How to Get Stop Snoring Device

Before making your appointment with your doctor, you make sure that you have the appropriate knowledge to draw in the answers that answers your questions. It would also be best if you already have a background understanding about snoring, its causes and risk factors. So you and your doctor can have a dialogue about your condition.

Snoring should not be taken lightly for there are serious risks factors involve that can be life threatening if not addressed immediately. Sometimes these risk factors slowly penetrated your defense without you knowing due to snoring.

It will not hurt you to spend a few bucks on an eBook that details everything that you should know about snoring, snoring devices, what causes it and the risk factors involve. If the stop snoring devices you had had tried did not work for you, your snoring would certainly cause some factors that your doctor should have diagnosed.

Breathing problems, that are usual causes of snoring, are serious problem. Besides going to the doctor for a few minutes appointment you should also know how to appropriately assist in the fast stopping of snoring. A few minutes of appointment with a doctor are critical but a doctor can not outline the same important points. A doctor can not tell you thoroughly in what way you can help yourself in stopping snore. You need reliable and more thorough information gotten from years of experience and research.

If you know the cause of your snoring it would be easy to buy a stop snoring device. But if you do not know what causes the snoring then we have a big problem with that. What fits and what do not fit depends on the cause of your snoring.

The devices would just help you correct these defects for easy breathing while sleeping.

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Medical Conditions and Insomnia

There are diseases and medical conditions that can cause insomnia . This is because they either cause physical discomfort or because of hormonal and metabolic imbalance. Anxiety is another factor that brings about insomnia. If you are always conscious and worried about your disease, you are bound to lose sleep over it.

Hypertension is a disease where the blood pressure is abnormally elevated. The incidence of this disease continues to rise. Before, this used to be found mostly in people with advanced age; but now it can be found even in children and young adults as well. This is attributed to the present lifestyle which became sedentary due to advances in technology. People in the present time eat more and move less and they are exposed to more stress at work, in school and from the environment. One of the symptoms of hypertension is neck pain or numbness and this can hamper sleep.

Another disease that causes insomnia is asthma. The number of asthmatics are also increasing because of stress and environmental pollution. The thing about asthma is that it is related to the body's biorhythm and is typically exacerbated in the evenings and early morning. And because they have difficulty breathing, they also can not sleep.

Hyperthyroidism prevents sleep because the high thyroid hormone levels keeps you hyped up even during the night when it should have gone down. Restlessness and tremors are felt even at night. Diabetes is another disease where you easily get hungry even if you eat a lot. You are also thirsty most of the time despite the amount of fluids you drank. Because you drink a lot of liquids, you tend to urinate a lot as well and this will wake you up in the middle of the night.

Skin diseases like skin asthma, winter rash, and other pruritic skin conditions can prevent sleep because of the itchiness. Like asthma, it is worse at night and early morning. The worse thing is that the more you scratch, the more it itches, forming a vicious cycle.

These are just some of the medical condition that can disrupted sleep and eventually cause insomnia. Treating them will help in reducing insomnia as well. If insomnia persists even after the cause is gone, it can be relieved by behavioral therapy and some over the counter drugs.

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Therapies for Insomnia

The treatment for insomnia that we know is mostly with drugs and alternative medical therapies, thanks to modern and alternative medicine. But there are other therapies that are known to be effective. These have been used before the time of modern medicine. There are still practitioners who use these methods in treating people with insomnia.

Acupressure and acupuncture have been used in oriental countries as a cure for many illnesses and this includes insomnia. This treatment is based on the principle that the body is in a state of health because of the free flow of energy through points in the body called meridians. Diseases occur when one or more of these points are blocked and acupressure or acupuncture can reopen these points.

Progressive muscle relaxation or PMR is another method to treat insomnia. PMR involves cycles of muscle contracting and relaxation. This will relax the mind and eventually the body and will hasten sleep. Another is breathing exercises. With this method, you breathe deeply and slowly so that your diaphragm relaxes and focusing in your breathing will divert you from things that stress your mind.

Visualization or imagery relaxation is another form of counting sheep and required some practice in the beginning. You will need to visualize, peaceful scenes, smooth motions and relaxing actions in a repetitive manner.

To make it even more effective, it is important that you set up your room. Keep your room well ventilated and dark. Mask outside noise with white noise like an electric fan or water fountain. Make your bed and pillow comfortable and you are sure to keep insomnia away.

Having thoughts about insomnia? Check this link for helpful tips: www.meditate.com.au

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Beating Insomnia Without Drugs

Medical ways of treating insomnia is effective especially if the cause is a medical condition. It is important to treat the cause first since most often, the insomnia is also cured. However, if there is no medical condition, drugs for insomnia may have some unwanted side effect for oversensitive people. They may cause headaches and daytime sleepiness.

Drugs are not the only remedy for insomnia. There are other means of curing this condition. Insomnia has been a problem even before the time of modern medicine and the people back then have already discovered treatments that are effective.

Diet plays a role in reducing incidence of insomnia. Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps in promoting good sleep and eating dark green, leafy vegetables and legumes as well as nuts help in increasing magnesium levels. Probably one of the reasons why insomnia is prevalent today is the emergence of different diet regimen where some types of food are omitted and some are taken in large amounts. This disrupts the balance of nutrients. Stimulating drinks like coffee have boomed over the years as antioxidants were discovered in them.

Massage helps in relaxing muscles and promote sleep. There are certain massages that targets acupressure points to improve sleep. Using massage oils like lavender further helps the relaxation process.

Aromatherapy helps to make sleep better. Fragrances like lavender, rose oil, chamomile and sandalwood oils are relaxants. A sachet of these oil placed under the pillow or rubbed on the temples are said to be effective for insomnia .

Having thoughts about insomnia? Check this link for helpful tips: www.meditate.com.au

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Meditate Your Insomnia Away

Meditation has been used as a stress buster among other things and since stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia, it should be able to help a person get a good night's sleep. There are different ways to meditate depending on the basis of meditation. Buddhist monks have different methods compared to that of the Japanese or the Indians or practices.

The main goal of meditation is to achieve inner peace by emptying your mind and this leads to relaxing your muscles. This can be done by having a focus point, chanting a mantra or simply concentrating on your breathing. Those who are experts in meditation are able to achieve a different level of consciousness and can bring about inner peace.

Here is a simple and easy to follow meditation steps: in a clean, quiet room, find a spot where you can be comfortable sitting on the floor. You can use a cushion if you want. Then sit with your hands resting on your lap and relax. Close your eyes.

Inhale and exhale deeply through your nose and try to focus on your breathing. Try counting as you breathe. Count in sets of ten every time you exhale repeating the cycle until you are relaxed. Think of nothing but counting your breath. If any other thoughts come in, acknowledge it and gently let it go and go back to counting. After you are done and you feel that you are totally relaxed you can open your eyes and stretch. Be aware of your body before standing up.

This is a simple meditation technique. You can modify this by having a focus point instead of concentrating on breathing. You use a mantra and repeat it over and over as you breathe or find an object that you can concentrate on like a small fountain or a candle.

A relaxed body is a step towards a good night's sleep and a relaxed mind will bring you even closer. You may find focusing a bit of a challenge at first but as you go along and get used to it, you will find that it becomes easier and be able to totally get rid of insomnia.

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Insomnia Tips and Tricks

Sleep is an all important activity in our daily life that we take for granted. More often, we sacrifice sleep for more time with work or to party. Sleep is a necessity because this is the body's way of coping with all the stress it encounters during the day. People with insomnia are not so lucky because even if they have the time to rest they can not.

Here are some of the ways in which insomnia can be controlled or prevented. The most important part is that whatever the cause, you should be able to fall sleep and keep it that way until morning so you can go about your daily normal life.

If you can not identify the cause of insomnia, you might want to see your doctor. There might be an underlying disease especially if you feel that stress is not a problem. Your doctor might be able to find out if you have them and administrator appropriate treatment. He can also give you prescription for sleep inducing agents.

Warm baths are comfortable as well as relaxing for tired muscles after a long day. This can help you prepare for bed and make you comfortable by feeling fresh and clean. A combination of Epsom salt and baking soda in your bathwater is a great way to detoxify as well.

Have somebody give you a massage. Being able to relax is the first step to falling sleep and massage can help release the tension in your muscles. Slow firm strokes are enough if the other person does not know how to give a massage.

Listening to music helps. It can be soothing jazz, classic or slow pop songs. The choice is really yours. There are also audio of waves and other sounds of nature available for download or in CD's. These can provide you with white noise that can induce sleep. Some of these also have subliminals that abnormally sleep and increase memory or improve mental functions.

Count sheep. This is an old school neat trick that really works. If you do not like sheep you can use other animals or just count without them. Any method is good as long as you get that sleep insomnia has stripped you of.

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Neat Tricks for Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition where you have difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep. Although not life-threatening by itself, it has a big impact in your life as well as those around you. When you do not get a good night's sleep, you will still feel exhausted when you wake up and will tend to be sleepy through the day.

You will not pay as much attention to the things that you do and as a result, you make mistakes at work or even while driving and can lead to road accidents. Tiredness can make you feel irritable and short tempered. You find yourself grouching and this can affect your relationships with colleagues, friends and family. Inadequate sleep also puts you at risk for diseases like hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes.

If your insomnia is not due to a medical or mental condition, there are some tricks that works to help you sleep soundly and get a good night's rest. The most important thing is that your sleeping quarters should suffice for sleeping. It means the bed and pillow should be the right softness so you feel comfortable. The room has to be clear of clutter to avoid distraction and it should be well ventilated so you can breathe freely. If you are working from home, avoid working in the bedroom.

Have a set time for sleeping and stick to it. This will condition your body that it should be sleep at a certain time. Try not to sleep in during the weekend, if you do not have anything to do, go jogging or hiking. It will give you the physical activity your body needs.

White noise can help you maintain sleep. You can have white noise with an electric fan or a small water fountain. A water fountain can also help by increasing the humidity and purify the air around it. A small desktop fountain is okay. You can also use a small aquarium with an aerator. The motor's hum will serve as your white noise.

These are simple tricks that can help with your insomnia. But if you think there might be a medical problem, consult your doctor so that the main cause of insomnia is identified and treated.

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Insomnia Roots and Causes

Insomnia is a condition where a person has difficulty sleeping. It is either in the early stages where falling asleep is a big challenge, or a person can easily go to sleep but keeps waking up a few minutes later. There are many factors that bring out insomnia and these are physical, mental or environmental.

Physical factors are those that are related to the body. They can cause insomnia because of the discomfort they produce that disturbs the person's inclining to sleep. Muscle pain, numbness or any illness like fibromyalgia can cause insomnia. Diseases like hyperthyroidism can cause insomnia by keeping the body in a hyperactive state. There are diseases that cause pain like stomach ulcers and pruritic skin diseases that causes constant itchiness.

Mental factors are those that keeps the mind thinking despite the tired body. It does not necessarily mean psychological illness but it can be taken about by stress. Mental illness also causes insomnia. Schizophrenics may have trouble sleeping because they keep hearing voices in their heads. Depressed people keep thinking about the hopelessness of their condition.

Environmental factors are brought around by the surroundings like a nearby site that still operates at night, noisy neighbors, or other conditions that bring about discomfort. This is not limited to sound but to other senses as well like sense of touch or smell. Working environment can also cause stress that may result in sleeplessness.

More often than not, it is a combination of these factors that bring about insomnia. For example, an asthmatic person keeps getting asthma attacks because of excessive pollen in the air. He will not be able to sleep because he has difficulty breathing.

There are many ways to deal with insomnia. Relaxation techniques can relieve stress and relax the body and help. Massages and hot baths help as well. There are also CDs with soothing music or the sound of breaking waves that can lull a person to sleep. If all else fail, there are drugs as well as other supplements that help.

What is important in dealing with insomnia is that the main cause should be identified and treated so that it does not happen again and again and sleep will no longer be a chore.

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Natural Remedies for Insomnia: How Lavender Aids Sleep

Lavender is one of the more well known natural remedies for insomnia. In fact it has been used for a range of medicinal uses over the years and has continued to be a favorite of the cosmetic industry due to its fragrance and its beneficial effects upon the skin.

In relation to sleeping, it has been shown to depress the central nervous system causing the person using it to become more relaxed. This relaxation helps in the process of sleep.

Lavender can be used in a number of different ways. A popular method is to make up a “tea” with boiling water and lavender flowerheads (about three is sufficient) to drink shortly before bedtime. This simple option makes lavender one of the most popular natural remedies for insomnia. There are varieties of lavender tea available which may be as effective, although sometimes it is combined with other herbs such as chamomile. You should avoid brands that combine lavender with tea leaves as tea contains caffeine which will have the reverse effect to that desired.

Another option is to make up a lavender sachet which is placed under the pillow. This is done by taking a small quantity of flowerheads and sewing them into a small material bag. The effect can be enhanced by using a little lavender essential oil. The aroma from the sachet will be gradually released during the night and will assist in you relaxing into sleep.

Another similar option is a lavender spray which can be simply sprayed over the sleeping area. During the night you will inhale the spray which help you become more relaxed.

However, a certain amount of caution needs to be exercised if you are someone who is honest to allergies as lavender oil is an allergen. If this is the case, then you may well need to consider another solution to your insomnia.

For most people though, lavender is one of the most effective natural remedies for insomnia and the range of ways it can be used makes it particularly useful. It is also easy to grow yourself, so you can have your own supply for whenever you feel the need.

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Why The Diagnosis And Treatment Is Different For Different Insomnia Victims

In this article, I'm going to share with you some valuable information about insomnia. After you finished reading this article, you will be able to know why different individual need different treatment to cure insomnia, and why the most popular way like medication is always the best way to cure insomnia in long term.

The patient has a great role to play in correct diagnosis and treatment. People suffering from sleep disorders have to note down the symptoms that they face. Knowing more about insomnia and its home remedies can help a lot to cure mild cases of sleeplessness caused mainly due to temporary situational stress, anxiety or medical conditions. The duration and symptoms of the disorder varies with age, characterized by difficulty in starting sleep, intermittent waking up or total lack of sleep, causing transient, acute or chronic insomnia.

The treatment method depends on whether insomnia is a result of other undering factors or a disorder on its own. The usual routine of long assessment studies and tests tempt people to choose for simpler home remedies instead. But when symptoms fail to subside, it is better to get professional help as soon as possible. Strict timings to sleep and having meals at least 4 hours before bed time will help to get good sleep. Any form of nerve stimulators like caffeine, smoking, and drinking alcohol can hinder sleep. Daily exercise for half an hour or simple walking can give good results.

Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are ineffective on a long term basis and as most of them are based on antihistamines, side effects are unavoidable. If people with prostate problems, heart or urinary complaints take these, the severity of insomnia symptoms can drastically increase. Some other side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, memory lapse, dry mouth, constipation, etc. Sleep assuring drugs can decrease the quality of sleep compared to normal people and medications like hypnotics containing benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines and antidepressants are not recommended by health experts. So, it is very important to know about the disease, diagnosis and treatment options.

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Treatment For Insomnia – Acupuncture

In this article, you will learn one of the method to cure insomnia- acupuncture.

Tired of the disturbing symptoms of prolonged insomnia and fed up with the long term side effects of easy methods of prescription drugs and over the counter medicines, people at last turn to alternative home remedies and ancient treatment methods. Whatever causes your sleep disorder, there is a high chance of an effective cure for it using these natural remedies. Acupuncture is one such treatment method that originated in China. It has been proved, by several case studies, to decrease the intensity of insomnia symptoms and a gradual complete cure for it, through repeated sessions. The treatment strategy depends on the reason behind the problem.

Most cases of insomnia that arises due to factors like stress, anxiety, depression, addiction to caffeine, alcohol or nicotine, and most importantly physical pain are treated using acupuncture insomnia treatment. Dealing with psychological problems and tension is not easy without some help, as these make it difficult to control one's thoughts and emotions, making a person mentally alert all the time. Acupuncture can help you deal with not only the symptoms alone, but can deal with the root cause also with additional guidance. Inconvenience caused by addictions and pain can be relieved by acupuncture as its main effect is to reduce pain.

Mild cases can be cured quickly, whereas chronic insomnia will require long term treatment with repeated acupuncture sessions. When other treatment methods fail, acupuncture has shown to be effective for many people to find a relief from the irritating after effects of sleep disorders. When combined with approaches to treat the underlying cause, acupuncture is very much beneficial. Even though acupuncture is not accepted as an approved treatment method medically, it has evolved through time and history, helping millions of insomnia victims to discover a way to get relief from the symptoms and lead to reliable cure without any side effects.

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Sleeping Myths

Sleeping is part of every individual's daily routine and leaves a lot of impact on your whole day activities. It is considered if you get your sleep right you tend to perform better in personal and professional front and without proper sleep your performance flounders. We sleep for almost one-third part of the day still we know very little about sleep and the myths attached to it travel from generations to generations. There are several myths associated with the activity of sleeping. Few of them are as follows:

Myth: Sleeping late at night is not healthy
According to experts our sleeping and waking up times should be fixed. It does not matter on what time of the day one is sleeping, be it late or early. It is good if our body clock mechanism allows us to sleep at fixed hours. One should not force himself to sleep because that can have a negative impact on health and will prove to be counter productive. The best sleep is achieved only when your body is ready for it.

Myth: Sleeping pills as rescue for improved sleep
Psychologists have said that although sleeping pills certainly makes a person go off to sleep but this is not as healthy as natural sleep. Sleeping pills should be advised to only those who suffer from some serious ailments or diseases and not to those who are unable to catch up on their sleep because of their unorganized life and schedule. Natural sleep should always be encouraged.

Myth: Taking a nap indicates one is lazy or weak
It has been said that a small nap during the day helps in increasing the energy level of the body. It certainly does not indicate that one is weak or lazy by nature. Usually time of this nap lasts for 50-70 minutes. It is not necessary that every individual needs a nap during the day. It all depends on one's mental performance. If one feels like taking a nap between 5th and 8th hour of the day it is considered good since this will result in better performance during later half of the day.

Myth: Magnesium and other supplements cause better sleep
Our diet should be full of nutrients but these nutrients do not play a role if you are suffering with sleeping irregularities. Health experts state that vitamin supplements only help those who are suffering from deficiency of such nutrients. Normally insomnia and other sleeping disorders occurs due to lack of organized life and schedule, so one should first restore their lifestyle and make it more organized.

Myth: Peaceful environment and dark room is must for sound sleep
This is advised primarily to those who suffer from insomnia. For sound sleep one should sleep naturally. Those who sleep according to their schedule in an organized manner can manage good sleep even in a room full of lights and can tolerate noise coming from outside. Environment of your room is always secondary factor if you not getting proper sleep. It is most important to understand your body mechanism and sleep accordingly.

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NightCalm Natural Sleeping Aid – A Melatonin Sleeping Pills Review

NightCalm is a natural sleeping aid that claims to help you fall sleep much sooner, easier and for longer. NightCalm, like some sleeping pills, is blended from natural ingredients one of which promotes the production of melatonin. Melatonin is said to be the body's natural sleeping pill and most tablets that aid with sleep claim to somehow help the body produce this hormone naturally. Let us look at why sleep pills like this hormone so much;

The compound melatonin which is secreted by the pineal gland located in the center of the brain is actually a very potent hormone that is actively participating in many of the bodily processes primarily in the regulation of the sleep-wake pattern of the human circadian rhythm. The release of this hormone is highly affected by darkness and light.

The pineal gland begins to secret melatonin at dim-light and it peaks at night. This activity contributes to the enhancement of the quality of sleep one goes. But the body's natural melatonin is easily inhibited and destroyed by the presence of light that passes through one of the photoreceptors. These results in less melatonin produced which leads to sleep disturbance. This is the reason why melatonin sleeping pills which are synthetic are being processed in the laboratories.

Now here one needs to be careful in selecting which sleep tablets to use. Synthetic is not good! Especially prescription tablets. they can leave your adverse side effects. Wherever possible avoid them but do consult with your doctor for expert advice. Melatonin undeniably works as a sleep inducer and thus pills like NightCalm have been out in the market to aid those who find it difficult to sleep.

The hormone does not only induce sleep but also enhances the quality of sleep. There is Exogenous melatonin, taken in the evening alongside light therapy on awakening is the standard treatment for delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome. DSPS is a chronic circadian rhythm sleep disorder relating to fault in the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, the core body temperature rhythm, hormonal and other daily rhythms.

Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome is also a chronic unchanging pattern of one- to two-hour daily delays in sleep sunset and wake times in an individual within society. Although potent as sleep inducer there are certain sleep disorders that could not be valued by the use of melatonin sleeping pills. The hormone has shown minimal effects to correcting jet lag and changing circadian rhythms due to constant shifting.

If the drug is taken 30 to 90 minutes before bedtime, melatonin can be a mild hypnotic. It elevates melatonin levels in the blood earlier than the pineal gland's own production. This is now commonly used in sleep and relaxation drinks. To whatever goodness a certain product brings one should not forget that the key to getting the maximum benefit is not to over indulge but rather to follow requirements of use in order to achieve its full therapeutic effects.

Melatonin sleeping pills can be counterproductive if taken abusively and without proper precaution and guidance. If you are certain about something it is always better to ask the rightful permissions.

One last tip is also to go for something that is blended from natural ingredients. Wherever you can avoid synthetic products rather look for products that will aid your body to return to the normal pattern of producing the required hormones at the right time. Pills like NightCalm and other natural sleep aids purely assist your body to get into its natural rhythm. For more information on NightCalm please refer to the resource box below.

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Eight Natural Remedies to Stop Snoring

The best remedy is the one that works for you personally

The best remedy for snoring depends very much on you personally. When do your family members notice you snoring? I have personally noticed my wife snoring while sleeping on her back and not snoring when sleeping on her side. Since you are sleeping when you snore you do not get to witness your own problem to large extant. You need to get feedback and develop knowledge on the commons cause of snoring both direct causes and indirect causes. Then get information on cures that are used to stop snoring. These remedies can be very simple and can use natural ingredients on them. One approach is to try the simplest remedy (that you believe applies to you or a spouse) and list them to the most complex. Try them to see if they help. Keep in mind some of these remedies can be very inexpensive or low cost. This article will explain natural remedies to stop or eliminate snoring.

Simple natural cures

Most simple natural cures involve simple adjustments. Sometimes even as simple as changing your sleep position by sleeping on your side can stop the tongue from falling back in the throat, reducing the obstacles in the air flow that can cause snoring. Even a new mattress or pillow can help how your body is positioned, to create easier breathing.

Remedies for nasal congestion

For obstructions that are in the nasal area natural ointments may help you to breathe easier. Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and coconut oils can help you to breathe better. Or using a neti pot used with a saline solution is another option to clear the nasal passes; a neti pot is used to irrigate the nasal membranes. Breathing in steam is also being a solution to clear the nasal passages. Acupressure is a technique were you apply gentle pressure at any of three pressure points, bottom of both of the nostrils, top both sides of the nose and below both earlobes.

Nutritional Remedies

General nutritional improvement can play a role in snoring reduction. Weight loss and using supplements like blue green algae and spirulina can help with overall nutrition, which may help with a reduction in snoring. Allergies can also play a role in causing your to snore with nasal inflammation.

Other remedies

Other natural remedies to snoring involve specific exercises for the mouth and tongue.

They are very simple to do, tongue stretching- which is stretching out your tongue to your chin or lips and hold for ten seconds and repeat. Jaw exercises pushing your jaw out and hold for ten secs. And singing exercises sing vowels A / E / I / O / U. With these natural approaches hopefully you should see a reduction in your snoring.

Eight Natural remedies summarized

1. Change sleep position by sleeping on your side, preventing the tongue obstruction the airway.

2. Breathe in steam via boiling water or a humidifier, for nasal congestion.

3. Acupressure do by applying pressure on the three pressure points, for a reduction in nasal congestion.

4. Neti pot use for nasal and sinus congestion.

5. Tongue and Jaw exercise -do regularly for best results, helps with breathing obstacles.

6. New mattress or pillow to improve breathing obstruction.

7. Essential oils, to assist in removing nasal sinus congestion.

8. Blue green algae and spirulina, another way to deal with nasal and sinus congestion.

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Sleep: Getting More Manna From Heaven

I have an insane life. Work full-time. Run two small businesses. Have two teenagers and anyone who ever told you that teens need less time with their parents than youger children, lied to you. So I am thinking about marketing, and finishing up products, and getting my daughter to this dance audition or that rehearsal, and helping with homework, and writing articles, and working out, and so on and so on. We each have just 24 hours in a day, and I try to squeeze every last minute out of each one. Usually when I go to bed I can fall sleep within a few minutes. I do not think of it as falling asleep so much as falling unconscious. It drives my wife nuts.

My problem is not going to sleep, it is staying sleep. Give my brain a little rest and it starts working on problems and running through tasks. Often about three in the morning I find myself waking up and running through all the things I need to do for the day. This totally blows. With all that I do I usually only have about six hours a night to get my Z's which leaves 18 hours to ponder all that needs to be done. More than enough time, right? Evidently not, since my mind gets racing and starts work early. I have heard this from a lot of people too. Waking up too early seems more the norm than having trouble going to sleep. Yet, all the TV ads hawking the latest meds are about getting to sleep. That is how they make money, their goal is not really to solve it the problem. The makers of Lunesta are not motivated to solve your problem; if they did you would not need their product any more.

So what do you do away from checking the clock every two minutes? Crap! I only have 2 1/2 hours to sleep. Crap! I only have 2 hours 15 minutes to sleep. Crap! So on.

First let's start with what not to do. Drugs are not the answer! At three in the morning and you have just a few hours of mattress time left, if you took a drug, even something natural like melatonin, it takes a while to kick in, and when you have to wake up, it is still in your system. Bad way to start the day. Plus, at least for me, I do not ever feel like I have rested. Sleep aids give me nasty dreams and I wake up feeling lethargic and without any energy.

There are a couple of solutions. The first is to change your environment. I get out of bed, go downstairs, wrap myself in a big blanket, sit in our most comfortable Barcalounger, and read for about an hour. Even if I do not feel tired, this submersion in a totally new environment slows the mind down and shuts off the annoying monkey chatter.

This second option is a bit earthy, but I have found success with it. I read a book when I was a kid called Self Hypnosis. It seems like a precursor to some of the meditation techniques available today. Some research on meditation provided valuable insight in shutting down the mind. So here is what I do.

First I try and get as comfortable as possible. Then I envision laying on a warm pad, like they have for massage tables. Next, I try and clear my head of thoughts. Really. Try and not think of anything for a minute. Now, take stock of your whole body and try to relax all your muscles. Think of them as weighing thousands of pounds. From this point forward focus on just two things. The first is your breathing. This should be first and foremost in your mind. Focus on what it feels like having the air run down your throat, filling your lungs, and coming back out. While you are doing this, starting at the top of your head, focusing on each part of your body and command it to relax.

Focus on all the muscles in your forehead and the top of your head and command them to relax. After that, work on the back of your head and top of your neck. Make it relax. Move down to your shoulders, your arms, back, chest, abdomen, thighs, calves, and feet.

Spend a minute or so on each part, making sure all the tension is out. Chances are likely, that you will not make it to your feet. You will be off in dreamland.

Your mind is like a puppy though. It has a super-short attention span and will wander. When it does, bring it back and refocus. Starting over if necessary, pushing away thoughts, focusing on your breathing, and re-relaxing each part.

This does not always work and when it does not, then I resort to getting up and reading. But if it gets me some more of the manna from Heaven that is sleep, then I am willing to do it.

Sweet dreams!

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