Top Hacks for Getting Better Sleep

The science behind complete, restful sleep is one that you can master using natural sleep aids and techniques. A sleep easy solution need not break the bank or be a complicated measure – you can fight issues like insomnia via natural means and fall into rejuvenating, high-quality deep sleep for good health.

But where do you start? In your own kitchen and home, of course! Nature offers plenty of sleep aids that can assist you every time you are losing touch with sleep. Here are some of them – try not to be too surprised at how easy it can get!

Consume Tart Cherry Juice

Did you know that a half-cup or 1 cup of tart cherry juice could help you drift off to sleep more easily? This natural sleep aid boasts of tryptophan, an essential amino acid converting to serotonin, which then converts to melatonin.

The sleep hormone melatonin helps regulate sleep and wake cycles through causing you to be drowsy and lowering your body temperature. It also works with your central nervous system for your body clock to be in sync. Beware: melatonin production could be impeded by light, which makes sleeping in total darkness or low light necessary.

Try Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine offers plenty of natural therapies, including acupuncture, one of the oldest healing methods known worldwide. This practice stimulates certain points in the body to correct energy imbalance and open up meridians, which tend to close off when there's stress and blood vessels are being contracted.

Upon being inserted, thin needles open up such blocked channels, allowing the brain to better process that it is time for you to go to sleep. In addition, the practice incites the release of tryptophan, melatonin, and other neuro-endocrine chemicals to help you sleep more easily and longer.

Other Home Hacks for Better Shutee

Face it: you're a creature of habit and your body works mysteriously better when you do something routinely. This is why if you want to get complete sleep, you should establish a calming ritual every night before bedtime, which could lead to a better transition from wakefulness to sleep. This ritual, too, could help you relax and let go of the day's massive stress and negative energy.

Here are some ideas to try:

  1. Take a warm bath. Apart from helping you climb in bed feeling clean and refreshed, taking a warm shower will help ease the stress of daily life. You may try aromatherapy, too.
  2. Sip a good cup. A nightly drink may help you fall sleep more quickly, with the ritual dictating to your brain and body that it's time to relax and move from being awake to sleeping. It could have a cup of warm tea half an hour before bed.
  3. Try meditation. Take some time off to mediate and clear your thoughts at night. Over thinking can keep you in a state of being awake for hours, and that's bad news for your system that's craving sleep. Get a good night's rest by clearing your mind of different thoughts and focusing on getting the best sleep ever tonight.

High-quality supplements may also assist you in your sleep goals as they combine beneficial herbs, compounds, and nutrients, including melatonin, valerian, chamomile, and many more. What's important is to celebrate little triumphs in your mission for better, more health-promoting sleep – follow an easy pace in trying out these scientific hacks.

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5 Tricks To Have A Good Night Sleep

Lack of sleep or insomnia is thought about by many factors including: stress, hormonal imbalance, stimulants, and stress. Failing to have a good sleep has effects on your concentration, mood, and productivity. The cool thing is that there are plenty of things that you can do to overcome sleeplessness. Some of these things include:

Invest in a comfortable bed and beddings

Studies show that you can lack good sleep when your bed is uncomfortable. To sleep fast when you get to bed you should invest in a comfortable bed. Different people love different things. To ensure that you have bought the right unit you should first research on the bed that feels comfortable on.

The best way of going about it is visiting different hotels and trying their beds. You can also visit beds of your friends and feel them. In addition to the bed, you should also invest in good quality pillows. There are some people that have reported a lack of sleep due to the clothing that they wear to bed. Some will feel comfortable sleeping with lingerie while others will feel comfortable sleeping naked. You should find out what works for you.

Turn off lights and sounds

Scientists report that bright lights inhibit melatonin production. This is a hormone that helps you to sleep. Due to the inhibition, you do not sleep as fast as you should. To avoid this you should switch off all the lights in your bedroom. It's also recommended that you switch off all the sound from your phone, radio, and TV. If you live in a close neighborhood, invest in high-quality window blinds that prevent lights from other homes from getting into your house.

Engage in exercises

As mentioned above, stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia. Exercises have been shown to reduce stress hormones so promoting deep sleep. The cool thing is that there are plenty of exercises that you can engage in before you sleep. They include: cycling, swimming, walking or any other of your favorite. For ideal results, engage in exercises between 5 pm and 7 pm Experts recommend that you avoid exercising a few hours before your sleep as the physical stimulation from the exercises can keep you awake instead of inducing sleep.

Avoid stimulants

As you may know, stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine prevent a good night sleep. To sleep fast you should avoid products containing any of these products. You should avoid: colas, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, tea, or any other product that might contain a stimulant.

Take sleep-inducing foods

There are plenty of foods that have been shown to promote sleep. These foods contain tryptophan. The foods include: seeds, honey, eggs, bananas, milk, and cheese. When taking the foods avoid taking plenty of them to avoid making digestion difficult. Also, avoid taking spices.

Conclusion

These are some of the things that you can do to have a fast sleep. If you have tried everything and nothing seems to work, you should consider visiting a specialist to ascertain whether your insomnia is thought about by another condition.

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How Lack of Sleep Can Affect Your Diet

There are a number of facts about sleep deprivation and eating disorders that are linked to gaining of weight due to a lack of sleep. There has been a lot of research carried out and now we have evidence that has been discovered to support the theory that sleep can hugely affect your diet. Here is a detailed overview.

Studies Show That a Lack of Sleep can Trigger Weight Gain:

Although sleeplessness does not make you feel hungry, it does lead to more cravings for an energy boost so you are more tempted to reach for caffeine or a high-carb snack. The reason is you will need more energy when you feel sleepy at work, and to fulfill that you may find a sugary snack or a cup of coffee very helpful in the short term. Similarly, you may feel to skip cooking and opt for a takeout when you want to get back in your bed soon because of a lack of sleep the night before. In short, sleep deprivation can ever sabotage your health and weight by adding pounds.

Sleep Deprivation is Connected to Food and Energy Drink Cravings:

Based on clinical studies by Mayo Clinic, it has been found out that the eating habits of people with insomnia are quite different from those who sleep adequately. Sleep deprivation often triggers their craving hormone and they end up eating more than 500 extra calories each day. If the habit persists, people with such sleep pattern and eating habits can gain more than a pound per week continuously. Such overeating response can make a person's body leptin resistant with more production of ghrelin.

People Eat More Comfort Food Due to Lack Of Sleep:

Most of the people accept the fact they rarely love eating healthy when late night hunger strikes. The truth is most of us really desire for high-sugar and high-fat foods when we crave food late at night. Study reports on sleep and eating disorders released from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that poor sleep increases a person's craving for greasy and high-calorie food because their body feels the energy deprivation. Whatever we consume will then remain in our system with the body unable to digest the food properly while we do sleep.

People Who Suffer from a Lack of Sleep Will Begin Snacking Often:

Although modern weight loss mantra is to eat snack size meals, sleep deprivation can lead to excessive snacking behavior. Plus, it can be difficult to adapt a healthier diet lifestyle when you are sleep deprived. Thus, most people with poor sleep habits choose caffeine, fatty snacks and meals through their day. Sometimes, such consumption habits typically lead to unwanted weight gain.

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Study Shows Eating Fish Remedies Insomnia and Improves Daily Energy

A good night's sleep is one of the four main Pillars of health, with the other three being eating healthy food, getting regular exercise, and having a positive outlook. The US National Institutes of Health reports that up to 70 million US adults experience sleeplessness and insomnia, with 63 billion dollars lost each year in productivity.

On a personal level, those who have trouble sleeping are familiar with the many ways it affects their lives. In an effort to help people sleep better, research scientists are discovering that eating certain foods can have a substantial effect on the quality of sleep.

One good example is a recent study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Researchers in Norway have combined two of the major health wells into one by providing that eating fish has a positive impact on good sleep and overall daily functioning. In this study, 95 males were divided into two groups: one that ate salmon three times per week, and the other group that ate an alternative meal (chicken, pork or beef). During the 6 month study period, their quality of sleep was measured in several ways including the amount of time needed to fall sleep, and the actual time spent sleeping in bed vs. their time awake.

The results showed that eating fish had a positive impact on sleep in all the ways it was measured. The researchers stated that fish is a source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor for melatonin, and that other studies have found tryptophan in foods increases sleepiness in the evening. The fish group also reported better daily functioning, alertness and performance.

In this study, vitamin D levels were also found to have a significant impact on sleep quality. Blood samples were collected during the study that measured the participant's vitamin D, and those in the fish-eating group had a level that was closer to optimum. The study revealed a major, positive relationship between daily functioning and a better vitamin D level. Those eating the salmon had higher levels of vitamin D and had better sleep quality, shorter wake times and a higher percentage of sleeping time while in bed.

The study also uncovered that eating fish creates a positive improvement in heart rate variability. This is a measurement of the length of time between heart beats, and a greater variable between the beats shows that person is stronger, more adaptive and physically flexible. In addition, the fish group had a significant increase in basic heart power.

Several other foods have also been proven to help with sleep and insomnia such as bananas, walnuts, tart cherries, turkey, almonds, and supplements containing potassium, vitamin D, zinc, calcium and magnesium. In a study from the European Neurology Journal, researchers uncovered that calcium levels were higher in the body during the deepest levels of sleep and that insomnia is related to a calcium deficiency. When the blood calcium level was normalized, optimum sleep was restored.

Make good use of sleep-promoting foods and supplements to ensure this key element of health is supporting your well-being.

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Narcolepsy Medication – Traditional Ideas & 2 Strange Treatments!

In this article I want to share narcolepsy medication when it comes to alternative medicine as well as traditional ideas.

For normal people they have a sleep life and a life when they are awake. When someone has narcolepsy these 2 lives blend together.

A person with narcolepsy could experience hallucinations, daytime sleepiness or even muscle paralysis during the day. As you can imagine this can really ruin a person's life.

Traditional medicine usually involve drugs that can stimulate the body into staying awake during the day, so a person can lead a more normal life.

These medications can help, but they just mask the symptoms and do not get at the root cause. Plus there is always a price to pay with drugs. Sure drugs can be expensive, but the price I'm talking about has to do with side effects.

This can include addiction, side effects such as irritability, increased blood pressure and nervousness to name a few. Antidepressants are also frequently used to keep someone awake and there are big problems with them.

In 2004, the (FDA) in America decided antidepressants must carry a black box warning that the drug can cause suicidal tendencies. A 2011 study has found that certain genes may predispose you to homicidal behavior following exposure to antidepressants.

1 idea that might sound strange is kiwi fruit.

In a study at Taiwan's Taipeu Medical University 24 people with sleeping problems took 2 kiwi fruits right before they went to sleep for 4 weeks. The result the amount of time it took to fall asleep fell by around 35%. Sleep quality improved by around 42%. The great news about kiwi fruit is there are no nasty side effects like prescription drugs.

Another idea which I think works amazing is Lavender oil, which I use all the time and sprinkle some on my pillow before going to sleep. In one study at Britain's University of Southampton, researchers looked at 10 adults.

50% of the participants slept in a room where lavender oil was used and the rest did not. After a week, the group that slept with lavender oil had a 20% better quality of sleep with the essential oil.

Those are 2 ideas but the good news is that there are tons more. There are herbs that can help someone sleep, food choices, things that you might be doing that is hurting your ability to get rest and techniques.

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Sleep Like a Rock With the Perfect Mattress

A mattress is one of the few products in life that justifies its price, as quality sleep simply can not be undervalued. However, that does not mean anyone needs to break the bank for an upgrade, as great deals abound. While most mattresses last quite a while, it may be time for a bed foundation regardless. Old beds collect dust, allergens, and generally lose their shape and quality, resulting in poorer sleep. At the same time, an aging body requires increasing firmness and support. Get the inside scoop on mattress types and sleep through the night like your teenage self.

Innspring

Traditionally, these are the oldest, and yet still the most popular type of mattress. Coil springs are now individually enclosed to prevent them from poking out of the material. More springs generally add firmness, although at a certain point additional springs become redundant. Recently, innerspring has flexed its versatility, as latex or memory foam can be layered on top for comfort and softness. The innerspring family has the widest range of options in terms of firmness, cost, and quality. Although, those factors do not always correlate, so test any potential new purchase. Your body will thank you later.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is all the rage these days. These types of mattresses are committed of layers of foam. Each layer has a distinct density and warmth factor. Therefore, memory foam is the most customizable option, and the company prides itself on finding the right combination for each type of sleeper. The material molds to each body, which allows the body to relax while also reducing pressure on joints. This is beneficial for those with chronic pain. However, they can amplify heat with their temperature sensitivity foam, so this is not the best choice for those who prefer cool sleeping conditions.

Latex

A latex mattress is described as similar to memory foam by those who have tried both. That is, they are typically on the firm side of the scale and support throughout the back area. Latex is a very durable material that pushes back against weight to fight against a “sinking” feeling in bed. Unfortunately, latex can not be adjusted once it is purchased, so a shopper needs to be confident in their purchase before taking the plunge.

Air Bed

A popular spin-off of the innerspring, these are not the type used when guests come over and you run out of guest rooms. Instead, the top layer of these mattresses is filled with air to control the firmness. Foam or other soft toppers are placed over it for maximum comfort. These types of beds are recommended for those with spinal cord injuries because they pinpoint air control so the problem area is not press against. The same benefits extend to those confined to their beds for a longer period of time or for couples who prefer extreme differences in firmness.

Do not be complacent and assume that the old standby is “good enough.” With new mattresses available at low prices, everyone can find their new sleeping gateway.

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The Secret Guide To Get Your Best Night’s Sleep

Sleep – it sees as if you can never get enough. You go to wake up tired, go through your day tired and fall into your bed tired, only to lay there, zillions of thoughts about your day zipping through your mind. When will you ever get a good night's rest? Is it just you?

No, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 50 to 70 million adults have problems with sleep; they add that adequate sleep is “a public health problem.” Lack of sleep, or inadequate sleep (sleep that is not deep), can lead to:

  • Falling sleep at the wheel, even during daylight hours
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Reduced quality of life and productivity

It's no wonder chronic lack of sleep, with its accompanying problems and illnesses, is a real concern.

How much sleep do you need?

The amount of sleep you need changes as you age. The national institutes of health (NIH) recommends children, including teenagers, need between nine and 10 hours of sleep each night; adults need between seven and eight hours. Yet most adults are getting less than six hours of sleep and high school children less than eight.

Obviously, you'll need more sleep if you are stressed, either physically or emotionally. A stressful job, the flu, surgery or family issues are all reasons to add extra hours of sleep to your day. However, those are also reasons why you're not getting good, quality sleep with an average of seven or eight hours each night.

The bedtime routine

Experts agree – the best way to get a good night's sleep is to have a set bedtime routine; you have one for your kids, why should not you have one yourself? The National Sleep Foundation has a list of tips and tricks to getting regular, quality sleep:

  • Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime. Eating a heavy meal in the evening, especially later in the evening, can keep your system awake and active, leading to gastric reflux, heartburn and nausea.
  • Skip the alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes at night. Obviously, both alcohol and cigarettes have health complications of their own. Caffeine and cigarettes are stimulants, which will fool the sleep receptors in your brain into thinking you have more hours to be awake. Alcohol may help you go to sleep, but the result is bad-quality sleep; long-term alcohol before bed leads to a vicious cycle of needing more sleep without being refreshed by it, leading to more drinking.
  • Have a wind-down routine. Get into the habit of winding down the same way every night. Listen to quiet music or enjoy some silence. Read, take a warm shower, do whatever it takes to get yourself into a more sleep-ready frame of mind. Jerri, a single mother of three from Oregon, says she has a routine of reading to each of her children every night after their baths, starting with the youngest; this helps her wind down, because she's snuggling her kids, reading and relaxing them, which relaxes her. Once they're in bed, Jerri takes a warm shower, sprays some lavender on her pillows and gets into bed to read. She says, “Most nights, when I follow this routine, I'm sleep within 30 minute and wake ready to take on the next day.”
  • Exercise. You do not have to run marathons every day for exercise to help you sleep. Ben, a New York financial planner, says, “Just before it's bedtime, my wife and I take our dog for a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. hectic days. ”
  • Cool down. Surprisingly, the best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees; most sleep with the bedroom temperature above 70. Your body cools in the evenings, signaling other areas of your brain that it's time to sleep. Keep the bedroom cooler and adding a blanket or two will ensure the best environment for sleep.
  • Opt for comfortable bedding. Bedding plays important role in the kind of sleep you are going to get. While the comfortable bedding can ensure you the smooth sleep throughout the night, on other hand, an uncomfortable bedding will keep you awake throughout the night. While buying designer flat sheets , you must keep comfort your topmost priority. Cotton flat sheets are one of the most comfortable, though it works on simple principle, the more thread count is, the smoother you will sleep.
  • Turn off the lights and the noise. George, a Michigan teacher, said he could not sleep without the TV was on which is why George has had chronic sleep problems. The problem was that he needed sound to keep his brain from swirling thoughts around, keeping him awake. When he went for a sleep study. George's doctor suggested turning off the lights and the TV at a set time every night and using a sleep-inducing app on his phone, with ambient sound, like a fan or a rainstorm. Julie, a firefighter in Texas, uses a box fan and ear plugs to keep the noise out.

Sleep is one of the basic necessities to maintain a healthy life. Set yourself up for the best night's sleep by planning ahead, relaxing and putting the lights out.

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Sleep Vitamins: Vitamin A is a Proven a Beneficial Remedy

Which vitamins and minerals are the most famous ones for their role in supporting good sleep? These definitely would be calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.

For example, a study in the European Neurology Journal tested calcium levels in the blood during sleep and discovered that calcium peaks at a high point during the deepest levels of sleep such as the rapid eye movement phase (REM), when dreaming occurs.

Recent studies are showing that a lesser-known vitamin also plays a vital role in preventing insomnia – the eye strengthening Vitamin A.

With the National Sleep Foundation reporting that close to 60% of Americans are experiencing sleeplessness and insomnia at least a few nights per week, many people are spending a lot of time and energy searching for some effective, natural ways to sleep better. One study on vitamin A that related to sleep was published in the PLOS Journal (Public Library of Science).

The researchers selected 2,459 adults aged 20 to 85. They discovered that people who have lower blood levels of vitamin A have higher odds of having a shorter sleep duration (ie 5-6 hours per night), compared to those with more vitamin A having a better sleep duration (7-8 hours per night).

Vitamin A, long-known for its benefits to healthy eyes and vision, is also a key to helping regulate the sleep-wake cycle. When light from the sun enters the eyes, it's vitamin A that provides the middle step for the brain to then know it's day and not night. With adequate vitamin A in the eyes at night when it's dark, one's night vision will be strong – unless most of the vitamin A is used up for its light translation duties in the day time. If the eyes are weaker at night, this is a possible sign of vitamin A deficiency. When the vitamin A sunlight signal grows weaker, the body knows it's near time to go to sleep.

The best ways to get adequate vitamin A is through whole foods – typically egg yolks, butter, vegetables with a green, yellow and orange color, liver and cod liver oil. Vitamin A supplements are also an option, but are best taken as part of a diet that includes healthy sources of vitamin A, as well as good sources of other important vitamins and minerals. Eating a healthy diet would include grass fed meats, poultry and fish, a rainbow of organic vegetables, and good fats like avocados, coconut oil and olive oil.

Another thing to consider for helping to prevent insomnia is reducing the use of electronics and TV at night or at least turning them off an hour before bed, in order to limit their melatonin-blocking effects. In an article from the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the researchers said: “Our study showed that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22 percent. sleep cycle) system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime. ”

Magnesium has been shown in several studies to treat insomnia. In one study from the University of Iran, people with insomnia were given magnesium tablets twice a day for eight weeks. They experienced significant increases in quality sleep time, with less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings. Magnesium can be found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, figs, bananas, brown rice, and other nuts and seeds. Magnesium supplements are a good option as well, particularly those containing magnesium citrate which is highly absorbable.

To sum it up, good strategies for sleeping well and avoiding insomnia include having some good sun exposure during the day, limiting use of electronic devices at night, doing some regular moderate exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and using some key supplements.

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How Important Is Sleep?

Several famous accidents can be attributed to sleep deprivation. The third mate on the Exxon Valdez oil tanker that ran aground on March 24, 1989 and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil had been wake for 18 hours before the accident. The driver of the Walmart truck that stuck Tracy Morgan's limo van in 2014 that severely injured him and killed one of his comedy writers had been awake for more than 24 hours. The workers at 3 Mile Island were sleep deprived and failed to notice the escalating core temperature which reflected in the 1979 nuclear accident. The fact that certain managers involved in the launch had slept only two hours before arriving to work at 1 AM the morning of the launch may have contributed to the Challenger explosion in 1986.

How much is enough sleep? Sleep needs vary from person to person. They vary by age, lifestyle and health. Work schedules and stress can affect the amount of sleep someone needs. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for adults aged 26 to 64 years old. They note that an amount from 6 to 10 hours per night may be appropriate.

Are you getting enough sleep? You can find out with the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). This simple but clever test designed by Dr. William Dement can be done at home.

In the late afternoon, grab a metal spoon and cookie sheet, put on your pajamas, close the drapes in your bedroom, put the cookie sheet on the floor next to your bed, and lie down with the spoon in your hand and your hand hanging over the side of the bed. Note the time and go to sleep. When you fall sleep, your hand will relax, you'll drop the spoon on the cookie sheet, and the noise will wake you so you can look at the time. The number of minutes it took from lying down to falling sleep is your sleep latency number.

· 0-5 minutes means you have a severe sleep deficit.

· 5-10 minutes means you're borderline.

· 10-15 minutes indicating a manageable sleep deficiency.

· 15-20 minutes means you're well-rested. *

· If it took you less than 10 minutes, you are endangering your health with your lack of sleep. Less than 15 minutes? You can still sleep more.

· Greater than 15 minutes? You're getting enough sleep.

* Bob Irish, “Are You An Accident Waiting to Happen? Early to Rise, December 2, 2015.

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Night Terrors in Adults – With 4 Ideas to Eliminate Them

Today I want to talk about night terrors in adults, with some ideas on eliminating them.

Night terrors as you can probably imagine episodes of intense fear when someone is trying to go to sleep. There could be screaming, thrashing around and possibly intestinal sweating. Also waking up gasping for air with intense breathing and a fast heart rate.

We all know sleep is probably one of the most important things you can do because believe it or not sleep actually washed away toxins from your brain. There are studies that prove this. Sleep is when your body heals itself, so when you are terrified it does not help you getting this valuable rest that you need.

You might be thinking well it sounds like a nightmare, but they are different according to some experts. Nightmares take place in the second half of sleep during dreaming. Some people remember their dreams and some have more of a difficult time.

Within 15 minutes of falling asleep a person probably will enter their deepest sleep, which last 45 minutes. Then they transition into a lighter sleep. Some people get stuck in between stages and experience a period of partial arousal.

At this stage someone can sleep walk, be very confused and this is where true sleep terrors take place.

Also when someone is experiencing a night terror it's usually best not to wake the person because it's presents to prolong the event. You do want to ensure the person does not hurt themselves possibly moving furniture away from them and turning on the lights may be calming.

There are many things that could cause this problem such as medication. Stressful life events could cause it as well as sleep deprivation and erratic changes to the sleep pattern.

One of the best ways to stop night terrors is to eliminate what is causing it. Possibly stop taking prescription drugs or make changes to them.

Have a set sleep pattern and stick to it. You can reduce stress in your life by sprinkling lavender oil on your pillow when you go to sleep.

A study in Britain tested the effects of lavender oil with 12 females with insomnia compared to a placebo. The ladies with lavender oil fell sleep more easily and their quality of sleep was better.

Another idea is to try kiwi fruit. In a study at Taiwan's Taipeu Medical University 24 people with sleeping problems took 2 kiwi fruits right before they went to sleep for 4 weeks.

The result was the amount of time it took to fall asleep fall by around 35%. Sleep quality improved by around 42%.

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What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

Do you snore? Or do you sleep with someone who does?

Not only does snoring make you sound as though you're cutting wood with a chainsaw – hence the term sawing logs – but it can also be dangerous.

Whether you snore or you know someone who does, here the possible causes of snoring and a few solutions so that you can alleviate the problem for good.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring is caused by one or more of the following problems, in many cases.

• An anatomical defect, such as a narrow breathing passage
• A tongue or jaw that is positioned too far back and closes off the airway
• Larger than average tonsils
• A bulky uvula (the part that hangs down in the back of your throat)
• Too much fat tissue blocking your airway

Other causes of snoring include being overweight, allergies or deformities of the cartilage of the nose.

“In addition to biological factors, there are a few lifestyle choices that can also contribute to snoring.”

She points out that smoking, drinking alcohol and taking certain medications can cause a person to snore even if they were not prone to otherwise.

As she puts it, “These cases of snoring are harmless, for the most part. Sure, it's annoying for anyone sleeping near you, but it's illegally to harm your health.”

There is one case of snoring that is not so harmless, and that's when you suffer from sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea, while common, is nothing you want to ignore.

The condition causes you to stop breathing while you slumber.

If you're thinking that you can not be good, you're right.

Some people who experience sleep apnea only quit breathing for a second or two.

But then there are those cases where people stop breathing for several long minutes. That's when things can take a turn for the worse.

What is really frightening is that some sufferers of the condition experience traumatic sleep disturbance several times during the night, sometimes over 30 times an hour.

Sleep apnea not only keeps you from resting properly, but it can wreak havoc on your own day. You'll wake up groggy, and you may find yourself falling asleep at odd times during your daylight hours. It increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and many other illnesses.

If you have a job, like construction, truck driver or pilot, you will want to get tested for sleep apnea right away so that you do not put yourself or anyone else in danger.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from sleep apnea are never diagnosed.

But what if you want to get diagnosed? What can you do?

How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you are wondering if someone you know is suffering from the condition, listen carefully as he or she sleeps. You'll hear the person wake up suddenly with a loud snort or inhale as they struggle to breathe.

If you fear that you might be suffering from the condition, have someone listened to you while you sleep to see if you do the same thing.

Of course, there are more scientific ways of finding out if you are suffering from this debilitating disorder.

Testing for Sleep Apnea

To get to the bottom of your snoring condition and to test for sleep apnea, you might want to ask your doctor to refer you to a sleep clinic.

An alternative is to ask your dental professional about a home test.

The Medibyte Machine

The Medibyte is a portable polysomnography (PSG) machine that can test for sleep apnea.

You will be given the machine to take home with you. While you sleep, the machine will test for things like apneic events, pulse rate, oxygen levels, sleeping positions and your snoring volume.

Many people prefer this because they can sleep in the comfort and privacy of their own bed and home. However, only a physician can diagnose sleep apnea but a dentist can use a portable PSG device to establish a baseline of their sleep behavior so treatment can be adjusted and verified.

Oral appliances made by a dentist are a great way to treat snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. They can be adjusted as needed and are a wonderful alternative to a CPAP machine.

How to Alleviate Snoring

If you snore, or you suspect that you do (as in others have told you), you can try to diminish the problem by:

• Losing weight
• Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol before bed
• Try resting on your side as opposed to your back to prevent your tongue from blocking your airway

You can also get fitted for a custom oral appliance that can be made to hold the lower jaw forward so that your tongue can not block your airway.

My patients prefer this type of appliance because it feels much more comfortable than the traditional CPAP machine, which has long been used to treat patients with sleep apnea.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, take the sleep apnea questionnaire, then make an appointment with a dentist.

By eliminating snoring and by getting help with your sleep apnea, you'll successfully restore your sleep and improve the quality of your life.

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Four Different Mattress Options to Consider

When it comes to choosing a mattress, some people do not give the task much thought. They go into the store, try out a few of them, skim over the prices, and then they make their choice. However, there is much more that comes along with these padding support systems than some may realize. There are several different types of mattresses that provide their unique features and advantages.

Innspring

The innerspring mattress is one of the most popular options. It features a network of steel springs and coils. The strength of the coils dictates the firmness of the padding. The amount of coils is also significant, as it determines how well the bed can support people's various shapes and sizes. Innerpring mattresses are a great option for those who are not looking to spend excessive amounts of money as it promises to be more budget-friendly.

Foam

Although they tend to be a bit more expensive, foam or memory foam mattresses provide a lot of advantages. This type of bedding system features high-density polyurethane foam. Scientifically speaking, polyurethane is typically a part of the polymer or plastic family. However, it can also come in the form of foam, which is where this type of bedding comes into play.

One of the greatest advantages of memory foam is its ability to contour to the shape of each person's body. If couples or children share a bed, then everyone will have the opportunity to experience the maximum level of comfort and relaxation.

Water

During the 19th century, waterbeds, mattresses filled with water, were sometimes used for certain medical therapies. However, this bedding option did not become widely used until the 1980s. Although this option is not as popular today, it is still a viable alternative that provides several advantages. Similar to memory foam, this type of padding also includes a form-fitting feature. Because of the lack of springs and other devices, it also helps to tie back pressure, making it a great choice for those with certain back ailments.

Air

When some people think of an air bed, the first thing that may come to mind are the mattresses used during camping trips or sleepovers. However, there is also a more sophisticated option that can be used as a legitimate form of bedding. While filled with air, these beds feature conventional padding materials, such as foam, that can add comfort. This option also allows people to adjust the firmness to their individual liking, making it another go-to choice for couples.

The types above are just a few of the many mattress options currently available on the market. Others include latex, gel, pillow top and more. Because of the many choices available, there is no doubt that almost anyone can find an option that can provide comfort, style, and the therapeutic advantages for a good night's rest.

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Seven Ways How Sleep Affects Our Weight

Majority of us are well aware of the fact that sleep deficiency makes us overweight and obese. We spend 33% of our lives sleep but we rarely give it a moment's notice until we are unable to sleep. Sleep experts across the board agree that most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, of course with few exceptions, for optimum performance, health and safety.

When we do not get adequate sleep, we accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to “pay back” if it becomes too big. Difficulty falling asleep is but one of four symptoms generally associated with insomnia. The others include waking up too early and not being able to fall back sleep, frequent awakenings, and waking up feeling un-refreshed.

Studies have found a relationship between the quantity and quality of one's sleep and health problems. Amongst many health problems associated with insufficient sleep is one that of overweight and obesity.

Having sufficient regular sleep not only helps one lose weight but also helps prevent an increase in weight in those, who regularly take good night's sleep. The underlying mechanisms of how regular sleep does so are stated below:

Normal sleep helps the body burn more calories – A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that normal sleepers have resting energy expenditure 5 percent higher than their counterparts, who have insufficient sleep. Resting energy expenditure is the amount of calories the body burns normally at rest. Therefore, normal sleepers burn about 20 percent more calories after a meal than sleep-deprived people!

It helps avoid late night snacking – When people stay up half the night, they are tempted to do more munching. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, sleep-restricted subjects, sleeping from 4 am to 8 am, gained more weight than their well-rested counterparts, sleeping from 11 pm to 8 am, mostly because they ate 550 calories from 11 pm to 4 pm, a time that the other group spent in bed sleep. This is enough to make one gain more than one pound in only a week. Moreover, well-rested people are more likely to exercise.

It makes one a wise shopper – When one is very hungry, one is likely to reach for calorie loaded foods. Similarly, when one is tired or exhausted due to lack of sleep, one is likely to reach for calorie loaded foods while shopping for food. In a study published in the journal Obesity, the researchers found that sleep-driven men bought foods having nearly 1,300 calories more than well-rested men.

It helps avoid larger portions – The experts agree that in general people have a problem of proportion distortion that leads to overeating. This distortion is more evident in persons with sleep deficiency, and so they are more likely to go for larger portion size.

It helps regulate hunger hormone – Loss of sleep increases body's production of the hormone Ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. Lack of sleep also decrees the levels of the hormone Leptin, which signals the brain, when body does not require any more food. As these two hormones are directly responsible for regulation of hunger, their imbalance makes one feel hungry all the time, thus encouraging overeating.

It helps regulate inhibitions – The researchers at Harvard Medical School performed brain scans on people, who reported high daytime sleepiness and measured their brain activity in response to high-calorie foods. The scans shown reduced activation in the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, an area of ​​the brain involved with inhibition and behavior control. In another study from Columbia University, the researchers found brain activity differences in sleep deprived people's response to food. Their study revealed increased activation in an area of ​​brain called insular cortex, which regulates pleasure-seeking behaviors. So, sleep deprived persons lose their inhibitory control over impulsiveness to reach for high calorie foods.

It helps reduce stress – Many report that their stress increases when the length and quality of their sleep decreases. As many as thirty-seven percent of adults report fatigue or feeling tired because of stress. Chronic stress unleashes a hormone called cortisol, which increases appetite and ramps up motivation to eat. Stress also seems to affect food preferences, increasing the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both.

The bottom line –

Statistics indicate that more than 30% of population worldwide suffers from insomnia. People, who suffer from sleep deprivation, are 27% more likely to become overweight or obese. A study at Columbia University revealed that people, who sleep five hours or less per night, almost double their risk of becoming obese. So, these sobering statistics underscore the importance of good night's sleep everyday!

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Awake Again? How to Naturally Get Back to Sleep at Night

Probably the most frequent question asked in my insomnia workshops is what to do about those pesky middle of the night wake-ups. There is no one right answer, especially since it largely depends on what has woken the sleeper in the first place. Today I want to focus on a specific situation common to most every class: “What about those nights when I have NO IDEA why I am awake? Those nights when I am not stressed, upset, or worried about anything in particular, but I just wake up for no reason. ”

I know those nights well and they are frustrating to say the least! Here is my advice:

1) When you first notice you are awake, do the best you can not to wake up fully. Do not open your eyes and do not look at the clock; just try to soothe yourself back to sleep. Sometimes this works.

2) If you do fully wake up, go ahead and look at the clock, go to the bathroom if need be, and then give yourself a gentle window of about 15-20 minutes to fall back to sleep, using whatever relaxation technique you may know. I sometimes focus on breathing in and out through my heart, imagining white light surrounding me and moving through my whole body. Some of my clients count backwards, others listen to something soothing. Whatever works! If you have not fallen sleep after about 15-20 minutes, ask yourself an important question: Am I honestly feeling calm, relaxed, and peaceful, or am I feeling frustrated, disappointed or angry that I am not sleepy yet? This may sound silly, but it is a very important distinction to make. In general, for those of us with sensitive sleep systems, emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and disappointment push sleep away, while feelings of love, safety, and trust invite sleep in. If you are genially feeling relaxed, peaceful, and calm you will either fall asleep at least or at least be able to rest your mind and body. I know for myself, however, with my vast history of insomnia and being miserable during the day because of it, I can go from peacefully sleep to irate that I have woken up in a matter of minutes. Some nights I can tune right into white light, deep breathing, comforting thoughts and soothing feelings and go back to sleep fairly quickly and other nights I can not. I am simply too angry, anxious, disappointed, and / or frustrated that my sleep was disrupted again. For those nights I recommend a version of EFT / tapping called the “Release and Replace Technique.”

3) For the release part of the process, I tune into the negative emotion, trying to make it as strong as possible, and tap as hard as I can – practically pounding – on the points. For example, while tapping on the side of the hand I might say something like,

Even though I am disappointed, frustrated, and anxious that I am awake at this hour when I was so hopefully going to sleep through the night, I am choosing to feel these feelings fully and release them.

As I drum on each point, I imagine each emotion releasing as black smoke:

Head: all this frustration

Eyebrows: all this anger

Side of the eyes: so disappointed

Under the eyes: I wanted to be sleep but I'm awake

Upper lip: I am wake AGAIN

Chin: So frustrated

Collar bone: so anxious!

Under the arm: all this disappointment

Then I sit for a moment and imagine all these negative emotions drifting away in a cloud of black smoke, eventually vanishing into nothing.

4) When I feel more neutral, I begin the replacement part of the process. The idea is to replace the feelings that keep sleep away, such as frustration, anger, and anxiety, with those that invite sleep in, such as love, trust, and gratitude. These feelings may be harder to get in touch with than the frustration and anger that is right on the surface, but here are some suggestions:

  • Focus on someone or something you love deeply: your child's face, your pet's expression, or the face of anyone else you love very much
  • Focus on someone or something you are grateful for
  • Imagine a place of deep peace and safety
  • Imagine connecting with a higher power and being enfolded in its arms and matched back to sleep.
  • Think of anything at all that brings a smile or joy to your heart

I then sit and allow my heart to fill with white light and unconventional love. I send it out to the Universe in all directions.

In just a short time I can go from irate and wide awake to peaceful and ready to sleep. The other night I went back to bed and slept almost six more hours!

Next time you wake up for no apparent reason, and you are unable to soothe yourself back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, ask yourself how you are feeling about being awake. If you are experiencing feelings that are chasing sleep away, trying releasing them and replacing them with feelings that invite sleep in. You may be pleasantly surprised to have a decent night after all.

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How to Find the Mattress of Your Dreams

Shopping for a mattress has never been more complicated. Memory foam, gel, latex, innerspring – every brand seems to have its own language. If you do not know what to look for, you could end up paying way too much for something that does not fit your sleep style.

What Size Should I Choose?

First, decide what size you need – if you have a small room you may opt for a full-size bed or you may want the spacious comfort of a California king. King and Queen sizes often come with a split box spring (two smaller box springs that form together) for maneuverability. This is a great time to shop for a replacement box spring, as well. Failure to do this could void the warranty on your new mattress, and it could also shorten the lifespan by not providing enough support. You can often get a discount by buying both at the same time!

What Materials Do I Choose?

The two main types of mattresses are traditional innerspring and memory foam. Innerprings have seen innovations in recent years, such as “pocked coil” technology that allows each spring to move separately. Memory foam (originally developed by NASA), can come in a variety of options. It may feature cooling gel or be paired with another material such as latex foam (for added support), and may be made of two or more layers.

If you get hot easily, look for breathable materials that will let air flow freely, and consider something with cooling gel. Also, you should choose an option with good support – if you sink deep into your bed, it will absorb and retain more of your body heat than if you stay closer to the surface.

How Soft Should It Be?

The next consideration when choosing your mattress is more personal – How do you sleep? You may like to sleep on a rock-hard surface, or you might crave one as plush as your pillow.

The materials used will affect the softness to some extent, such as latex foam creating stability, as stated above. However, additional cushioning really determines how soft your bed will be. There are three styles of pillow: pillowtop, Eurotop, and tight top. Pillowtops have visible cushioning sewn onto the top, while Eurotop has the cushioning sewn inside. A tight top has no added cushion, for an extra firm sleep. Try to avoid going something too soft or too firm, as this can create painful problems over time.

When you have decided what is important to you, you will be better prepared to face the showroom. You will be able to find the best mattress that fits your budget without being pushed into buying something with features you do not need. Look for a store that will let you try out your purchase at home for a period of time. Some places offer a 100-night warranty, while others do not accept returns at all, so be sure to ask.

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