help me sleep Archives – Sleep Techniques

By Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat

Being sleep deprived isn’t much fun. I spent years in and out of a state of chronic sleep deprivation, so I know the feeling all too well.

What most folks fail to consider is that chronic sleep deprivation is a source of toxicity. It causes the release of stress hormones. That means that a chronic lack of sleep is a risk factor for all chronic illness, because we’re chronically toxic and chronically not cycling through the optimal levels of cellular repair and restoration that are supposed to take place each night while we’re sleeping.

There are serious consequences of not getting better sleep.

Internal Effects:

  • increases the risk for all chronic illness – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, digestive issues, thyroid imbalance, and so on.
  • mental, emotional and cognitive effects – more easily stressed, brain fog, short-term memory decline, learning disorders, lack of clarity and focus.

External Effects:

  • looking more tired and less healthy (I feel like I look a decade older if I’m sleep deprived. As if being exhausted isn’t insult enough!)
  • weight gain and/or challenges with dropping excess pounds – this is due to the long-term release of stress hormones, like cortisol, as well as the lack of the fat burning hormone, growth hormone, which is supposed to be released during deep sleep cycles.

These less-than-desirable effects are cumulative. The more nights you’re deprived of good, deep sleep, the worse the effects are, especially in the area of cognitive function.

In a two-week sleep restriction study reported in the New York Times, the subjects only getting 4-6 hours of sleep per night (as opposed to 8 hours) for two weeks had the same level of cognitive impairment they would have if they were drunk. Imagine all the people out there functioning at this level each day!

Here are 6 suggestions to start getting better sleep:

1) Live a healthy lifestyle overall.

The majority of the time, eat healthy foods and get regular, invigorating exercise. Aim for balance.

2) Prepare for sleep – Chill out and power down.

Don’t do intense exercise within 2-3 hours of your intended bedtime… even longer, if you can help it.

Go to bed when you’re tired. Not the couch. Not the recliner. Bed.

Decrease mental stimulation as sleep time approaches. Again, not the time for scary movies, late night (bad) news, or stressful encounters. This also includes backing away from all your connections and screens for the night – computer, phone, ipad, television, and whatever gadgets you’ve got these days.

Have relaxing rituals and routines at night. Deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, light reading, writing in a gratitude journal, whatever works for you!

I like to jot down plans, action steps, and ideas for the next day so that my brain can calm down when it’s time to sleep.

3) Watch your evening intake.

No alcohol a couple hours before bed. (If you’re really sleep deprived and really desperate to improve here, cut it out all together for a couple weeks and see what happens)

Keep all liquids to a minimum for your last couple hours – helps with night time trips to the bathroom.

I wouldn’t recommend having caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, or at least not 8 hours or so before you’d like to sleep.

If you need a late night snack, base it on healthy fats and protein, not starchy carbs or other high-sugar foods.

Really, the same can be said for dinner. I know this can be tough, but dinner (especially a late dinner) is not a wise time to scarf down a big plate of pasta, a loaf of bread, or a bunch of grains in any form. While we’re at it, you should pass on the high-sugar dessert for the same reasons.

4) Consider your sleep environment.

Sleeping in complete darkness is best. This allows optimal release of the “sleep and relaxation hormone”, melatonin. Even if you have to get up to use the bathroom during the night, try not to flip on lights. It interrupts this hormonal release.

Move anything giving off EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) away from your noggin. E.g. your digital clock.

Several studies indicate that an air temperature around 60 degrees, give or take, is the best for optimal sleep. Most people have trouble sleeping when it’s too hot, or the heat is cranked all night.

Having a window cracked for fresh air in and the escape of carbon dioxide can also be helpful.

Make sure your feet are warm. I found this to be true for me. Cold feet keep me tossing and turning all night. Solution? Socks. You’re welcome. That’s why they pay me the big bucks, right there.

Try some “white noise” or use ear plugs if external noises are disrupting your sleep. I keep a small fan on in our room.

The more peaceful, relaxing, and ‘tidy’ your bedroom is, the more likely you are to be fully relaxed in it.

5) Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.

I’ve resisted this in the past, no doubt, thinking I’ve “earned” some extra shut-eye on a weekend morning. But, it’s probably no coincidence that I’ve been very consistent with my bedtime and waking time for the last few months and my sleep has dramatically improved. Therefore, so has my focus, memory, clarity, and productivity. Give it a try for a couple weeks and see how it works for you.

6) It could be something else.

Your challenges in getting better sleep could be the result of certain medication, or a combination of medications, you’re taking. Many have that effect. Talk to your prescribing doctor about an exit strategy and a real solution for whatever you’re currently taking.

You might have some chronic hormonal imbalances or hormonal resistance. This could be from chronic toxicity and inflammation. Until that’s resolved, all hormonal function can be skewed.

In the case of sleep, some of the big hormonal players are cortisol, melatonin, and insulin, to name just a few. In some cases of hormonal imbalance, the result is that you can’t fall asleep. In other cases, you can fall asleep, but then you wake up often and can’t get back to sleep. I feel your frustration.

By the way, remember that if your cortisol levels are off (or the receptors are congested due to toxicity and inflammation) you’re going to gain weight and have a tough time losing it.

Having sensitivities to certain foods can keep you awake at night, too. If you have gut permeability issues (most likely the case if you’re sensitive to many foods), this can cause symptoms and discomfort that keeps you restless.

The good news is that there are solutions that address (and correct) the root cause of inflammation, toxicity, hormonal resistance, and gut permeability issues. I wouldn’t expect to find them via your family doc, however! Typically, you’ve got to branch out from the basic treatment protocol offered by conventional practitioners and get into more functional diagnostics and care.

Of course, there can be other reasons for occasional or temporary loss of sleep; things like stressful situations or events, or certain seasons of our lives (like co-sleeping with a baby or young children), or travel, or a major change in life, and so on.

The occasional and temporary loss of sleep isn’t so horrible. Humans can be pretty amazing at adapting to stressful environments when we need to. When the sleep deprivation becomes chronic, though, we need to take it seriously and work to correct it just like we would with any other health condition.

Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. Her unique perspective and understanding of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those striving for lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through the science of nutrition, movement and mindset, visit


How to Sleep Better

This video ends up being a commercial for a massage tool to help you sleep. But the information Dr. Berg gives before hand is very good for anyone that cant sleep from time to time (and who doesn’t?)

Less than five minutes, I think it is worth your time.

We have some additional ideas to try when sleep is elusive here.


Cant Sleep? – These Ideas Might Help

This video ends up being a commercial for a massage tool to help you sleep. But the information Dr. Berg gives before hand is very good for anyone that cant sleep from time to time (and who doesn’t?)

Less than five minutes, I think it is worth your time.

We have some additional ideas to try when sleep is elusive here.


Not Able to Sleep

Using OTC Sleep Aids

With insomnia and other sleeping difficulties, most doctors would prescribe over-the-counter medications like sleeping pills and other such drugs that are readily available.


Sleep Techniques – How To Sleep Better

This video ends up being a commercial for a massage tool to help you sleep. But the information Dr. Berg gives before hand is very good for anyone that cant sleep from time to time (and who doesn’t?)

Less than five minutes, I think it is worth your time.

We have some additional ideas to try when sleep is elusive here.

One thing is certain, you can’t figure out how to fall asleep by stressing about not sleeping. If you are looking hints about how to sleep and how to sleep quickly, this article may offer you the advice you need.

Why Aren’t You Sleeping?

Start by identifying why you aren’t able to sleep. List all the things you suspect may be affecting your sleep. When your list is complete you will have a pretty accurate outline of the problem. It is highly likely that you will identify an increase in stress and/or anxiety to be the reasons you are not able to sleep. Other frequent culprits are a poor diet and generally bad sleeping environments.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Experts on the subject of sleep instruct patients suffering from poor sleep habits begin to solve the problem by establishing good sleep hygiene habits:

1. Condition your body for bedtime every night by developing a bedtime routine consisting of 5 indicators that tell your body it is time to sleep.

2. Note that the bedroom is meant for sleeping and sex and should not be used for any other activities. This means no computers, smartphones, TVs, or other devices allowed.

3. Don’t stress about sleep. If for some reason you are unable to sleep, don’t fight it, get out of bed and do something else until you feel sleepy again.

4. Go to bed the same time every night and awake at the same time each morning. Follow this schedule even on weekends.

5. How to fall asleep should not be an issue present in your mind, and this will only seek to make you anxious. Sleep is a natural bodily function and should not be over thought about on focused on too much.

Use your Built in Clock

Your body has a built in biological clock conditioned to sleep at set times each day. Maintaining this routine is essential. Instead of worrying about how to go to sleep, focus more on making sleep time a ritual. If you want to read before bedtime, make it a routine thing every night. If you like listening to music, doing so each night before bed lets your body know that it is time to sleep.

Use the Bedroom for its Intended Function

Oftentimes, people use the bedroom as a multi-purpose room. They eat in the bedroom, watch television and even do paper work and allow clutter. Sleep researchers say that if you want to sleep well consistently the bedroom should be used only for sleeping and sex.

The bedroom environment should also be conductive for sleeping. This means keeping the lights dim and maintaining an cool temperature during the night. It is also a good idea to open the bedroom window for a period of time to let fresh air into the room.

Can’t Sleep? Do Something Else

If you are unable to fall asleep after being in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and go to another room. Try light, slow stretching exercises for 10 minutes or so, and then return to your bedroom once you start feeling sleepy again. Stretch each muscle in your body one by one, from toe to neck, concentrating on making each one tired as you go.

Worrying about how to fall asleep makes things even more stressful. Instead incorporate positive and healthy changes to your lifestyle. Maintaining good sleep hygiene will help you settle into a disciplined routine which is, by far, most important when learning how to sleep quickly.

By Ryan English

Using OTC Sleep Aids

With insomnia and other sleeping difficulties, most doctors would prescribe over-the-counter medications like sleeping pills and other such drugs that are readily available. As effective as they can be in short term, their side effects are well documented. From dependence to serious health risks and even death, these types of medication are no strangers to the darker side of life. For patients with insomnia and other related ailments, warnings and tips on using OTC sleep aids are needed to warn them of the risks involved.

These medications may be quick fixes that yield results right off the bat, but they are not long term cures for sleep illnesses. With this in mind, it is best to understand that for things like acute insomnia, OTC sleep aids can be very effective. However, beware of the adverse side-effects involved improper use of sedatives. Issues like forgetfulness, excessive sleepiness, lack of alertness, physiological and psychological dependence, and even death.

Preventing Harmful Side Effects

To prevent these harmful effects, certain steps should be followed before initial dosage. These following pointers are crucial in maintaining good health while taking these drugs. Here are the main principles for safe and moderate use of sleep medication:

  • – Before use, always consult your doctor and ask if it is safe for you. Follow his/her recommendations and advice so that you may go through treatment without a hitch.
  • – Never, under any circumstances, take sleeping pills with alcohol. This may be common knowledge to most, but constant reminders are still necessary so that there will be no mistakes made. Doing so is a mistake most people will never live to regret. Since alcohol is a strong depressant that slows the functions of the brain and respiration, then its effects can stack up with those of sleeping pills and lead to fatal consequences.
  • – Read the instructions and follow the indicated dosages. Start with the most minimum dosage possible then slowly build up until the recommended maximum and never exceed it. This is best to get the best effect out of the medication without suffering the side effects.
  • – Consider other medications currently taken as OTC sleep aids may yield adverse side effects upon being mixed with other chemicals.
  • – Take note of your mental state, mood, and recent actions as they may indicate the side effects of your medication.
  • – Take the medication only sporadically to avoid harmful side effects as they may decrease effectiveness and cause dependence and other risks.
  • – Avoid taking other types of medication as they may only hinder with the sleeping pills’ effectiveness.
  • – Do not drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery upon initial dosage as you may never know what effects it may have had on you. Doing otherwise may lead to an accident.
  • – Regularly consult your doctor as you go along through treatment and give him/her a report of your progress.

By taking the necessary precautions and following your doctor’s advice, you are sure to keep safe while taking sedatives for your sleeping problems. As long as you heed the helpful warnings and tips on using OTC sleep aids, then there should be no need to worry.

By G. Smitty

In our hectic, tuned in modern times, very many issues require your attention. You have a job, a business, a family, relatives, friends and many other personal responsibilities. It’s no wonder you will hear several people saying “I can’t sleep”! When you have too many responsibilities, you are much more likely to be stressed up. Your productivity level will probably go down if you cannot sleep or set aside a quiet time each day to unwind. There is a reason why God himself created livings things that cannot do without sleep. You certainly need to avoid sleepless nights in your life. If you cannot do it alone, you possibly have a serious health problem. Start by seeking the help from a doctor.

Sometimes people experience insomnia because of something they cannot explain. Again, men, women and children will experience a sleep problem because of specific health problem. For instance, a menopausal woman certainly endures sleepless nights related to this stage of life. Children may refuse to sleep as they begin to understand things around them. In simpler words, you should see a physician for examination. Your insomnia problem is not necessarily similar to your husband’s, wife’s, friends’ and so on. A physician will help you to understand the cause of your problem and recommend some sleep remedies.

He or she will do the same in case your little or bigger kid is missing his or her sleep. There are many possible solutions for insomnia. If you recently heard someone saying, “I can’t sleep”, please share with him or her the following sleep remedies:

Maintain a sleeping pattern – This is possibly one of the most effective methods of improving your sleep problem. If you use this method, you will certainly solve the problem in the future. Many times, you change your sleeping patterns because of responsibilities. Occasionally you simply want to work overtime with your home computer. Other times you get tempted to continue watching the TV until after your usual sleeping time. The same case applies to babies. Once you disturb their sleeping patterns once, this becomes a major problem. Once you set your sleep time, your brain will remind you everyday when the time comes.

Control the room temperature – Once you notice that you cannot sleep normally, please control the room temperature. Perhaps your bedroom is too warm, which makes you turn and wake up throughout the night. A colder environment is much better for a person who cannot sleep.

Turn off the bedroom or house lights – As experts confirm, a specific substance known as the Melatonin is produced to make us sleep swiftly and for a long duration. They continue to say that your body will not produce it if by chance; any kind of light makes contact with it. It is therefore important to turn off lights as you sleep.

Eat particular type of food – You should certainly ask your doctor if the food you usually eat affect your sleeping patterns. Eating light foods will make you sleep quickly and peacefully.

Reduce your stress levels – Many people can tell when they have stress, and others cannot. This is why a visit to your doctor will help. He or she is likely to give you the correct sleep pills or stress pills if it happens to cause your insomnia problem.

Buy some herbal remedies – As many of you know already, some herbal drinks such as tea work. There are herbal oils used for bathing or apply the oils on your bedding to help you sleep well. There is no reason to say, I can’t sleep anymore as you can see.

G. Smitty is a writer who loves to discuss many topics ranging from can’t sleep to professional basketball. Thanks for reading!


Insomnia Facts To Know

If you can’t get to sleep, and stay asleep, or you are dealing with other sleeping disorder symptoms, you may well be wondering if you have insomnia. Maybe so. Here are the insomnia facts you should know.


How Much Sleep Is Really Required?


How Much Sleep Do You Need?

How much sleep you require depends on various factors – especially your age. Consider these basic guidelines for different age groups:


How to Go to Sleep and Get a Good Night’s Rest

A lot of people suffer from insomnia and don’t even know it. They go through life in misery never understanding that they are afflicted by this disorder and continue marching through life as if they had good sense.


Regular Exercise Improves Sleep


Why Regular Exercise Improves Sleep And Provides Energy

Have you ever noticed how after a great workout session you feel deliciously tired? You’re both satisfied and proud of yourself for taking care of your body and you know that you have done something worthwhile for your health.


Get Better Sleep – With Food!

There are many over-the-counter sleep aids, prescriptions, and methods you could use to teach yourself to get better sleep habits. But one place you may not have thought about is controlling your sleep success via your diet choices!