Help Me Sleep! The Physical and Medical Causes of Insomnia

Help me sleep tip - dont drink coffee late at night
Coffee is great in the morning. But not last thing at night!

Folks who fall asleep the moment their heads hit the bed probably don’t realize just how lucky they are. Unlike you, they don’t mumble “somebody help me sleep” over and over in frustration as they lie awake in bed. So what’s causing your sleepless nights? There are a number of possible reasons.

You need to know that, while insomnia is a disorder on its own, it can also be a symptom of other underlying problems. These issues could either be psychological or physical in nature. Physical conditions include health problems like heartburn and hormonal imbalance. Insomnia may also be a side effect of certain medicines, particularly those for asthma, allergies, and heart problems.

So the next time you find yourself counting sheep at 3 a.m. think about the possible causes for your insomnia attack. If you’ve been suffering from acid reflux or you’ve been taking asthma medication, plan a trip to the doctor. Your physician might be able to recommend tips on how to sleep better.

An alcoholic night cap isn’t going to help you sleep healthily

If you are sure that you’re healthy, look into your daily habits. Do you drink coffee late in the afternoon or after dinner? Do you smoke or drink alcohol regularly? These habits could be causing you to wail ‘help me sleep!’ every night. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that keep you awake. Meanwhile, alcohol may be a sedative that can help you sleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep so you end up not feeling rested in the morning.

A simple elimination process can help you get to the bottom of your insomnia problem. By knowing the possible causes for your sleeplessness and paying more attention to your body, you will eventually be able to find the answer to the million dollar question: “What can help me sleep?”

Originally posted 2012-05-02 14:09:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How to Have More Lucid Dreams and Stop Having Nightmares

Do you ever have dreams where you feel in total control? Dreams in which you know you are dreaming but the dream seems very clear and almost like real life?

Lucid dreams are just one of the mysteries of what goes on in our brains when we are asleep. They usually occur in the middle of normal dreams when the randomness seems to settle down and you can feel as though you are awake even though you are having a lucid dream. You also tend to remember lucid dreams much more clearly than regular ones and they’re linked with REM sleep, just before you wake up.

The enhanced sense of control and clarity can make lucid dreaming a pleasurable experience, and one which you want to get straight back into if you’ve been rudely awakened. Learning how to have lucid dreams can also be a great way of avoiding having nightmares or uncomfortable sleep disorders.

However, learning how to have lucid dreams isn’t as simple as learning to improve your golf swing or how to speak another language. Lucid dreaming is just too random. But what you can do is use some techniques to improve your chances of slipping into a serene lucid dreamscape you can control.

Keep a dream journal – Whenever you have a lucid dream, write down what it was about and, in particular, whether the same people or places keep appearing in your lucid dreams. You’ll need these journal entries for some of the other techniques you can try.

Drink orange juice – A glass of OJ 30 mins before you sleep is believed to relax the body while maintaining the mental agility needed to have a lucid dream. The best time to drink it is 30 minutes before bedtime.

Get WILD in bed

Getting WILD or, to give it its full name, Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming is one technique you can to have a lucid dream. It’s aim is to trick your body into thinking you are falling asleep while maintaining a level of mental consciousness. Essentially it’s based around the fact that dreams run in 60 minute cycles. So if you can interrupt yourself in the middle of a dream and then get back to sleep you’re maximising your chances of jumping straight into a wonderous lucid dream.

If you’d like to use the WILD method, here are the steps to take:

1) When you go to bed, relax your body in a comfortable position. You will need to stay in this position, without moving, for 10-20 minutes while you try and relax one body part at a time.

2) While keeping still, you need to try and balance yourself mentally between being relaxed and feeling mentally active.

3) Allow your breathing to become relaxed and slow as you gradually drift into sleep paralysis. Just allow the sensations and random thoughts wash over you as a sign that you are entering a lucid dream.

How to have lucid dreams with the Wake Back to Bed Technique

If getting WILD doesnt do the trick then another popular method is Wake Back To Bed (WBTB). This entails waking yourself up in the middle of a dream state and then creating the optimal conditions for slipping back into a lucid dream, so not ideal if you suffer from insomnia and value your beauty sleep.

If you’d like to try WBTB to have a lucid dream, the steps are:

1) Set an alarm clock to go off 6 hours after you go to sleep.

2) When your alarm clock disrupts your slumber, stay awake for 1.5 hours. The aim is to gain yourself a measure of alertness while still being able to quickly fall into a dream state quickly.

3) 30 minutes before going back to bed drink a glass of orange juice and then read an article about lucid dreaming or some of the entries in your dream journal. This will help you to start mentally thinking about having a lucid dream.

4) Use the WILD method to go back to sleep and slip into a blissful and wonderous lucid dreaming experience.

Hopefully, a combination of WILD and WBTB should do the trick. But if you’re still wondering how to have a lucid dream successfully, you might want to check out the free ‘OBE Lucid Quickstart Kit‘ which includes an Lucid Dream Timer MP3 which its creator used to stop having nightmares and more lucid dreams.

It’s free, so why not give the Lucid Quickstart Kit a go to start having more lucid dreams and fewer nightmares.

Originally posted 2012-09-16 22:26:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Will not getting enough sleep make me fat?

not enough sleep make me fat

It seems like a strange link to make, but researchers have found a link between not getting enough sleep and increased levels of obesity. The study of 18,000 adults discovered that those getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep were more likely to be overweight.

Why is this? There are two probable factors:

1) Sleep reduces levels of leptin in the body which is a protein that suppresses your appetite. So the less sleep you get the more leptin in your body and the hungrier you are as a result.

2) After not knowing how to get to sleep, people wake up tired and low on energy. They then to try to compensate by eating sugary cereals and breads, like pastries or croissants, to give them an energy rush to perk them up. However, this energy rush is quick but short lived, leading to further snacking and eating more food.

So when you think about it, it does make sense that people not getting enough sleep might have a propensity to eat more and put on weight. If you’re struggling to get to sleep each night and worried about putting on weight, it’s sensible to take a look at your morning breakfast habits. Instead of sugary cereals and pastries, try eating sugar free museli or fruit instead that will release energy gradually and keep you going until lunch time.

Tips on how to get to sleep

Other tips for discovering how to get to sleep include exercise after work (but not just before you go to bed), avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening. While alcohol can help you get to sleep it prevents you from reaching the deep restorative level your body needs to regenerate itself. You might find yourself waking up throughout the night and wondering whether you ever slept at all when it’s time to get up in the morning.

There’s often an underlying causes of insomnia, so it’s a good idea to consider whether there is anything troubling you or a a medical cause for your insomnia.

It’s wise to avoid sleeping pills, which can be addictive and make you drowsy during the day. Instead , try some herbal remedies for insomnia that will help me sleep, like chamonille tea which contains super nutrients that act on the brain the same way as anti-anxiety drugs, helping you to calm down and prepare for sleep.

Originally posted 2012-07-17 13:24:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Top 5 Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep

woman in bed with eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder

It is frustrating when you cant sleep for hours at night. Especially when you need to wake up early the next morning to catch a flight, to go for an interview or any one of a million important tasks done better without another sleepless night.

It’s almost funny how satirical how energetic you can feel when you cant sleep but are still wide awake. So here are five things to do when you cant sleep that might help your mind and body to relax:

1. Get up and do something – If you are feeling restless, you can walk around your living room to your bedroom and reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching television or eating in your bed. Instead, grab a blanket and read a book downstairs or in your living room. This help your mind to feel more at ease and make you feel relaxed.

2. Try to stay awake during the day – This is why most people miss their flights the following morning because they tend take a nap on just a few hours early before their bedtime. So the tendency is they will be widely awake past midnight and doze off a few hours before their flight.

3. Do not drink too much before your bedtime – Drinking too much alcohol and taking drugs can affect your sleeping patter. Stimulants such as nicotine and drinking too much caffeine that contained in teas, coffee and energy drinks can make you stay awake at night.

4. Do not eat too much when you know you are too close to going to bedtime – The feeling of being full is uncomfortable and you would feel that you have to stay up late just to let your food digest.

5. Dont think about the fact you cant sleep – Finally the most important one is not to think about having insomnia when you are already on your bed. Do not let your brain stay awake because you have subconsciously told it that you are expecting it to occur.

So these are 5 things to do when you cant sleep that might help you overcome your insomnia and get more hours of healthy, rejuvenating sleep at night. What things do you do when you cant sleep?

Originally posted 2014-12-07 13:44:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Help Me Sleep! – The Insomnia Checklist

Help me sleep insomnia check list

Everybody needs a good night’s sleep. Apart from giving you the chance to rest from the day’s activities, it is when we are in deep slumber that the body mends itself and prepares you for another day. So what happens then when you spend the night wide awake? You don’t get sufficient rest and your body won’t be able to make the necessary repairs.

This inability to get enough sleep is known as insomnia. If you have had one too many sleepless nights lately and you’re starting to wonder how to sleep better, then it’s time to evaluate the situation.

Here’s a quick checklist that can help you assess whether or not you are suffering from insomnia:

  • Do you toss and turn in bed for hours wondering how to sleep?
  • Do you find it hard to relax and slip into slumber even if you’re very tired?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night and then lie awake thinking how to go to sleep?
  • Do you have to resort to taking sleeping pills or alcohol just to catch some Zs?
  • Do you spend a good part of the day feeling tired, irritable, and sleepy?
  • Are you unable to function properly because of lack of sleep?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s likely that you are among the millions who lie in bed at night thinking, “How can I sleep?” Indeed, insomnia is the culprit behind many a sleepless night. But the good news is that there are many ways to get rid of it.

So if you are constantly wondering how to get more sleep, worry not. You may be suffering from insomnia now, but by taking the right steps, you can have sweet dreams instead.

Originally posted 2012-04-27 14:24:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sleep Apnea Considered to be One of the Main Cause of Car Accidents

Stressed man playing video gameStressed man playing video game

Sleep apnea is believed to be the primary cause of major transportation accidents. This is according to Mark Rosekind of the National Transportation Safety Board member. A new mandate is now being considered for Transportation Operators requiring truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots, train conductors and basically every mode of public transportation to undergo a sleep apnea test to screen each driver to avoid major catastrophic accidents in the future. It has been said that people who were diagnosed with sleep apnea have a tendency to rapidly fall asleep during the quiet moments of the day when they are not active. A recent accident on New York City’s Metro North line has been attributed to the train engineer who is suffering from sleep apnea, which was undiagnosed and therefore untreated.

There are no nationwide rules to require drivers and truck operators to be tested even if they are high risks. Spencer of that Independent trucking Association were dubious as to whether sleep apnea was really proven as the major cause of human errors on road accidents. Although, some big companies were taking measures to alleviate the problem. But most of them were saying that the procedure, from the diagnosis to the treatment for sleep apnea, costs way too much and they just can’t afford it. Innovative technologies are now available, which can alert the drivers to their fatigue state and preventing them to nod off while driving. By installing these high tech devices, future collision accidents could be avoided.

People with sleep apnea often dont know they have it

A lot of people suffering from sleep apnea are oblivious to its signs and symptoms. A more common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during waking hours of the day, at work or while driving, morning headaches, concentration problems, feeling irritated, depressed, mood swings, waking up due to frequent urination, dry mouth and sore throat.

I went to a bank one morning and a lot of people were waiting to be served. I sat next to a man, I think he is on his forties, weighed more than 300 pounds and he looked haggard even though it is still early in the morning. A few minutes later, I heard someone snoring, when I turned my head to my side I saw him still sitting there dozing off and snoring loudly. I think this is one of the main reason that sleep apnea should be taken seriously. I hope that man wasn’t driving a public transport.

Originally posted 2014-07-17 09:40:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep at Night

cant sleep

Sleep problems only normally start as we get older. A newborn baby sleeps 16 – 20 hours a day because this is when it bodies develop the fastest. Adults may not need that much time to sleep but getting enough shut eye is still vital for our health. If you cant sleep at night it can cause depression, high blood pressure and even early death. But before you panic and rush off to bed, remember that your doctor can advise you if your lack of sleep is endangering your health.

1. Insomnia is linked with depression

One of the common signs of depression is insomnia or an inability to fall and stay asleep. Sleep is important to restore our body to its normal state. However when we only sleep a few hours it can make us irritable, tense and on edge.  A person who is diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder may worsen their symptoms if they have inadequate amount of sleep. Treating Insomnia and depression simultaneously is the best way to improve their symptoms.

2. Popping pills won’t get you far

A sleeping pill may be effective and immediate way at ending your sleeping problems in the short-term. But all medications have side effects and sleeping pills have plenty of them, plus its effect can wear off when used in the long-term. What is really important to kick insomnia for good is to have a good sleeping habit. Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least 12 hours before going to bed. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time everyday. It’s okay to take 10-20 minutes naps in the afternoon but try not to take them later than 2pm.

3. Kitchen cures or home remedies may or may not work

The latest magical home remedy for insomnia is tart cherry juice. Researchers from Louisiana State University have found out that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks can increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. Other than cherry juice, drinking chamomile tea and bathing in lavender oil are just some of the natural insomnia remedies you can try at home. It may or may not work for some but it won’t hurt to give it a try and see if it’s right for you.

4. Look out for the “three P’s

If you suddenly having trouble falling asleep, there are three factors you have to look out for. The predisposing factors, precipitating cause and the perpetuating cause. Predisposition may not cause the problem on having insomnia but may increase the likelihood of it occurring. This includes having a family history of poor sleepers or being an all time worrier.

Precipitating factors are those that could trigger insomnia, like lifestyle changes, a promotion at work, too much pressure at school and a whole lot more disturbance around your family, at home, health and at work/school.

Perpetuating cause are stressful events, that creates an initial disruption of sleep. Any factors that might exacerbate the problem and heightened anxiety/arousal levels for the development of depression. It may also be a case of behavior and coping strategies, like napping long periods of time during the day and spending too much time in bed.

5. Attention can make it worse

We may have learned in the past that keeping sleep diaries can help you identify the underlying factors of what’s keeping you awake. But Feinsilver advises to ignore it, he is concerned that too much analyzing and the more you think about it the harder it is to fall asleep. The best way to stop worrying is through meditation. In fact a recent study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows that mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia.

Originally posted 2014-10-14 09:43:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant Review – Can it really help you to get to sleep?

Nightwave Sleep Assistant

Like many medical conditions, insomnia isnt the same for everyone. It can vary from occasional bouts of not being able to get to sleep for an hour to a nightly battle of stress and frustration, dreading how exhausted you’ll feel the next day. Insomnia is a common problem, with it affecting up to a third of people – half of which suffer from it nightly.

There are all sorts of solutions you can try, from herbal remedies to sleep CDs and books to practicing good sleep hygiene. But if none of these have worked and you find yourself tempted to try sleeping pills, it might be worth taking a look at the Nightwave Sleep Assistant first.

What is the Nightwave Sleep Assistant?

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant projects a blue light onto the ceiling (or a wall) which slowly throbs in brightness. The idea is that you synchronize your breathing in time with the light. As the light’s brightness begins to fade your breathing is slows with it, enabling you to reach the relaxed mental and physical state needed for you to drift off to sleep.

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant has a 7 minute and 25 minute timer and 4 different functions: sleep mode, mood light, heartbeat stress reducer and flashlight.

Essentially, the Nightwave Sleep Assistant helps you to get to sleep in three ways:

1) If you suffer from anxious or overactive thoughts, which keep you in a state of wakeful alertness, the Nightwave Sleep Assistant can distract you from these thoughts by providing you with something else to focus on.

2) It harnesses the ancient relaxation technique of deep breathing, which helps to reduce stress levels and help you feel more relaxed

3) The light tells your brain that your eyelids are begining to droop, which subconsciously tricks you into feeling tired.

Does it work? Or it just a gimmick

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant isnt exactly cheap. So it’s wise to cynical of the claims made in the carefully worded sales pitch on their website. Whilst I haven’t used it myself, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, it’s got 3.5 stars out of 5 from 98 reviews (at the time of writing) on Amazon which vouches for the fact that, in many cases, the Nightwave Sleep Assistant has helped people get to sleep. This includes an airline pilot, used to battling an erratic sleep schedule, and someone who hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for over four years following an accident before trying out the device.

A healthier alternative to sleeping pills?

When you’re battling insomnia night after night it can be tempting to rely in medication to resolve the problem. But this can cause problems it itself, because medication can make you feel drowsy the next day and you can come to develop a reliance on medication to help you to get to sleep. Relying on medication can also get expensive. So if the Sleep Assistant can help you to get to sleep naturally it’s going to be better for your long-term health and your wallet in the long run.

Having said that, if chronic insomnia is adversely affecting your life then you should always visit your doctor for professional advice.

Disclaimer – the links in this article are affiliate links.

Originally posted 2013-02-28 13:53:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Study Scraps Insomnia’s Link to Hypertension


According to new findings, led by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto, insomnia does not raise the risk of hypertension. This is contrary to research published a while ago, which found that people with insomnia have higher level of stress hormones in their blood stream that would most likely elevate blood pressure. However, Dr. Vozoris pointed out that those previous studies have gathered inconsistent results. Vozoris said, “The fact that even people with more severe insomnia didn’t show a link, that finding provides impressive proof that there’s probably no real link between the two items,”

Even though, we can be at ease with these new findings, the fact remains that Insomnia can lead to several health concerns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that more than one-quarter of the U.S. population were suffering from wakefulness disorder and 10% of American adults are experiencing chronic insomnia and the numbers are increasing every day.

Obesity, Diabetes, Anxiety and Depression are just some of the health effects of sleep loss. A person who misses a night of sleep can be expected to be exhausted the next day, reduce attention span and possible problems with short-term memory. Severe wakefulness can cause poor coordination, muscle twitching, nausea and loss of concentration as well. The various effects of sleep deprivation have yet to be fully uncovered. There are so many research and studies yet to be done to prove the hypothesis. But one thing is for sure, sleep deprivation and insomnia can pose a threat to anyone.

A healthy lifestyle and setting a regular bedtime is a key to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Try sleeping in a quieter room and settle yourself in a dark and comfortable environment. If you set a regular bedtime, then you should also set the same wake up time every day. Taking a nap on the afternoon is not a good idea, if you are following a strict bedtime rule.

Originally posted 2014-07-10 20:37:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

7 Changes You Can Make to Your Bedroom to Help You Sleep Better

Insomnia. Problems in Bed

So you’ve already tried natural insomnia remedies, meditated and even tried listening to some soft music, but you cant sleep and nothing seems to work! Perhaps it’s worth looking around to see whether it’s your bedroom arrangement keeping you awake at night. After all, your bedroom is supposed to be your sanctuary from the outside world. The one place where you can relax and feel calm and peaceful.

If you’re experiencing more bedtime frustrations than zzzs, here are 7 changes you can make to your bedroom to help you sleep better at night and feel more rejuvenated the next day.

1. Choose the Right Color

Calming your senses and having that feeling of tranquility, comfort and hope in your room is the best way to easily nod off. The color of your bedroom walls can have a strong impact on your emotions and feelings. Choosing the right color is important because every color has a corresponding effect with our emotions. Blue and Green can evoke a feeling of comfort and relaxation and lighter colors are associated with positive emotions of happiness.

2. Get the Right Bed

You spend 6-8 hours of your time in your bed every night, so it’s justifiable to splurge some cash on a nice, comfortable mattress. The bigger your bed is the better it is for you to sleep in, as you’re less likely to be disturbed by your partner’s movements on your side of the bed. A supple comforting mattress can lead to a better sleep, so shop around and test out different ones until you find one that is comfortable and supportive to your back.

3. Dim down your lights

If you want to know what can help me sleep, keep your room as dark as possible before going to bed. Light impedes the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep naturally, so even if you doze off, light can be detected through your eyelids and your brain won’t produce melatonin if it’s confused between night and day.

4. Keep your room quiet

Unless you’re a heavy sleeper, the noise of passing ambulances, cat fights or whipping winds can keep you awake at night. A quick idea to solve this is by hanging a thick rug and heavy blinds on your windows to buffer the noise a little bit. If this doesnt work,  try a white noise machine.

5. Get rid of the TV or any gadgets

It is best to free your room from any distracting technologies or gadgets. Watch your favorite TV show on another room and reserve your bedroom for sleeping purposes only. Get rid of anything stimulating that may distract you when you cant sleep at night.

6. Organize your room

A cluttered room intensifies stress and will result to a distraction and low moods. A well organized room is more relaxing and emits a calming atmosphere.

7. Clean the air and keep your room cool

Open a window during day to let the fresh air in and stale air out. A good way to filter your air inside your bedroom is by installing a HEPA-filter or air purifying plant. Keep the temperature of your room at least below 70% degrees Fahrenheit to make it easier to doze off.


Originally posted 2014-10-16 17:28:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter