Curing Stress Related Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are fast becoming one of the most common problems faced by people today. One of the reasons no doubt for their frequency is the high levels of stress and anxiety present in today's world. Most people find it very difficult to tune out and turn off at the end of the day. Finding ways to relax and let go can there be essential to getting a better sleep.

The severity of sleeplessness can vary greatly among people, ranging from a few hours of insomnia caused by acute stress, to weeks or even years of chronic sleeping difficulties. Yet, no matter what the severity, when insomnia strikes, a person's quality of life-and the quality of life of those around them-really suffer.

One of the best ways to get a good sleep is to learn how to let go of distracting thoughts, stress and anxiety. Of course this is much easier said than done. Finding tools to de-stress at the end of a busy day can however help a great deal when it comes to getting those much needed Zs. Below are some of the most effective ways of quieting the mind and getting yourself into the sleep zone.

1. Regular Exercise. The benefits of getting regular physical activity are many, but one of the most important is its effect on sleep quality. Physical activity allows the body to get rid of stress and anxiety. Exercise quiets the mind and tires the body both of which are essential for a good night's rest. So if you are not getting enough physical activity than consider adding this to your regular routine as a means of improving sleep. By removing the momentum from your active mind and putting it along your muscles you'll be guaranteed a more peaceful sleep. Just be sure that you do not exercise right before bed as this can over stimulate you.

2. Nutrition. Getting adequate nutrition can be fundamental to getting a good sleep. There are some vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can actually cause insomnia. Lacking vitamin B can affect the nervous system and this means that it can make you more prone to anxiety and panic disorders. Not getting enough complex carbohydrates can also affect mood and sleep so make sure that you are not needlessly limiting these.

3. Avoiding Sleep Culprits. Just as important as ensuring you get enough of the right kind of foods is ensuring that you steer clear of the wrong kinds. Limiting caffeine and sugar consumption can make a big difference when it comes to getting your body relaxed and ready for sleep. Drinking too much coffee, tea or cola will increase your anxiety and give rise to nervousness and jitters. This can in turn affect your ability to calm down and get a good night's rest.

4. Meditation. Meditation is a great way to help your mind calm down. Learning to watch your thoughts and let go of them rather than getting worked up is really important technique for coping with anxiousness and insomnia. Practicing meditation regularly can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep and of your life more generally. If you're not sure where to begin, look for a beginner's meditation class in your community. Practicing meditation can take some effort, but the rewards are just as great.

5. Sleep Hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the practice of creating a regular bedtime rituals. As most experts advice, creating regular bedtimes and bedtime regimes are fundamental aspects of good sleep hygiene. If you are to stay up late on weekends and sleeping in rather than keeping your regular bedtime you should really think twice. Messing with the body's internal clock can create sleep disorders that last. Try instead to go to bed at the same time every night and to get up around the same time as well. Creating a regular sleep routine will help your body learn when to sleep and when to wake up.

6. Environment. Creating a good sleep environment is also key to a good night's sleep. If you have a TV in your bedroom you need to remove it right away. Anything stimulating in the bedroom can cause sleep difficulties. Remove any work related items as well from your sleep space. These can be reminders of your busy daytime schedule leading to increased anxiety and worry about the day to come. The bedroom should only be for sleeping and for romantic endeavors, but do not use it for work, or night time entertainment.

7. Supplements. If you're really struggling with sleep and anxiety issues and have tried all of the above and still can not seem to get sleep then you may want to consider opting for some herbal remedies. There are a variety of supplements on the market that can help with sleep. Some of the most popular and well known remedies include: valerian root, melatonin, skullcap, kava kava, chamomile and GABA. Trying an all natural sleep remedy is always best before opting for stronger pharmaceutical varieties.

Troubling sleeping can be a really difficult issue to deal with and often times it takes more than one strategy to get yourself back on track. Learning to cope with stress and find ways to help the body relax is however a tested and true method for curing sleep disorders. It may take more time than popping a sleeping pill, but it will lead to a longer lasting and safer cure.

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The Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Insomnia

In a number of recent studies researchers found that around 25% of UK residents suffer from sleep deprivation either due to stress, overwork or a number of medical problems and lifestyle choices. But whatever the cause may be, sleep deprivation as well as other sleeping disorders are responsible for both minor and major psychological and physical problems.

Why Sleep is Important

Static speaking we spend around a third of our lives sleeping. The human body needs sleep in order to replenish its energy reserves and recover from illness or physical activity, plus sleep also regulates a body's metabolism. However the need for the brain to sleep is still pretty much a mystery. According to some scientists even though our brains makes up just 2% of our body's mass it consumes more than 20% of its energy. Some studies show that the energy needs are further recharged when a person sleeps which also gives the brain a chance to do a few maintenance related tasks. But sleep deprivation disturbs this important process.

Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep disorders can be often caused by temporary conditions such as studying for an exam or adjusting to the timings of a new born baby, but the long term sleep deprivation is often due to some sort of sleeping disorder. Some of the most common causes of sleeping disorders include medical conditions, biological factors, even lifestyle. There are many commonly used drugs which can interrupt a person's sleep patterns. Biological factors may include gender, age as well as any undering medical conditions like sleep apnoea and asthma. Lifestyle choices include drinking alcohol late night and drinking coffee also affects sleep.

Physiological Effects

The visible effects as a result of a lack of sleep can vary from severe to minor. In some mild cases of sleep deprivation the symptoms may just be lots of yawning, headaches, aching muscles and blotshot eyes. More severe cases of sleep deprivation will have some more obvious symptoms. These may include obvious peri-orbital puffiness, trembling of the hands, episodes of irritability, temper outbursts, delayed reaction time and blackouts.

Mental Health and Social Side Effects

Sleep disorders can have social and mental side effects which range from minor to downright life threatening. Common mental effects may include lapse of memory, confusion, dizziness, hallucinations, depression and disorientation. Some sever cases of sleep deprivation may also coincide with suicidal tendencies and thoughts. A lack of sleep can be the contributor to lots of quality of life issues ranging from kids disturbing their parents to inability to perform at work. Teens and young adults are susceptible to a lack of sleep affecting their long term mental work at school.

Long Term Health Risks

People who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation will later develop some long term health risks. There are some risks which researchers have found which include higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, in some severe cases psychosis may also take place. People who suffer from symptoms may not recognize or realize that their problem stems from a lack of good quality sleep.

A Public Health Threat

A recent study into sleep by the Sleep Alliance has declared that 20% of road accidents are caused by drivers who are sleep deprived. A sleepy person driving is quite similar to someone who is inoxicated as their reaction times and decision making skills are the same. Another study in the UK showed that 43% of UK residents feel that their sleep deprived state has negatively affected their work and especially their advancement, since they are too sleepy to pursue better business opportunities. This has resulted in the NHS getting more funding for sleep studies.

The human body and the mind needs sleep in a sufficient quality. If someone is not sleep as they should the symptoms of sleep deprivation becomes uncertain. Some ways to alleviate sleep deprivation is to lose weight, reduce the intake of coffee, and nicotine, people should also get some moderate physical exercise. If the problem does not go away then a physician should be consulted.

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Boiled Milk As a Natural Home Remedy Sleep Aid

Boiled milk has long been used in many traditions as a natural home remedy sleep aid. If you are looking for an alternative to prescription or over the counter sleep aids, you may want to consider drinking a glass of boiled milk before bed. Not only is it delicious and soothing, but boiled milk also contains certain substances that are purported to help people fall sleep easier.

One of the substances that milk contains that can help us fall sleep easier is the hormone melatonin. Melatonin supplements are often recommended as a natural over the counter sleep aid, and milk contains minute amounts of this hormone. Granted, the amount of melatonin contained in a glass of milk is much less than would be consumed if you were to take a supplement, however many people believe it still has a soporific effect.

Another substance that milk contains that can help us doze off quicker is the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is known to induces drowsiness (it is often cited as the ingredient in turkey that makes us snooze off after a Thanksgiving feast!) And despite the amount of tryptophan contained in a glass of milk as also quite minimal, it may contribute to help us calm down when we are getting ready to go to sleep.

One thing to note is that we should always drink organic rGBH-free milk. rGBH (Refined bovine growth hormone) is a hormone that is given to many cows to get them to produce more milk and is proven to come through into the milk that the cows produce. It is documented to have adverse effects on human health and so should be avoided! We want to consume the naturally occurring, sleep-inducing chemicals, not the man-made toxic ones!

“Why boil milk?” you may ask. Milk has a naturally congestive effect; in other words, drinking milk tenders to cause us to produce excess mucus. This is generally uncomfortable and can interfere with our breathing and thus prevent us from experiencing comfortable sleep. Boiling milk gets rid of the congestive quality of milk, ensuring that it will not effect our breathing or sinuses in a negative way. Therefore, it's recommended to boil milk in general, but especially when we drink it at bedtime.

So, when you're having trouble falling asleep and are looking for natural home remedies, consider drinking boiled milk before bedtime and enjoy its soothing, relaxing effect!

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How To Choose The Right Duvet For You

Without a good duvet and a decent mattress you are going to struggle to get a good night's sleep, as with a bad mattress and unsuitable duvet you are not going to sleep peacefully and will quite often end up having a really restless night's sleep.

Below, we take a look at the qualities and considerations that we feel are important when choosing the perfect duvet for you.

Weight – The majority of duvets have what is known in the industry as a TOG rating, which helps to indicate how warm or cool you are going to be when you are dreaming away during your night's sleep. This is a measure of thermal insulation which is not used for wool as that is measured in grams per square meter. The higher the rating the warmer you are going to be, which often also affects the weight of the duvet because the higher the tog the heavier the duvet will tend to be on your body when in bed.

Size – From single duvets to king size duvets, you need to take some time and consideration to make sure that you do not buy something that is either too small or too big for your bed, else you will just end up with a duvet that either looks ridiculously big or is not big enough to cover two people in a bed.

Price – As with many things in life, whether or not you buy a product can often come down to the price of the product, but it is vital you also take into consideration the quality of the product at the same time. Although you may save money on the day by buying a cheaper alternative, this can often be a false economy because you might not get the quality or the durability that you might from a more expensive option.

Material – Every duvet is filled with a type of material, ranging from “down” to feathers, all of which have an effect on the duvet in terms of how it feels and how it controls the temperature once you are snoozing away under it. One of the best materials for a duvet is wool, because besides being being sustainable and quality, wool also helps to control your body's temperature meaning that wool duvets are perfect for all kinds of weather and seasons.

Quality – You could go to any supermarket or department store and buy a really cheap duvet and think that you have got a bargain, but there is a saying that you only get what you pay for and that can be true when it comes to this kind of thing. Make sure that you buy a duvet that is of quality, because as we consider with price, you do need to try to spend a little bit more for something that's going to last and do the job.

Season – Many duvets are aimed at a particular season, which is where the TOG rating also comes in, with duvets for Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn all having different weights and ratings to make sure that they are suitable for use at that time of year. Some duvets, especially wool duvets, you can pretty much use all year round because of the way they help to control your body's temperature, but you must make sure that you are buying the right duvet for the time of year.

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Using Dreams To Get What You Want For Your Future

Dreams are powerful things, a direct communication with your unconscious mind. Once you start to understand them and learn from them, the potential benefits are huge – it has been estimated that we use less than 10% of our brainpower to operate our conscious thoughts, so what if we could unlock the reminder, what could we not achieve? Dreams are the link, and the key to this hidden potential.

Remember dreams are not literal, they work with indirect and symbolic messages. How often have you found remembered aspects of your dreams confusing and meaningless, if indeed you remember them at all … it's hard to envisage how this jumble of ideas and images can help us not only to make sense of our challenges right now, but also to get what we want out of our waking lives to come.

Your conscious mind knows what it wants, but how can you engage the power of dreams to make it happen? It's important to take the time to reflect upon your true desires, to do the conscious thinking needed, to release the unconscious to get to work. How would success in your endeavors feel, look, sound like ..? Engage all of your senses in imagining the output you want. If you do this frequently throughout the day, for brief interviews, your subconscious will be primed to work on it for you in your sleep and bring the new reality closer.

Of course dreaming about possessions or external achievements wont make them manifest. Many people believe that 'asking the universe' for things can somehow alter reality and bring abundance to your door – dreams do not work like that, they are internal to you, and can not 'reach out' to identify lottery numbers or the right stocks to invest in.

But what dreams can do is change your perception of your self and your own limitations, which unlocks new personal potential. The more you visualize consciously, then submerge the unconscious in images of yourself as successful, contented and happy, the more you move yourself toward that reality. This is incredibly powerful – it is nothing but our own selves that gets in the way 99% of the time, our anxieties, negative self-talk and preconceived ideas of our own limits. Feel the empowerment sense of mastery as you learn to remember, understand and work with your own dreams, and you will find that new potential filtering through to all aspects of your endeavors and bringing you un-looked-for triumphs in many areas of your life .

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To Sleep or Not

To sleep, or not to sleep-that is the question:

Whether it is better for the mind to ponder

The outrageous thoughts and dreams

Or to tackle the sea of ​​problems

And by challenging end them. To wake, to sleep-

Which one?

Yes, which one. It is some ridiculous time when by all logic you should be sound sleep yet you find yourself wide awake for reasons beyond your understanding. So what do you do? Do you lie in bed trying to get to sleep? Do you get up and do some work? Do you turn on the TV in an attempt to distract your thoughts? Or do you wake up someone up to help you go back to sleep? Which to choose?

“It appears that every man's insomnia is as different from his neighbor's as they are daytime hopes and aspirations.” F. Scott Fitzgerald realized that one solution may work for you but may not work for your friends. You are different in personalities, dreams and experiences from others and even at times your personality, dreams and experience changes from part of your life to another. So finding a solution to the sleeplessness today, may not work tomorrow. This is why you need to have multiple solutions ready at a moment's notice.

“When I'm worried and I can not sleep I count my blessings instead of sheep …” Bing Crosby's wave this advice in the 1954 classic “White Christmas” when his soon to befriend was having a hard time sleeping because of her pestering sister. This is a reasonable approach which does work on occasion mainly because it distracts you from the thoughts that are consuming you in the middle of the night. Counting your blessings is about focusing your thoughts on the things you are grateful for instead of the things that need to be done or are causing you anxiety. This attitude of gratitude has a calming effect and you might find that you fall sleep while counting all of your blessings.

“If you can not sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worried. Dale Carnegie's advice suggests that is it better to get up and work then to worry. If you are struggling with a deadline, thinking about the email you forgot to send, or just realized a solution to a problem you have been pondering, then getting up and leaning to the issue may be the very trick that allows you to get back to sleep. The little bit of sleep that you lose in productive work may actually be less than the sleep you would lose lying awake in bed worrying.

“You sleep alright?” requests the railcar employee to Eric Little as they arrive in London just before the Olympic trials from the movie “Chariots of Fire”.

“Like a log,” replies Eric Little waking up from his overnight railroad and looking at the newspaper.

“Aha, must have a clear consciousness,” he replies. A clear consciousness is one of the many ways to encourage the elusive sleep. Oftentimes as your mind rests, you become aware of mistakes from the previous day. If the thoughts that consume you are about your mistakes or other people's mistakes then it is best to develop an attitude of forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and others is one way to clear your conscious and allow sleep to return.

“Come, blesséd barrier between day and day,

Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health! “

William Wordsworth concludes in his poem “To Sleep”. Sleep rejuvenates you body and mind and is essential for productive living. So the next time you find yourself sleepless, change your attitude to an attitude of gratitude, an attitude of productivity, or an attitude of forgiveness and see if one of these does not help put you back to sleep.

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Understanding Dreams About Loss Of Control

Crazy things happen in dreams … in real life you are unlikely to find yourself in the back of a car that suddenly has no driver, or about to deliver your keynote presentation when you realize you have no notes with you, or other essentials. Thank goodness for that, life itself is less random, and the kind of logical screw-ups we're presented with are usually less dramatic – and largely of our own making.

That's the key – when we dream of the missing tickets at the airport, our subconscious mind is presenting us with our own underlying anxieties, about something we feel insecure or out of control of. In many of the typical scenarios, it's a big event: your first day in a new job, or an important family occasion, something that in real life you would plan and prepare for minutely. But this very degree of attention that complex planning requires, sends concern deep into your unconscious – so, in the middle of the night, it gets returned back to you in your dreams: yes, I remembered the cake, the gift, the flowers, the drinks, but oh my goodness I somehow forgot to get dressed this morning, and now everyone is watching at me … and because they are staring, I can not make myself walk, or speak, or do anything they expect me to , and the shame and stress and level of attention is growing by the second … I have completely lost control.

People who suffer frequently from this kind of dream often have a huge amount on their plate in the conscious, waking world – complicated personal and professional responsibilities, often coupled with a poor sense of being on top of things and managing their commitments successfully. This is tough one because, for many of us, life simply is very complicated, and keeping all the plates spinning demands constant vigilance. That external reality we probably can not change (although a review of commitments never hurts to be sure), but what we can change is how we manage and respond to those commitments.

You can use this kind of 'losing control' dream as a warning that you are becoming stressed and overloaded, and take it as a sign you need to call a time-out, and look at why your unconscious mind is telling you a plate is in danger of crashing to the ground (and even allowing you to rehearse how you'd feel about it, if you were to let it happen). Your dreams are direct messengers from your own unconscious, and if you are suppressing growing anxiety about your overload in your conscious mind, you have to learn to listen to and take advice from the rest of your mind.

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Stop Snoring With an Anti-Snoring Nightshirt

Snoring is caused by the soft tissue in the roof of your mouth, tongue, and throat relaxing during sleep. When you progress from a light to a deep sleep, these soft tissues can relax enough that they vibrate and may partially obstruct your airway. The more narrowed your airway, the more forceful the airflow becomes, which makes you snore louder. Other factors such as being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, or consuming foods like milk and dairy products near bed time can also increase snoring.

Those of us who snore know the havoc snoring can wreak on our health and well being, as well as our relationships.

So what can you do to stop snoring and sleep better ???

There are lots of potential solutions out there to stop snoring with varying degrees of convenience and effectiveness. The simplest, easiest, and often most effective solution is to train yourself to stay off your back during sleep. Sleeping on your stomach or sides prevails the soft tissues of the tongue and upper throats to close up, thus significantly reducing snoring. What's more is that sleeping on your stomach or sides is completely natural where wearing a mouthpiece or chin strap is not.

But how do you train yourself to stay off your back ???

Sewing a pocket on the back of a T-shirt and inserting a tennis ball teaches your body to stay off your back to significantly reduce snoring. You can experience positive results immediately on the first night! Anti-snoring nightshirts with a back pocket feature are available that's comfortable and effective. The button-down pocket guarantees that the tennis ball will securely stay in place without binding or pinching.

This is highly recommended as a first alternative to consider for those of us seeking fast relief from the annoying noise of snoring. It also much more favorable to other alternatives such as chin straps and mouthpieces that are uncomfortable and can actually prevent you from sleeping altogether. Consider what happens when you wear a mouthpiece. First of all, attempting to sleep with a mouthpiece for most of us is unnatural. Because a mouthpiece pushes your jaw forward in order keep your air passageway open, the full weight of your mandible rests on your lower teeth. This can distort and misalign your teeth over time. Other options such as anti-snoring throat sprays are quite effective, leave a bad taste in your mouth, and can dissipate quickly.

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Recognise When You Have a Sleep Problem – 20 Steps to Show You How To Get To Sleep

How do you recognize whether you have a sleep problem? It is pretty simple really – if you wake up easily, feeling rested and refreshed you are getting enough sleep; if you drag yourself out of bed feeling lethargic, you are not getting enough sleep and you have a sleep problem.

Sleep is such a basic need in our lives it should be a priority to ensure you get an adequate amount of good quality sleep. On average, people need eight hours of sleep a night, but individually this can vary quite a bit, from as low as six hours, up to ten. To find out how much sleep your body needs, you need at least four or five days in a row when you are relaxed and can allow yourself to wake up naturally, but it also needs to be done when you are not sleep deprived, so here we will deal with showing you how to get to sleep.

Prepare Your Sleep Environment

  1. Make your bedroom a peaceful space. Get rid of clutter in the bedroom and tidy your dresser top. Have peaceful colors in your bedroom, that is, soft blues and greens or cream. Be sure to avoid busy patterns and loud colors like orange, red and yellow.
  2. Make sure your bed is comfortable, with plenty of room for you and your partner. Do not share your bed with your pets, as they will often move around in the night and disturb your sleep. If your pet is used to sharing your bed, put a hot water bottle and a favorite toy in their sleeping place for them to cuddle up to and close your door. It may take a night or two, but they will get used to it!
  3. Use cotton or silk sheets and pillowcases, nothing synthetic that will make you hot and sweaty. Have heavy curtains or close fitting blinds to cover the windows and keep out light from streetlights as well as a bright moon and the morning sun.
  4. Eliminate as much external noise as possible. To some extent, you will sleep through noises you are used to hearing, such as traffic or airplanes, but this still interferees with the quality of your sleep. Even pleasant noises, such as birds twittering in the early morning may wake you up before you have had enough sleep. If you can not eliminate these sounds, consider using earplugs to shut them out. A fan, used on a low setting, may be useful as this provides some “white noise” to mask other external noises.
  5. Keep your bedroom at a very cool temperature, around 18ºC (66ºF) is best. Also, ensure that the room is appropriately ventilated, either by opening a window slightly, or by leaving the door ajar. Even in winter, for a good night's sleep, it is better to be slightly cool rather than too hot.
  6. If you have a TV in your bedroom, get rid of it! TV may sometimes lull you to sleep, but the content is often disturbing so you are not relaxed. In addition, most commercials are designed to be upbeat and stimulating. You need a relaxing routine at bedtime and TV does not fit into this. If you fall sleep watching TV the screen will continue to flicker and interfere with your sleep.
  7. Get rid of unnatural light sources in your bedroom. To get sleep your body needs to feel like it is nighttime, so do not go to sleep with an illuminated clock or CD player next to the bed. If you can not get rid of these items, turn them around so they face away from you, or cover them with an upturned box. You should get rid of as much electrical equipment in your bedroom as you can – if it has an electrical cord, ask yourself if you really need it in your bedroom. Sleep is (or should be) a natural process, so give yourself as natural an environment as possible.

Plan Your Bedtime Routine

  1. Just like babies and small children, we need a bedtime routine to tell our bodies that this is the time for sleep. Think about what you want in your routine, some people like to have a warm drink before bed; others prefer to avoid any fluid, as this is likely to lead to a need to get up in the middle of the night! Remember that everyone is different, so you need to find what works best for you. Just experiment, do not get stressed if one thing does not work, but do not give up too easily either! It will take a little while for your body to adjust to its new routine.
  2. Set a goal for how many hours sleep you believe you need. If you do not really know how many hours your body needs, aim for about eight and a half hours. Once you have set your sleep hours goal, calculate what time you need to go to bed to achieve that goal, based on the time you need to get up, initially allowing an extra half an hour to fall sleep. The extra half an hour should be able to be discarded or significantly reduced once you have improved your sleep pattern.
  3. Plan to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. Routine is important. If you find that you want to stay sleep longer on the weekends when you do not have the alarm clock waking you up, this indicates that you are not getting enough sleep, so you may need to go to bed earlier.

Plan for Sleep Before Bedtime

  1. Avoid all caffeine beverages after 4pm. That means cutting out tea and coffee, also fizzy drinks and especially “energy” drinks. Try a cup of chamomile tea before bed, as this is very relaxing.
  2. Do not eat anything too spicy or fatty at your dinner meal. Spicy foods may upset your digestion and fatty food takes a long time to digest. Also, avoid anything containing MSG (aka flavor enhancer 621) as this can keep you awake, especially if you do not have it very often. Check the labels of pre-packaged foods and if eating out, especially Chinese, check the menu to see if their food is “MSG free”.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol. Whilst alcohol can initially make you feel drowsy, it is also a stimulant and will often cause you to wake up after a few hours sleep.
  4. If you feel tired before your bedtime, find something not too stimulating to do, sometimes washing up, preparing your clothes or lunch for the next day, or tidying up some papers. Try not to doze before bedtime or you are likely to upset your routine.
  5. Before you go to bed, do a relaxing activity. This could be doing some relaxing yoga poses, listening to calming music, taking a warm bath, giving or receiving a gentle massage, reading a short story, or a chapter of a non-violent book (set a limit on how much you will read before you start), or doing a sitting meditation.

What To Do at Bedtime

  1. When you go to bed, if you have a partner, ensure that you connect with them before sleep – a simple goodnight kiss and hug does wonders for good sleep vibes, making love releases natural endorphins to aid sleep. Never go to bed without settling an argument!
  2. If you have some sleep music, turn it on now. Let the music wash over you for a while, then begin to listen closely to each note in the music and try to listen for the small gaps, the silences, between individual notes.
  3. When you are ready to sleep, concentrate on relaxing rather than getting to sleep. Lie flat on your back if that is comfortable for you, otherwise in the position that you find most comfortable. Scan through your body looking for areas that are tense, and then consciously relax those areas. A good way to relax any area of ​​your body is to feel your breath going there – simply breathe in deeply and follow the path of that breath from your mouth to wherever you are feeling tense. Let your breath massage the area to release tension.
  4. Once you have released any tense areas, go through your body, starting with your feet, and think about how hard each part of your body has worked during the day. Remind your feet that they have transported you around all day and deserve to rest now, tell your instinct that it has worked hard supporting your weight, your ankles that they have bent and flexed hundreds of times during the day, and so on, all the way up your body to the top of your head.
  5. If you wake during the night, go through these steps again to get back to sleep.

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What Is Insomnia? – Facts on How to Get to Sleep

In this article, you will learn two things:

1. What insomnia is and why it is cruel to your health to banish it.

2. How to get sleep using a natural, permanent cure for insomnia.

Insomnia means having difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep. A good night's sleep every night is one of the necessities of life, while you are asleep, your body rests and restores its energy, regenerates and repairs cells. Proper sleep will help to protect your brain cells, is helpful in avoiding depression, is anti-aging and life extending. A good night's sleep will help you cope with stress and recover from illness. While you are asleep your brain processes problems and will help you come up with solutions.

When you sleep well, that is, you get the right amount of good quality sleep, you will feel happier, healthier and less stressed. The quality and quantity of sleep you manage to get each night affects every part of your life, but sometimes sleep is not given the priority it describes. Other things are given more priority, such as working long hours, studying hard, or staying out late with friends.

Too many people miss out on a good night's sleep. Approximately one-third of women and a quarter of men report problems either falling asleep or staying asleep. Inadequate sleep, insomnia, poor quality sleep and irregular sleep patterns lead to impaired thinking, impaired judgment when performing tasks such as driving, shorter attention span for work or study, and has even been linked to mental illness. Lack of sleep means you can not concentrate properly at work, or participate fully in study or social activities. Your concentration levels are low, brainpower diminished, and it becomes more tempting to drink too much alcohol to put a spark into your socializing.

It is little wonder that so much research is occurring around sleep and related problems. An equally annoying problem for many people who suffer from insomnia is that once they finally fall asleep in the small hours of the morning they find themselves in a deep sleep when the alarm goes off, dragging themselves out of bed in the morning feeling deprived of sleep .

These are the reasons that you must banish insomnia from your life, and you should try to do so naturally. Of course, there are times when you need medical help and it is important to recognize those times too. If you still have sleep problems after trying natural ways to get sleep, talk to your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder that needs medical help. Tell your doctor that you have tried natural therapies but they have not helped. If you are depressed, or your partner notices that you snore loudly and seem to stop breathing during sleep, tells your doctor about this, as well as any other symptoms that occurs when you have trouble sleeping.

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Are You Suffering From Lack of Sleep? Tips on How to Get to Sleep

In this article, you will learn two things:

1. How you can make changes in your life to help conquer your lack of sleep.

2. How to get sleep using a natural, permanent cure for insomnia and other sleep problems.

Sleep is such a big and important part of our lives, it should be a priority to ensure that everyone gets an adequate amount of good quality sleep. We have put together some tips here for natural ways you can help yourself to achieve this. Everybody is different, and everyone has different reasons for finding getting to sleep and staying asleep difficult. Pick the top reason or reasons why you are suffering from lack of sleep and work on that first, if it does not help, then move onto the next reason.

When you wake in the night, or can not get to sleep, you feel “wired”

If this is the case, there is probably something in your diet that is stimulating you, just like a drug. It may be caffeine, or msg, food colourings or flavorings. Start by cutting out coffee, tea and fizzy drinks at 4pm in the afternoon, if that does not help, cut it out from lunchtime. Then think about your evening meal or snacks. Eat only natural unprocessed foods, particularly in the afternoon and evening. Snacks could be nuts, fruit, plain dark chocolate or cut up raw vegetables.

Remember all pre-packed dips, chips and biscuits contain colourings and flavors, so steer clear of them.

When you can not sleep, your mind is busy worrying about problems

Make learning how to handle stress and worry a priority. When you wake up in the night and can not get back to sleep, note what it is that is going through your mind, have a piece of paper by the bed and write it down. Tell yourself that you will deal with it in the morning. Then do some deep breathing exercises or meditation to get back to sleep. If you use music to get sleep, replay the music to get back to sleep.

Take positive steps to learn how to handle stress in your life. Most large companies these days offer their employees access to free or subsidized counseling services, but they are heavily under-utilized. If this is available, take advantage of it and work on how to handle stress. If this is not an option for you, look for community organizations that offer a similar service, or talk to your doctor.

Take some meditation classes and learn how to leave your worries behind for the time that you are meditating, and then use the same techniques when worries go through your head during the night and threaten to keep you awake. A good yoga class will also teach you how to do this, as you leave your everyday life behind when you get on your yoga mat.

Consider buying a meditation course such as Holosync. These records use binaural beats that have a huge range of beneficial effects. Whilst using the tapes for meditation, ideally you should stay awake, but you will often fall into a kind of trance-like sleep. Once the recording finishes, you will find that you automatically come out of this trance-like state, but it is very easy to fall back into a natural sleep as your body is so relaxed. There are special Holosync recordings called Floating that are designed to listen to while going to sleep and whilst you are sleep.

You do not seem to feel tired at bedtime

If you feel tired in the afternoon and decide to have a nap, limit it to no more than 30 minutes. This will give you a refreshing pick-me-up without getting into a deep sleep that will not energize you. Sleeping deeply during the day will disturb your sleep rhythm and may lead to the return of sleep problems.

If you are going out, but are feeling tired and need to energize yourself before going out, try a rejuvenating yoga pose called “legs up the wall”. Position yourself close to a wall and sit down sideways on to the wall, as close as you can, with your legs extended out in line with the wall. Lie down on your back and wriggle around so that your legs are up the wall, keeping your bottom as close to the wall as possible. Have your arms on the floor at either side of your body, palms facing upwards. Gently close your eyes and take some deep breaths, feeling your chest rise and stomach fall with each in breath, your chest fall and stomach rise with each out breath. Push away all thoughts of the day and relax your body. Stay in this position for around ten minutes. When it is time to get up, gently open your eyes, bring your awareness back to the present and get up slowly. You will feel refreshed and rested. You may fall into a light sleep during this pose, but you will not fall deeply sleep – the position of your legs will ensure that!

Plan to get some regular exercise in the evening. A 30-minute walk after dinner will help your digestion. Make sure you complete your walk at least an hour and a half before your designated bedtime, to give your body time to slow down before sleep

Find a sleep trigger that will tell your body it is time to go to sleep. Be on the lookout for a special piece of music to use as your sleep trigger. This should be relaxing and peaceful music that you enjoy, and it should last for at least ten minutes, preferably longer. The music that I have used as my sleep music for many years is “Edge of Dreams” by Phil Thornton. It has two twenty minute tracks and that is plenty of time to send me off into a peaceful sleep.

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Do You Suffer From Lack of Sleep? How Much Sleep Is Enough?

When you are lying in bed at night awake, it is easy to imagine that maybe you do not need as much sleep as you think you do during daylight hours. After all, you are wide-awake, so sure your body is telling you that you do not need to go to sleep yet. The next morning is a different story as you drag yourself out of bed, feeling exhausted – then you are sure you are suffering from lack of sleep and need more sleep than you are getting.

Research has shown that we all have a “sleep bank”, when we do not get enough sleep, we withdrawal from the bank and when we manage to sleep in we deposit back into our bank. This is one reason why it is so hard to know how much sleep is enough when our sleep patterns are disrupted.

Everyone is different and how much sleep is enough depends on factors such as your age, activity level and other individual differences. On average, adults need 7 to 9 hours, with pregnant women needing at least 8 hours. As these factors vary so much, the only reliable way to know how much sleep you need is to listen to your own body. When you can wake feeling refreshed and ready to face the day you will know you are getting enough sleep.

To find out how much sleep is enough for you, you need to find a period of time when you are not stressed out, can use some natural relaxation methods to get sleep and can allow your body to wake up naturally, using its own natural rhythm. You will need at least four or five days in a row, preferably a few more, so an ideal time is when you have a holiday from work, school or study. These times are also times when you may find it is easier to get to sleep, as usual daily stresses are reduced, there is no need to think about work related problems, and there is no need to rush to get up in the morning. This is a good time to work out how much sleep is enough for you.

Have a Plan

Plan to get 9 hours sleep, which is on the high side of average. Go to bed at a time that will allow you to take half an hour to prepare to sleep, sleep for 9 hours and wake at a time in the morning slightly before anyone else in your household. Go to bed at the same time each night and follow the same routine each evening.

  • Do not eat a large meal in the evening and avoid fatty or over spicy foods.
  • Do not drink any alcohol and do not have any caffeine drinks or fizzy drinks after lunch.

Have a Sleep Routine

  • If possible go for a walk in the afternoon or early evening.
  • Do something relaxing in the evening. Listen to some music, sometimes do some gentle stretching exercises like yoga, watch a documentary or a romantic movie, or read a book you enjoy.
  • Do not watch any violent TV programs, or read a horror story.
  • Half an hour before bed, start winding down. If you have the lights on, turn them down low, or turn off the main light and put on a lamp.
  • Prepare your sleep area. Close the blinds or curtains and cover any electrical equipment that emits light with a thick cloth or box, ensuring there is adequate ventilation. If you like to have a glass of water by the bed, put it there now. If you need ear plugs to block out external noises, make sure they are within easy reach.
  • Take a warm bath or shower and massage some cream into your legs and feet. Burn some incense in your bedroom.
  • When you get into bed, think about the darkness, your comfortable bed and secure house. If you have some sleep music to listen to, turn it on.
  • If busy thoughts crowd into your mind, acknowledge them and make a conscious decision to push the thoughts away. Tell yourself you will deal with them in the morning. If necessary, have a pen and piece of paper by the bed to write things down so you do not have to worry about forgetting them.

How Much Sleep is Enough for You?

Allow yourself to sleep until you wake naturally. At the end of five days, you will have a good idea of ​​how many hours you sleep before you wake. This is the goal sleep time you should aim for in your day-to-day life. The longer period you can take to work this out the better, because for the first few days you will be paying back your “sleep bank” for hours of sleep you have not had in the days, weeks and months prior.

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CPAP Side Effects And What You Can Do About Them

One of the most highly recommended and highly effective treatment methods for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). What it does, basically, is provide uninterrupted, pre-measured, pressurized air into the lungs, keeping the air passages open which helps stabilize breathing during sleep. There are, however, a lot of drawbacks to using a CPAP machine, which turns out a large percentage of sleep apnea sufferers from this particular treatment.

The key to making this treatment work for you is learning how to manage these CPAP side effects:

HEADACHE / EAR PAIN- Trapped air can cause sinus pain, which affects both the ears and head. If there is an underlining congestion such as colds, flu or a sinus infection, it prevails the air from getting out. Treat the congestion first and when it's all clear, you can resume CPAP use.

NASAL CONGESTION / NASAL IRRITATION- CPAP machines produce mostly dry air and that usually leads to either washed out or congested nasal passes. Try adding a heated humidifier to your CPAP machine; it will help provide moisture so the air that goes into your nasal passes is not too dry.

AIR IN THE STOMACH / BLOATING- Air produced by CPAP machines sometimes get trapped in the stomach; changing your body alignment when sleeping will usually lessen the occurrence of excess air in your stomach. If your head is too elevated, you might want to consider lowering the angle by using just one pillow so the air does not get blocked in the throat. You might also want to check if the pressure is set too high.

MASK ALLERGIES / SKIN IRRITATION- This particular CPAP side effect may come from using a mask made of a certain material that your skin is allergic to, or a mask that does not fit you well. Try another mask that is made of a different material, a different shape or a better size.

DRY MOUTH- This usually happens when you breathe through your mouth when sleeping, as your mouth will have been opened for a long period of time. You can avoid this situation by getting yourself a new mask that better fits your face, getting a chin strap that will help keep your mouth closed during the night or adding a humidifier to your machine.

NOISE- The older models typically create a lot more noise than the newer models, which are relatively quiet. If you have an older model and do not want to buy a new one, you can get either a fan or a white noise machine to help disguise the noise from the CPAP.

These are just some of the common CPAP side effects that you might experience while using the machine. You just need to learn about the measures you can take in order to resolve them and therefore make the treatment a lot more comfortable for you.

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Ways To Sleep Better

The 2011 Sleep in America poll (National Sleep Foundation) found some rather astounding statistics about how well Americans are sleeping:

  • Sixty percent of the Americans (ages 13-64) say they experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night (ie snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling un-refreshed when they get up in the morning) .
  • Sixty-three percent of Americans say their sleep needs are not being met during the week; most say they need about 7 hours of sleep to feel their best but report getting less.
  • Almost everyone surveyed (95%) uses some type of electronics like a TV, computer, video game, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.
  • About one in five of the 13-29 years olds say they are awakened after they go to bed by a cell phone call, text message, or email at least a few nights a week.
  • When asked to evaluate the day after getting adequate sleep, 85% said it affects their mood, 72% said it affects their family life or home responsibilities, and 68% said it affects their social life.

If you are one of those who often have difficulty sleeping at night or feel sleepy the next day, you need to address your sleep problem as chronic sleep deficiency will cause havoc to your health. Below are some suggestions that may help enhance your sleep.

Why Sleep Is Critical To Health

Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Although we are learning more about it every day, we still do not fully understand the purposes and mechanisms of sleep. However, we do know that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health.

In humans, the sleeping clock is controlled by your circadian rhythm, which has evolved over hundreds of generations to align your bodily functions with your environment. Your body clock is set to sleep at night and stay awake during daylight hours, just like your ancestors did. Therefore, if you are a night-shift worker, this upside-down schedule can ever take a serious toll on your health if you continue to live out of synch with your daily surroundings.

Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep, while teens (10-17 years) need 8.5-9.25 hours and school-age children (5-10 years) 10-11 hours. If you seldom get enough sleep during the week, sleeping in on weekends can relate some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

However, cumulative sleep debt can not be repaid by merely a couple nights of catching up. The chronic deficit of high quality sleep changes your hormone production and metabolism and has far reaching effects on your immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems.

Dramatically weaken your immune system

  • Studies show that sleep-deprived mammals have lower white blood cell count, which is essential in fighting diseases.
  • Your body produces less melatonin, a sleep hormone and an antioxidant. Melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer; that's why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

Increase your risk of diabetes

People who are sleep deprived to tend crave more sweet and starchy foods. These cravings stem from the fact that your brain is fueled by glucose or blood sugar. When there is not enough sleep, your brain searches for carbohydrates and makes you feel hungry, even if you have already eaten. Sleep deprivation can also impair your insulin sensitivity and put you at a higher risk for diabetes.

Hypertension and heart disease

Chronic sleep loss may not only hasten the sunset but also increase the severity of these age-related ailments.

Weight gain

When you are sleep deprived, your body decrees production of leptin (hormone that signals fullness) and increases levels of ghrelin (hormone that signals hunger). You end up feeling more hungry and eating more.

Accelerated aging

Sleep deprivation primitively ages you by interfering with the production of growth hormones. Growth hormones are secreted during deep sleep and they make you look and feel younger.

Seriously hurt your brain function

Even a single night of poor sleep can affect your ability to think clearly the following day. It impairs your performance on physical and mental tasks, decreases your problem solving ability, and affects your memory.

In short, if you are not getting enough sleep or not sleeping well, you need to address the cause of your problem. The following are some suggestions on how to improve your sleep.

Healthy Sleep Advice

The secret to getting good sleep every night may vary from person to person; what works for some may not work as well for others. The key is to experiment and discover your personal sleep-promoting techniques. With improved quality of sleep, you can strive to get the right amount of sleep so that you will be able to function at your best.

Change Your Sleep Habits And Environment

  • Go to bed before 11 pm as your body (particularly your adrenal glands) does most of its recharge work during the hours between 11 pm and 1 am Your liver also works to remove toxins during the same period. If you are awake, you can disrupt many important rejuvenating functions in the body.
  • Set and stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on weekends.
  • Avoid external stimulation an hour before bed time. Turn off the TV and put away your work, computer, cell phone, and video games. Use this time to relax, wind down, and prepare for bed. Taking a hot bath, listening to relaxing music, or meditating are good ways to clear your thoughts before bed. You may also keep a journal by your bedside to write down all your thoughts and unload your mental burdens.
  • Sleep in complete darkness or wear an eye mask. The tiniest bit of light can disrupt your internal clock. Therefore, close your bedroom door, cover the windows with blackout shades, switch off the light on the clock radio, and get rid of night-lights.
  • Keep the bedroom temperature between 60-68 degrees. A cooler bedroom is more conducive to sleep as it mimics your body's natural temperature drop while you sleep.

Change Your Diet And Lifestyle

  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine beverages, chocolate, and tobacco in late afternoon and evening. However, for some people who do not metabolize the caffeine efficiently, a cup of coffee in the morning can still lead to compromised sleep at night.
  • Avoid alcohol at dinner time. Alcohol helps you fall sleep quickly and deepens sleep initially, but later on it disrupted sleep and causes middle-of-the-night wake-ups. Alcohol also affects women more than men as women do not metabolize the alcohol as efficiently.
  • Avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Try to make dinner earlier in the evening. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up.
  • Avoid eating sugar and refined carbs before bed. The rise in blood sugar may inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low, you may wake up and not be able to fall sleep again.
  • Eat a high-protein snack 1-2 hours before bed. The protein provides the tryptophan that is needed to produce melatonin which promotes sleep. The old adage of drinking a glass of milk before bed is indeed helpful.
  • Be aware that many prescription and over-the-counter drugs adversely affect sleep. Discuss with your healthcare professional about other natural and non-drug alternatives if the drugs are affecting your sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise improves sleep, however, do not exercise too close to bed time as it may keep you awake.
  • Learn to relax. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep because your mind is racing or you are emotionally overwhelmed, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery (or visualization), meditation, yoga, or tai chi to relieve stress. A soothing massage will also help to release any tension in your body.

Other Health Considerations

  • If you are overweight and have a snoring problem, check for sleep apnea. This sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pashes in breathing during sleep can severely impair your sleep.
  • If you suffer from any gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, gas, and heartburn, check for food sensitivities.
  • If you are peri-menopausal or menopausal, your hormonal changes may cause sleep problems. Check with your healthcare professional regarding the use of herbs, supplements, and / or bio-identical hormones for symptom relief.

Bottom Line

  • Sleep is vital to your well-being.
  • Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
  • A sleep debt can not be repaid by just a couple nights of catching up.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to diabetes, weakened immune system, hypertension and heart disease, weight gain, accelerated aging, and injury of your brain function.
  • If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you need to examine your sleep habits and environment as well as your diet and lifestyle.

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Wellness Coaching – The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Health

If you're not consistently getting adequate sleep then it's probably taking a toll on your over all health and sense of well-being. It may surprise you to learn that chronic sleep deprivation significantly affects your immune system, alertness at work, memory, safety, and pocketbook.

The following are some of the consequences of sleep deprivation:

Reduced Energy, Performance, and Alertness on the Job: Reducing your rejuvenating sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a decrease of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.

Memory and Cognitive Impairment: Decreased alertness and excessive daytime sleepiness negatively affects your memory and your ability to efficiently think and process information.

Stress in Relationships: Disruption of a bed partner's sleep due to a sleep disorder may cause problems in relationships (sleeping separate bedrooms, conflicts, moodiness, etc.).

Poor Quality of Life: You may be able to participate in certain activities that require sustained attention, like going to the movies, seeing your child in a school play, or watching a favorite TV show.

Occupational Hazard: Sleep deprivation also contributes to a greater than twofold higher risk of sustaining an occupational injury.

Automobile Injury: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 car crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.

The human body's sleep cycles are intricately connected to the earth in what is known as circadian rhythms. Yawning is due to lack of oxygen. This is why we get tired. Exhaustion and fatigue is due to lack of oxygen in the body. Lack of oxygen over time results in the body being more acidic. The body rejuvenates itself more speedily during nighttime sleep so the restful your sleep, the better chance you have of achieving perfect wellness.

REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in adult humans typically occupations 20-25% of total sleep, about 90-120 minutes of a night's sleep. During an average night of sleep, you should experience about four or five periods of REM sleep; they are quite brief at the beginning of the night and longer toward the end. The need for REM sleep decreases with age. A typical newborn will spend about 80% of sleep time in REM sleep.

Dream-deprived sleep after three nights means you'll soon be in a psychiatric ward. It has a seriously adverse effects on the brain's normal function. Drug addicts and alcoholics do not dream very much because the excessive “brain-altering” substance prevails the brain from experiencing these natural phases. The REM phases are necessary for your brain function. If you overload your short-term memory, you will “get crazy.” The short-term memory goes through a filtering process during the REM cycle and as a result, memories which are relevant are further strengthened, while weaker, transient, “noise” memories will get dumped. This is your Intelligent Body at work.

Eight hours of sleep is ideal but most people can get by on six or seven. Any less than five and you may be interfering with the REM phases. To be more in tune with the earth and its circadian rhythms, I suggest going to bed as soon as possible after sundown. The more sleep you get closer to dusk, the better chance you'll have completing your REM periods and getting a deep, replenishing, and restful sleep.

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