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Sleeping Disorders: Types and Treatments

There are a lot of reasons why someone may go through insufficient sleep, many of which are medical. However, it is important to manage sleeping disorders as just that – disorders. This means you may be experiencing a lack of sleep on a regular basis or, just every once in a while you’ll want to fully grasp the source of the issue and resolve the issue – before you suffer multiple sleepless nights.

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Not Able To Sleep? Try This

What To Try When You Are Not Able To Sleep

If you are having trouble and not able to sleep, you might assume you’ll never fall asleep normally again. Do you remain awake all night willing yourself to sleep and failing terribly? Do you ever stagger through your day in a fog? Did it seem to be sleeping pills are the only hope remaining? Don’t cave in to the false promises of pills. Sleeping pills, be they prescription or over-the-counter, are not a good solution when you are not able to sleep. True, they are more than capable of drugging you into a stupor. But they will not cure insomnia.

Falling asleep is usually a natural process which is closely related to relaxation. When you are not able to sleep, attempting to make yourself get to sleep is just as futile as forcing yourself to relax. It hardly ever succeeds on demand. The harder you attempt to sleep, the more alert you are. Falling asleep just isn’t anything you can achieve with focus. Actually, it’s easier considering the complete opposite of concentration. Sleep is a lot easier if your mind is permitted to wander.

Sleep Aids Are Not The Answer

This is exactly why sleep aids are a really bad approach when you are not able to sleep. Our systems crave routine regardless of whether we like it or not. It’s the reason why athletes and musicians practice their crafts relentlessly. Although our brain understands how to proceed, our actual physical bodies have to practice and learn. If you are not able to sleep it might be because your body has forgotten how to sleep. When you start to depend on sleeping pills, going to sleep normally becomes even tougher. You can easily develop both an emotional and a physical attachment to sleeping medicines. The more you take them, the more the body will become used to the effect of the pills and the harder it will be to get to sleep naturally.

The next time you are not able to sleep, instead of heading to the pharmacy, try this method instead: Lie on your back in bed and start taking deep breaths. Close your eyes and pretend your body is getting heavy. Imagine yourself sinking ever deeper into the your bed. Don’t think about trying to sleep. Instead, focus on unwinding a specific part of your body. For instance, make sure your left big toe is really as peaceful as it can be. How about the toe alongside it, is it peaceful too? Continue this exercise until your whole body is as relaxed. But I’ll bet you never complete the task> As you concentrate on relaxing parts of your body, you will probably find yourself drifting off to sleep well before you have finished.

What’s happening here? Simply put you have given your conscious mind something productive to try and do. While the mind is so occupied, your body is in a position to relax and fall asleep. By breathing deeply and progressively unwinding, you are starting to re-train yourself to go to sleep. Healthy techniques like this are far better and more effective than artificial sleep aids. Once you understand more about the way your body is designed to work, then you will see why natural sleep aids and healthful lifestyle options are far better than pharmacy remedies.

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Establishing a Sleep Schedule

How to Get Yourself into a Regular, Healthy Sleep Schedule

How well you function during the day is a direct reflection on how well you slept during the night. Unfortunately, many of us do not get the number of hours of sleep our body needs. Stress, insomnia or an irregular work schedule can quickly put you into sleep deficit, but these five tips can help you establish and healthy sleep schedule and sleep better.

Establish a routine sleep schedule

We all have a natural biological sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm. By getting the hours you sleep in synch with it, you’ll get the best sleep. To do that, make sure you go to bed and get up around the same times each day – even on your days off. A 15 minute change in either time can throw your circadian rhythm off. If you are getting enough sleep, you should naturally wake up without needing an alarm.

Maximize melatonin production

Our body naturally produces the hormone melatonin which helps us go to sleep. The production of it is controlled by exposure to light. During the day when it is light out a minimal amount is produced. During the hours of darkness, the maximum amount is produced, thus making us tired and able to fall asleep.

To maximize the amount of melatonin your body produces, minimize the amount of time you are exposed to light, like from the TV or computer monitor, before going to bed. Instead, listen to soothing music or read a book.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly

The conditions in your bedroom can make it easier to fall asleep or harder. Quiet, cool and comfort are the keys. If it is noisy outside, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out the noise. We sleep better if the temperature in our bedroom is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.

Make sure you have enough room in bed. If you can’t stretch out or turn over comfortably, then think about investing in a larger bed.

Watch what you eat or drink before going to bed

Stay away from big meals within 3 hours of going to bed. If you are hungry, eat something light and small, like half a turkey sandwich or a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal. Also avoid alcohol before going to bed. While many people think it will help them sleep better, the opposite is actually true. While it does help you fall asleep faster, you’ll be more likely to wake up during the night.

Reduce stress

If you are still wound up from the day at work when you go to bed, you have a harder time getting to sleep. While your body may be tired, your mind will still be wide awake. Find ways to reduce your stress level before going to bed. Meditation, yoga, reading a book, listening to soothing music can all work to reduce your stress level so you can get to sleep faster.

Use these tips to help you establish a consistent sleep schedule and sleep better. You’ll feel more refreshed in the morning and better ready to handle whatever comes your way during the day.

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Not Able To Sleep? Try This

What To Try When You Are Not Able To Sleep

If you are having trouble and not able to sleep, you might assume you’ll never fall asleep normally again. Do you remain awake all night willing yourself to sleep and failing terribly? Do you ever stagger through your day in a fog? Did it seem to be sleeping pills are the only hope remaining? Don’t cave in to the false promises of pills. Sleeping pills, be they prescription or over-the-counter, are not a good solution when you are not able to sleep. True, they are more than capable of drugging you into a stupor. But they will not cure insomnia.

Falling asleep is usually a natural process which is closely related to relaxation. When you are not able to sleep, attempting to make yourself get to sleep is just as futile as forcing yourself to relax. It hardly ever succeeds on demand. The harder you attempt to sleep, the more alert you are. Falling asleep just isn’t anything you can achieve with focus. Actually, it’s easier considering the complete opposite of concentration. Sleep is a lot easier if your mind is permitted to wander.

Sleep Aids Are Not The Answer

This is exactly why sleep aids are a really bad approach when you are not able to sleep. Our systems crave routine regardless of whether we like it or not. It’s the reason why athletes and musicians practice their crafts relentlessly. Although our brain understands how to proceed, our actual physical bodies have to practice and learn. If you are not able to sleep it might be because your body has forgotten how to sleep. When you start to depend on sleeping pills, going to sleep normally becomes even tougher. You can easily develop both an emotional and a physical attachment to sleeping medicines. The more you take them, the more the body will become used to the effect of the pills and the harder it will be to get to sleep naturally.

The next time you are not able to sleep, instead of heading to the pharmacy, try this method instead: Lie on your back in bed and start taking deep breaths. Close your eyes and pretend your body is getting heavy. Imagine yourself sinking ever deeper into the your bed. Don’t think about trying to sleep. Instead, focus on unwinding a specific part of your body. For instance, make sure your left big toe is really as peaceful as it can be. How about the toe alongside it, is it peaceful too? Continue this exercise until your whole body is as relaxed. But I’ll bet you never complete the task> As you concentrate on relaxing parts of your body, you will probably find yourself drifting off to sleep well before you have finished.

What’s happening here? Simply put you have given your conscious mind something productive to try and do. While the mind is so occupied, your body is in a position to relax and fall asleep. By breathing deeply and progressively unwinding, you are starting to re-train yourself to go to sleep. Healthy techniques like this are far better and more effective than artificial sleep aids. Once you understand more about the way your body is designed to work, then you will see why natural sleep aids and healthful lifestyle options are far better than pharmacy remedies.

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Night Terror

To start, it’s important to understand that night-terrors and nightmares are not the same things. In fact, they are completely different. On a basic level, nightmares are dreams that an individual can clearly recall when they awaken. Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, or pavor nocturnus, are not dreams. Night Terror is a frightening sleep disorder where a person will become terrified in a sleep episode, then has no memory of the event once they are fully awake.

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Sleep and Peak Fitness

The Role of Sleep in Achieving Your Peak Fitness

Think of your body as a car. If you continually drive your car, it wears out quicker. The same thing happens to your body. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll start to experience fatigue, illness and weight gain.

During the night when you are sleeping, your body is repairing itself from the day’s activities. Small muscle tears are healing and hormone levels are being adjusted back to normal.

Repairing Muscle

During sleep, more blood is supplied to your muscles so there is an increased amount of oxygen and nutrients available. Then during the non-REM portion of sleep, the pituitary gland releases a shot of the growth hormone GH. Because more oxygen and nutrients are already at the muscle, the repair and growth happen when the growth hormone signals it to begin.

Of course when you don’t get enough sleep, not as much of the growth hormone is released, so not as much repair and growth occurs, eventually leading to loss of muscle mass, weight gain and fatigue.

Hormones and Weight Gain

When we don’t get enough sleep the hormones cortisol, ghrelin and leptin get out of whack in our system.

Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands when the body is faced with a “fight or flight” situation. Unfortunately, for many of us our normal daily activities involve enough stress to have elevated cortisol levels in our systems. When you don’t get enough sleep that level stays elevated longer than it should. The effects of an elevated cortisol level over time is weight gain.

Why cortisol results in weight gain is due to what it does in the body. When cortisol is released, it floods the bloodstream with glucose so the body have the energy it needs to deal with the stress while at the same time inhibiting the release of insulin. So now the cells are deprived of glucose and cortisol won’t let insulin put back the glucose it took out. The cells signal the brain you are hungry. High levels of cortisol can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

The hormones ghrelin and leptin have opposite effects of each other. Ghrelin, produced in the stomach and pancreas, signals your brain it is time to eat. Leptin is produced in the fat cells and is responsible for telling your body that you are full. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin builds up, but leptin does not thus leaving you hungry all the time. And what are you going to do if you feel hungry? Eat, which leads to weight gain.

Also when sleep deprived, part of that hungry feeling will be a craving for sugar, fats, salt and refined carbs – all which we know are not good for you and result in water retention and weight gain.

So it is pretty easy to see that if you are not getting enough sleep, your efforts to reach peak fitness will be stymied at the least and unachievable at the most.

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Power Nap: The Good and the Bad


A power nap during the day can be very helpful or it can upset our body clocks (circadian rhythm). Napping (even a short one) can cause you to experience insomnia when you try to go to bed that evening.

There are certain benefits to napping. By taking a power nap you can take a few minutes to relax. You can wake up in a better mood and feel more alert. You may see improvement in your reaction times, your memory skills and make fewer mistakes.

But, that being said, napping is not for everyone. Sometimes you may wake up feeling disoriented or groggy. Taking a nap during the day can affect your sleep so you might find you either can’t get to sleep, fall asleep, stay asleep or you can wake up extremely early in the morning.

Some people prefer to schedule a power nap and it can recharge them for several more hours during the day or night. A power nap is a nap that is extremely short in duration but you awake feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. Not everyone can take a power nap and feel this way.

As we become more and more sleep-deprived, we may need to rely on a nap just to stay awake during the day. Even if you take just a short nap every now and then, say 20-30 minutes, you can improve your performance, alertness and mood.

There are actually three different types of naps you can take:

  • Habitual Nap. This is a person who takes a nap at the same time every day.
  • Emergency Nap. This is a nap that comes on suddenly and without any warning. You become so tired that you feel you can’t stay awake one more minute without dozing for a short while.
  • Planned Nap. If you have activities such as a late night party and you know you are going to be staying up past your normal bed time, you might want to try to lie down and take a short nap.

There are positive and negative effects to napping so just figure out your own body clock and it will help you determine your personal need for a nap. Some people never need a nap. Other people can’t function without a nap during the day (whether they are elderly or not). By getting enough of the good type of sleep at night you won’t need to take a nap. But if you do need a nap, follow the rules of napping to avoid other problem such as insomnia.

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Sleep and Weight Gain

The Link Between Sleep and Weight Gain

Lack of sleep isn’t any fun. But did you know that it can actually play a role in putting on weight? Yep, maybe you have just found the reason why your fat burning and weight reduction efforts have proven ineffective up to now. Important studies tell us that sleeplessness will not directly result in extra weight. But, there is certainly a link between sleep and weight gain.

However the conscious routines that a number of people make to address the tired, sluggish feelings they have during the day that develop from insomnia could be inducing you to put on weight.

Think about it for a minute. You turn and toss during the night, you struggle to fall asleep, and when you do, you are sleeping restlessly. Just when you’re enjoying some wonderful deep sleep, your alarm reminds you you have bills to cover. You get sluggishly out of bed and go to the kitchen, directly for the coffee maker.

Sugar to the Rescue!

Generous quantities of sugar in your morning java get you going through an energy boost. But after only an hour or two at the job, you need to take a candy treat, doughnut or snack for another shot of energy.

The day finally ends, and you are still so beat and worn out you decide to pass up your scheduled visit to the gym.

When you arrive home, you’ll find kids and dinner as well as dishes and other responsibilities you need to tend to. You certainly cannot do that if you’re sleepy, so you reach for an energy drink or soda. By the time that you’re set to go to bed, you will be so sugar-packed and caffeine-injected that there is simply no earthly way you will sleep well.

So your insomnia starts once again, nurturing this sleep deprived routine of waking behaviors that virtually beg for an insomnia instance night after night. How do you deal with this behavior which works to cement the link between sleep and weight gain?

You should keep a daily log which chronicles your every daily action, as well as your sleep habits during the night. This will help your doctor spot poor health patterns which might be creating your sleeping disorder symptoms in the first place. And if this journal shows that you’re not personally accountable for your insomnia, light therapy can be given as a good treatment for resetting your natural clock.

Time Your Meals and Snacks

You should also never eat or drink foods with sugar and/or caffeine 8 hours before you anticipate falling asleep. It’s been proven that sleeping and waking up at the same time each day and night can produce a comfortable rhythm which results in improved sleep, and also to better daily performance.

Be sure that you are consuming at least 2 quarts (8 cups) of water every day. This cuts down on water retention that also adds weight, but it also helps regulate your digestive tract helping you to sleep more. Just try not to drink too many liquids within a couple of hours of bedtime. That triggers nighttime potty visits that disrupt your sleep.

Health professionals know that sleep loss on it’s own doesn’t magically cause your body to gain weight. But the link between sleep and weight gain can lead to day-to-day habits on your part making your body horde fat, and putting on weight is a normal result.

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Common Insomnia Causes and Cures


Are you having trouble sleeping? If so, welcome to the world that millions of people around the globe live in. It can be hard to deal with insomnia, especially if there isn’t really a reason why you can’t sleep. Here are some of the more common insomnia causes and then some home grown cures that will help:

Common Insomnia Causes

Stress

– If you’re stressed, your body is designed to produce hormones that will pump you up – making you better able to handle the stress. Cut back on the stress in your life, and watch your sleep improve.

Stimulus

– Many people drink coffee late in the afternoon, and this can cause your nervous system to stimulate your body. If there is light or noise around you, this is another kind of stimulus that can cause you trouble sleeping.

Hormones

– Many women going through menopause will find that they can’t sleep as a result of their fluctuating hormones, and men suffer the same problem at different times in their lives.

Schedule Disruption

– If you’re used to sleeping at a certain time, in a certain place, and in a certain way, disrupting this pattern can cause problems.

So, if you’re experiencing any of these common insomnia causes, chances are you are having problems sleeping. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the doctor to find out how to cure insomnia, instead you can do it in a natural way:

Natural Insomnia Cures

Set a routine

. Your body is accustomed to following routines, and it will function better when it does so. Give your body the chance to fall into a rhythm, and make sure to follow the same bedtime routine every night. You will find that it will help you to sleep a whole lot better.

Herbal sleep remedies

. Valerian root is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to help deal with sleeping problems, and you may find that it will be just the thing for you. Chamomile is another herb that can help you to relax and get a good night’s sleep, so you may want to try it in order to promote good sleep.

Power naps

. Many people get tired in the middle of the day, and they end up sleeping for an hour or so. This is terrible for your sleep patterns, so it’s best to take short naps if you’re going to sleep. Just rest for 10 to 20 minutes, and you will find that your energy is restored and you feel a lot better – all without disrupting your sleep patterns at night.

Block stimulus

. Make sure that you are sleeping in a room that is completely dark, and use white noise or sleeping music to help prevent any sounds from penetrating your ears. You can use ear plugs and a sleep mask if you want, as that will help you to sleep better.

Meditation and exercise

. Meditation will help to deal with your trouble sleeping by calming you down, and you will find that it will relax your mind as well as your body. Exercising will help your body to be tired, and your body will actually cause you to sleep well at night in order to give it time to repair itself.

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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.

Definition of Insomnia

According to standards developed by a group of sleep experts, insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even though a person has the chance to do so. Individuals with insomnia can be dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following:

  • Fatigue/General “tiredness”
  • Very low energy levels-just can’t get moving
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Wide and unpredictable mood swings
  • Diminished performance in work or at school.

How Long Can Insomnia Last

Insomnia can be classified by how long the condition lasts.

Acute insomnia is short and in most cases happens because of life circumstances (for example, if you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news). Lots of people could have experienced this sort of passing sleep disruption, and it tends to resolve with no treatment.

Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at a minimum three nights per week and continues at least three months. Chronic insomnia disorders can have several triggers. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, additional clinical disorders, and certain medicines can lead to a long-term pattern of insufficient sleep. People with chronic insomnia might profit from some form of treatment to help them return to healthy sleep habits. Chronic insomnia may be comorbid, which means it is linked to another medical or mental matter, although at times it’s difficult to grasp this cause and effect connection.

People with insomnia generally have difficulty falling asleep (onset), remaining asleep (maintenance), and/or they wake up too soon in the morning. Cures for insomnia may include behavioural, psychological, medical elements or some blend thereof. You and your doctor will need to talk about your unique situation and history of insomnia, along with its triggers, to settle on the most effective plan for treatment.

Insomnia Facts You Should Know

Insomnia is a common sleep problem for adults. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have linked signs of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.

In a 2005 National Sleep Foundation (NSF) Study, over fifty percent of people reported at least one symptom of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, awakening frequently during the night, waking up too early and not able to get back to sleep, or getting up still feeling tired) at least several nights per week over the past year. Thirty-three percent said they had a minimum of one of these symptoms every night or nearly every night during the past year. The two most common symptoms, experienced at least a few nights a week during the past year, included waking up feeling not rested and awakening a lot during the night. A 2002 NSF Poll found 63 percent of women (versus 54 percent of men) suffered symptoms of insomnia at least a couple of nights per week.

Other polls have found interesting trends related to insomnia. For instance, 68 percent of individuals ages 18 to 29 document going through symptoms of insomnia, compared with 59 percent of older people ages 30 to 64, and just 44 percent of people over the age of 65. Unsurprisingly, parents report more insomnia symptoms than do adults with out children in the home (66 vs. 54 percent).

Now that you know these insomnia facts, do you still think you have it? If so, talk to your doctor ASAP.