeping disorder which lots of people suffer from and they usually live with it for several years. Needless to say, it affects the way they live their lives. If you think you may have this condition and you do not know of any particular methods to get rid of it, it can really take a toll on you and affect your mental health and your day-to-day activities.

There is really no way around it – you need adequate sleep in order to lead a healthy life. Any person suffering from insomnia may face several problems such as waking up too soon, turning and tossing on the bed and waking up often during the night. There are 2 types of insomnia, the primary and secondary which can also be classified as acute, chronic or transient.

If you can not sleep for about a week then it is termed as transient disorder and if you are not able to sleep for about a month, then it is termed as chronic disorder. Poor sleep patterns like these can cause mental frustration and lead to depression where you may become unable to perform your normal daily activities. Some likely causes of this disorder can be temperature change, noise, side effects caused by medicine, menstruation, change of your location, or even pregnancy.

Some great methods to help alleviate this disorder is by trying out some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or breathing exercises. Insomnia can also result from a high amount of stress especially when you have no way to relate it and it simply compounds. If you live a fast paced and stressful lifestyle it is very important to find some time or activity devoted to helping you switch gears and actually help you to relax.

While it is always advisable to seek medical help there are also breakthroughs in herbal remedies which have proven to provide relief. But the major reason that many sufferers have gravitated towards these all natural insomnia remedies is because there are no harmful side effects to deal with. Herbs such as hops tea, kava, oat straw, chamomile tea and lemon balm can be very effective. Try to use the proper dosage which you can get by simply asking the herbal remedy practiceer where you buy your supplies from. Try to do some exercise during the day, and avoiding nicotine before going to sleep is also advised.

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When Snoring Hits The Other Partner

It's pretty common to hear wives complain about their husbands' snoring. This is a normal scenario, snoring does occur more often in males. Even then, when first confronted by the fact, some husbands do tend to protest, prompting a sometimes humorous, sometimes tense discussion about the nighttime disturbances.

If the generally less-sensitive husbands can be prickly about the topic of their snoring, imagine how possibly a thorny conversation would be when the snoring is about the other partner, the wives. Yes, husbands must plan strategically before broaching the subject lest they end up sleeping in the couch for the next few nights-but then again, that might be a relief.

You must not wait for the snoring to be a problem in your relationship. Believe it or not, but there have been cases of break ups which have been triggered by snoring as one of the main causes.

So, what tactics can you use to let your partners know that they snore without causing more ruckus? Of course, this is not exactly foolproof or scientific but it's all in the name of brotherhood (or “husbandhood”) and good fun.

Try dropping hints. Hint one: get her an over-the-counter type stop snoring mouthpiece; it's simple, a good opener, direct, cheap, and soft-in case she decides to throw it at you. Hint two: prominently display a box of snore-blocking earplugs on your nightstand. Again, quite soft and light in case she chooses to attack you with it. Beware, it is a chocking hazard, the wife might stuff it down your throat while you sleep. Hint three: Change her ringtone into a snoring sound clip; this can go either on your phone or hers. Make her phone's general ringtone sound like a snore or use the same as her personal ringtone on yours. A caution on this tip, a hurled mobile phone can make quite the painful impact.

If none of the above works or if you're too chicken to play around with the silly ideas, you can always approach the subject with serious husbandly concern for her health. And, although the first hint was jokingly written, the purpose behind it is very serious. A stop snoring mouthpiece can be all that separates your wife from a better, more restful sleep and a healthier life. A sincere plea for her to take better care of herself for both of your sakes is sure to tug at her heartstrings and cushion any embarrassment or hurt feelings she might have about her snoring.

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Alternative Ways To Stop Snoring Naturally

There are many people that suffer from snoring and it can have many negative effects on your health and the health of your spouse or partner. It can reduce the quality of your sleep which would directly affect how well you function on a daily basis as well as your personal effectiveness. We will look at a few suggestions to help you to stop snoring naturally.

The reason people snore is usually because of having blocked nasal passes where the air can not flow freely. If the air can not flow freely, you will not get enough oxygen to your body and can have even more severe effects. However, if there is a lot of congestion, this can be caused by a build up of mucus as well as many other reasons.

You need to find a way to open your nasal passes so that you can breathe better and reduce this condition. A neti pot is extremely effective as it will help you to completely clear any blocked areas. All you have to do is simply mix a saline solution and use the pot to flush the area out. Then, this will enable you to release any extra cold or mucus and even help to heal any sinuses. You can also take a warm bath that will definitely help to open the passes in your nose.

You can also experience blocked passes if your allergies are acting up. This can be due to dust in the room or simply, dust on your pillow. Dust mites and other allergens usually accumulate on your pillow over time especially if you have not changed them in awhile. Therefore, it is essential that you replace your pillows on a regular basis to avoid these allergic reactions.

Another natural method of dealing with this issue is to simply drink more fluids and stay well hydrated through the day. When you do not drink enough water, then the natural mucus in your nose becomes drier and even stickier. This can attribute to increased snoring so you should definitely rehydrate regularly.

One quick fix that can reduce this condition is to simply change the way you sleep. If you sleep on your back, this actually causes your tongue to fall on the back of your throat. This causes vibrating noises which is definitely a huge problem that causes people to snore. If you lie on your side, your tongue would not be placed in that manner and your problem would be solved.

If you have gained some weight and find that you suddenly start to experience this problem, then the solution is apparent. By losing weight you will solve or reduce the problem to a higher degree. What happens is that the extra weight actually causes the throat to collapse and generate the noises.

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis is another problem that can cause this problem. The alcohol actually causes the muscles in your throat and tongue to become even more relaxed so that they cause you to snore. This affects people who do not usually suffer from this condition so you should try not to drink alcohol four to five hours before sleeping.

We have just covered a few methods that can enable you to stop snoring naturally. If these are unsuccessful, you should see a medical professional.

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Tips for Buying a New Mattress to Reduce Your Back Pain

When you work all day and your body wears out for relief, you want to look forward to a good night's rest without any complications. The last thing you want is to lie down and further irritate your back – the mattress you use in your bed should support your weight and provide comfort when you need it most – when your body recharges for another day of activity. If you find your current mattress is not doing what is expected, and you spend more time tossing and turning than dreaming, it's time to get something new.

What sort of mattress should you get to help explain back pain at night? Many top brands will try to sell you on their models, touting specific features like support components and soft batting. Ultimately, though, you need a mattress with a good core, that works with your body to help you relax, and is not comprated of materials that could make you sick. As you shop, here are a few things to take note of:

Coils or foam? Or something new?

If you have slept, or tried to sleep on one or the other you may have experienced different sensations. Each style of mattress has its advantages, but what sleeps well for one person may not for you. You may wish to test possible candidates for how they feel when you lie down, though five minutes in a store may not properly represent a full night's sleep. Still, you get an idea of ​​what to expect.

If the traditional styles are not cutting for you, this may be a good time to explore alternative models. Organic and other natural mattresses, like those made with latex cores, can also provide the support you need.

Is it more than just your back?

Problems with other parts of your body can hinder total healing. If you find after sleeping on a specific mattress that your pain has not gone away, despite feeling supported and comfortable, there could have been more to it than the core. Consider what else is on the mattress – what covers the core, and what was used to treat it in the factory. If you have certain allergies, they could be affected by what you're lying on, and that in turn can keep you up at night. Consequently, your back will not feel any better. You may wish to investigate models made with minimal to no preservatives that irritate your senses.

Whether testing out in a store or ordering through a catalog, know that the mattress you choose should keep you rested at night and recharged for a new day.

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Goodbye Snoring, Hello Quiet Night’s Sleep

Whether we realize it or not, a quiet, comfortable and relaxing sleep is a luxury. This is especially true for couples who share one bed at night. Sleeping could get inconvenient when you are around someone who either moves a lot when he or she sleeps or when your partner snores. With regards to the moving a lot, I'm not sure if there is a cure for that, but when it comes to snoring, there are treatments that could fix that. If you try them out and find one that is effective, you are sure to say goodbye to sleepless nights and enjoy a quiet and relaxing sleep.

There are a lot of contraptions and items that provide treatment for snoring. Usually, when a person snores, the main reason causing this would be the relaxation of the throat and tongue muscles. When they do relax, they contract down the airways blocking it. When this happens, the muscles would flap during breathing and this flapping cause the snoring sound.

The treatment products and contraptions deal with the problem by preventing the jaw, the throat muscles and the tongue from relaxing too much. They allow the airways to always be open and free from erection allowing air to pass through freely without making too much noise.

CPAP machines, snoring mouthpieces and other anti-snoring devices are available in drug stores, hospitals and online stores. You can find them conveniently almost everywhere so you can just purchase them and use them at night.

With these treatments, you could have a peaceful slumber by keeping your partner quiet as he or she sleeps. But that is not all the benefit these contraptions provide. They also provide health benefits that could help prevent heart complications from developing.

For some people, snoring may not be the only problem. There is a possibility that snoring is only a symptom of a more serious condition called Sleep Apnea. When you have this condition, the lack of air intake because of the muscle obstacles can cause lack of oxygen in the body. The heart will be stressed out because it would have to pump blood at a higher rate to provide oxygen to the body. Because of this stress, even when it's supposed to be relaxing during your sleep, complications and weakening of the heart could occur.

With the treatments and anti snoring contraptions, you could prevent these complications from developing. Not only can the person near you sleep soundly at night, you could also wake up more rejuvenated and well rested.

If you or your partner snores at night, you better check out the available anti-snoring devices available in the market and try them out. Of course, checking and consulting with professionals before buy anything would be best to know which product to buy.

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Proper Sleep Position

It is estimated that the average American sleeps 1/3 of their total lifetime. For someone who is 75 years of age, this is a total of 25 years spent sleeping! Considering this huge percentage of our lives sleeping, it is crucial to understand why the way in which we sleep is so important.

Many people are concerned with their posture while they are awake and living their lives, but have no idea that the way they sleep can be having negative effects on their posture and overall health as well. The following are the proper sleeping positions for the stomach, side and back sleeper.

First, we'll take a look at stomach sleepers. I will go ahead and say that if you are a stomach sleeper, I would strongly recommend you try to train yourself to sleep in a different way as sleeping on your stomach puts an awful amount of negative pressure on your cervical spine (your neck). Think about having your neck turned one way or the other for 8 hours at a time, this is essentially what is happening when you sleep in this position. However, if this is the only way you can sleep, I recommend a pillow that does not have a lot of resistance or density to it, for example a buckwheat pillow.

Next, let's move on to side sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, there are two key things that you should consider. The first being support for your neck and head and the other being support for your pelvis. Let's start with the neck and head support. The ideal side sleeper pillow accomplishes two things: 1) it supports the cervical spine in a neutral position; and 2) it supports the musculature between the neck and shoulder on the side you are laying. There are some companies that make pillows specifically for side sleepers, however it is important to have a qualified retailer or healthcare professional assessment which size is right for you. The second thing to be aware of if you are a side sleeper is that you need some sort of support between your legs to keep your pelvis in neutral as well. Because of the biomechanics of our pelvis and lower extremities, when we lay on our sides without a support between our legs and pelvis becomes torqued due to the gap and gravity. This torsion can lead to severe back pain and unfortunately most people would never look to their sleeping post as the culprit!

Lastly, let's talk about back sleepers. This is by far the best way to sleep for a number of reasons, but despite the most important is that if you have the right pillow, it can actually be therapeutic for your cervical spine. Your cervical spine is designed to have anterior curve, or lordosis, in it. Because of the way we sit at desks, in front of the TV and our posture in general, a large percentage of the population develops what is called anterior head carriage. Anterior head carriage is a result of a straightening of the cervical spine due to the repetitive load placed on it. This in turn, causes stress to be placed on your spinal cord and allows the degenerative process to begin. Many problems along just general neck pain can be attributed to this straightening of the cervical spine. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this and sleeping on a good cervical pillow on your back is one of them. Cervical pillows are designed to gently reinforce the proper curve in your cervical spine while you are sleeping. Much like the side sleeping pillow I referred to earlier, it is a good idea to have someone qualified in sleeping post assessment to evaluate and fit you with the proper sized cervical pillow.

In closing, I would like to reiterate the importance of taking steps (if you have not already) to improve the way in which you sleep. A number of problems can be prone, alleviate or at the very least greatly reduced simply by making sure your body is supported correctly while you are sleeping.

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5 Major Changes That Affect Sleep As You Age

Do you need more sleep as you age?

It is a commonly held belief, even though it may not be expressed that older people nap during the day because they need to, believing that as the general body functions, stamina and strength are declination, intermittent periods of sleep are necessary to keep going.

It's true that from the age of about 30 your levels of endurance and the effectiveness of your organs are in decline despite the rate of that declination varies depending on how the body has been raised over the years, the measures currently employed to less that decline and whether or not you have a reliably clean bill of health.

Apart from the natural decrease in your physical abilities, if you are healthy with a good diet, balanced lifestyle, not reliant on too many medications and sleep well at night there is no reason why you should be tired during the day.

Sleep Patterns

However studies have shown that as you age the pattern of sleep changes so you get less slow wave and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

There are 4 stages of sleep plus REM and simply put stages 1 and 2 are the restful stages of sleep, the light sleep that prepares us for the next stages plus REM which are the deeper more meaningfulful sleep stages where, it is believed, the major repair work gets done on your body and emotional self.

So it is thought that this lightening of sleep during bed time may lead to a larger urge to nap during the day.

Hormones

As you age there are continual changes in the composition of hormones so growth hormones which are actually produced during slow wave sleep, decreases, so there is a direct correlation. Cortisol levels rise with age which is associated with the reduction of REM sleep. Cortisol is released in the body as a response to stress. Cytokines which in responding to infections triggers inflammation also becomes elevated in later life and can cause daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

Sleep disorders

It's not a given but there is a higher potential to develop a sleep disorder as you age. The most common sleep disorders in the elderly are insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS). Being smitten with a sleep disorder in later life relates to the higher likelihood of developing one or more of the causes of that disorder. For instance weaker muscles and getting heavier could bring on something like sleep apnea. As you age you are more likely to go to bed earlier. This may become extreme which could lead to ASPS.

Getting up in the night

As you age unfortunately so does your bladder which lessens the ability to retain as much urine over longer periods of time. It's important to discuss your symptoms with a medical professional to diagnose and manage the problem and ask about pelvic floor exercises. Incontinence affects 10 percent of the US and UK population.

Medication Many older people may be on a great slew of prescription drugs for any number of accumulated ailments any combination of which can cause sleep disruptions. If you think they might be affecting your quality of sleep speak to your doctor about the drug's effects and about the time of day you can best take them.

So in summary these are some major changes taking place as you age that have negative effects on your quality of sleep.

  1. Your sleep pattern changes (less slow wave and REM sleep)
  2. Growth hormones decrease and cortisol and cytokines increases
  3. Possible increase in the potential upset of certain sleep disorders
  4. Your weakening bladder disorders your sleep
  5. Increase use of medications which can cause sleep disruptions

There are others but there is a growing number of natural remedies that tackle the problems associated with sleeping disruptions for the elderly and the not so.

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Why Can’t We Sleep At Night?

The following article is going to go over a few problems that we have encountered over the years and one of them is not getting enough sleep at night. Many people are sleep deprived as they go about doing their daily activates. Being sleep deprived can cause depression, sudden changes in mood, excessive napping, and just in general bad performance.

The good news is that all it takes to fix this problem is get a few good nights of rest. I would say that a good night's rest is at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Anything less and you're going to suffer from sleep loss and anything more and you are oversleeping.

In order to help you get to sleep at night you might want to consider being more active and doing daily workouts at the gym, or going for a run. These activates put a lot of stress on your muscles and heart which keeps them healthy and strong. It also makes your body tired by the end of the day so that you can relax easier and go to sleep. Going to bed when you've been inside all day is something of a difficult task because your body will have all this excess energy to burn.

Going outside and getting more sunlight is also very important. Our internal biological clock helps our brain know when to sleep and when to be awake. When we get sunlight in our eyes the body is being told to wake up and the opposite happens when you go to bed at night. This is also why it is important to make your room as dark as possible so that the early sunlight does not wake you up in the morning.

If you work nightshifts you might want to consider getting a daytime job. Nightshift is a very hard schedule to maintain and it is not very healthy for your body. If you're a disciplined person it can work but most people are not willing to put that kind of effort into maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.

With these quick tips hopefully you can get a better sleep at night. Also try to avoid any coffee or sugar, six hours before bed as they both can keep you awake well past your bedtime. If you are a coffee drinker try to drink it in the morning instead of the afternoon or at night.

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