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

If You Cant Sleep, Try these 4 Steps to Get Up Earlier So You Can Sleep Better at Night

earlier up morning

If you cant sleep at night it could be because you’re one of those people who prefers to stay up late, watching TV or playing video games. So if you want to get to sleep earlier, you need to consider altering your sleeping pattern.

Instead of staying up late at night, why not wake up earlier instead? It’s healthier, more peaceful, and those extra hours in the morning will help you to get stuff done in peace and quiet, without the distraction of the other people in your household. We all know that our day routine plays a huge factor on how well we sleep at night. But very few of us knows how waking up earlier can improve our productivity for the entire day.

“Early mornings offer a fresh supply of willpower and people tend to be more optimistic and ready to tackle challenging tasks.” says Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert and the author of “What the most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.”

Waking up early will give you more determination and drive to get your project done. It also gives you opportunity to set a positive tone to start your day and plan ahead. Waking up earlier to work is the smart alternative to staying up late, it avoids overloading on caffeine and energy drinks which just make your insomnia (and any anxiety contributing to it) worse.

Vanderkam recommends these four simple steps to help you get up earlier in the morning:.

1. Keep a time journal

People who already adapted the habit of staying up late at night are not really convinced of the benefits of waking up earlier in the morning. If you’re a “night owl” you may find it hard to wake up early in the morning. This is because it’s natural to feel tired waking up early if you’re not used to it, especially if you spent the previous night working.

Vanderkam recommends keeping a daily journal for the entire week to assess if you are really spending your nights productively or just browsing random sites and looking for any distraction other than going to bed.

2. Imagine your perfect morning

“Industrious and hardworking people wakes up earlier than the rooster.” This is what my grandma used to say whenever she wakes me up in the morning. I used to imagine my perfect morning the night before and I find it very motivating. I wake up the day after earlier than my alarm, do my exercise routine and cook breakfast. I felt lighter, healthier and get a lot of things done.

According to Vanderkam, “Getting up earlier is not about punishing yourself. You will not get out of bed if you don’t have a good reason to do it.” I love how our house smelled early in the morning and how placid and wonderful my surroundings feel. These are just a few of the many things that give me reason to wake up early.

3. Plan your morning

Arrange everything you need in the morning the night before. This includes your work clothes, a packed lunch and anything important you need to have with you that day. It is much easier to get going and keep going when you plan each day in advance. It makes you more competent and efficient and sets you up to achieve your goals throughout the day.

4. Build the habit slowly

Do not try to force yourself to adopt all these habits immediately. Changing your routine takes time before it truly takes hold and feels natural. If you used to set your alarm at 7:00 am and you want to change it to 4:00 am, you can set it up 10 minutes earlier every day until your body is able to cope with these new changes.

Once you switch to getting up early in the morning you may start to wonder how you got anything done beforehand. It will help you to feel more energized and proactive during the day. So if you cant sleep at night, start working on changing the habits or routines that are keeping you awake, so you can feel happier and healthier each day.

Originally posted 2014-10-28 10:19:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Help Me Sleep! – How to Sleep Better Using Relaxation Techniques

meditating to help me to sleep

meditation cc by iandeth

Picture this: the clock reads 3 a.m. and you are still thinking, “How can I sleep?” You have a major presentation and you desperately need to sleep. But your mind is running at 100 miles per minute and you are still wide awake. Sounds familiar?

One of the most ironic things about insomnia is that it is a stressful experience that is often caused by stress. Something stresses you out and keeps you up. You end up even more stressed out because you can’t sleep. So what can you do to get the sleep you need? Relax.

There are different relaxation techniques you can try to calm your nerves and still your mind. Relaxing is one of the secrets of how to sleep better, so give these relaxation techniques a try:

Deep breathing – The goal of deep breathing is to get as much fresh air into your lungs as possible. You can do this by taking deep breaths from the abdomen. Breathe in from your mouth, inhaling deeply and feeling your abdomen expand. Exhale through your mouth and feel your abdominal muscles contract. Repeat until you feel relaxed. Do this regularly and you will surely be a step closer to mastering the art of how to sleep well.

Visualization meditation – Use your imagination to transport you to a place where you feel truly relaxed. Use your senses to imagine the things you will see, hear, smell, taste, and feel when you are in that place. Concentrate on the details and be fully present in that imagined place. Visualization techniques can help you relax and help you can learn how to sleep better.

Yoga and Tai Chi – Yoga combines moving and stationary poses with deep breathing while tai chi uses slow, flowing movements. Both physical activities promote stress relief and increase your body’s relaxation response.

Originally posted 2012-05-18 08:48:34. 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

10 Easy Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

how get a baby to sleep

When my sister had a baby I saw first hand how tough the first six months can be. It’s a never ending cycle of feeding, sleeping and crying, with a full night’s sleep a distant memory.  You might be lucky and have a baby that sleeps for long periods and is able to sooth themselves back to sleep. But for many parents wondering how to get their baby’s to sleep through the night is challenge that can last the first nine months.

The problem is that if your baby isn’t sleeping you aren’t either. This can lead to you feeling tired and irritable the next day, and it can even make you prone to bouts of depression. So if you’re a new parent, it’s wise to have some strategies for helping your baby to get to sleep so you can get more sleep of your own and increase the enjoyment you gain from being a new parent.

Here are ten easy ways to train in your baby in good sleeping habits so they can sleep through the night:

1. Get the baby used to a small amount of noise. You shouldn’t immediately feel you have to stop watching TV downstairs or getting on with chores in case you disturb their sleep. If they get too used to absolute silence then they are more likely to wake.

2. At night keep the lights around the house low and your voices quieter than during the daytime. This will signal to the baby that it’s now the nighttime and time to sleep.

3. Establish a bedtime routine. This could include having a baby, changing them into their nigh clothes and having a feed and cuddle before they are put to bed. This will help the baby to relax physically and mentally so they can go to sleep for longer.

4. Get baby’s used to falling asleep on their own. Holding your baby until they fall asleep may be comforting but it means they might struggle to go to sleep if they get too used to it. When they appear to be tired and sleepy rest them on their backs so they can drift off to the land of nod on their own.

5. Avoid too much excitement or stimulation at bed time. Instead begin the process of winding down and relaxing the baby.Make the daytime feeds feel more social and lively and the nighttime quiet and calm.

6. If formula feeding then take it in turns with your partner to share the early hour feeds. Alternately ask them to look after the baby’s early morning changing so you can grab a couple more minutes of sleep.

7. Give the baby a security item that carries your scent, such as a blanket or soft toy. Before the baby is born sleep with the blanket or toy to give it your scent, or if you’re breast feeding express a small amount of breast milk into a small piece of muslin. Baby’s are very sensitive to smells and the familiar aroma will calm them if they feel unsettled in the night.

8. After four months you could try leaving your baby to ‘cry it out’. Rather than give them the sudden shock of not coming when they start to cry, try leaving them for set intervals. You could start by leaving the room and waiting for two minutes before going back in to check up on them and then gradually increase it a few minutes at a time. Repeat until they fall asleep, remembering to increase the length of intervals each time.

9.  When cuddling an unsettled baby try pretending to go to sleep yourself. This will let them know that fun time is over and its time to go to sleep.

10. If the baby is teething then try massaging their gums with your finger or a teaspoon cooled in the fridge.

Hopefully these strategies should help both you and your baby to get more hours of healthy sleep every night. But if all else fails then you could try identifying whether there is an underlying cause to your baby’s irritibility. If they’ve been fed and changed, maybe changing their clothes might help or maybe they have a cold.

You might also find these articles useful for further advice on how to get your baby to sleep through the night:

31 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep

* Source of the information in this article taken from babycentre.co.uk and the NHS website.

Originally posted 2013-01-16 14:26:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How to Sleep on Planes – Top 5 Tips

Business woman sleep during flight airplane cabin

Business woman sleep during flight airplane cabin

If you are due to go on a long haul flight, it’s important to know how to sleep on planes.  After all, if you forgot to pack a book and you’ve already seen all the in-flight movies, there’s not much else to do. So if you’d like to know how to sleep on a plane, try following these suggestions provided by the editor in chief of johnnyjet.com:

How to Sleep on Planes Tip #1 – Find the best seat in coach where you can comfortably sleep on a plane

Check your seat the day before your flight and see if you can find a seat next to the window or an exit row, unless you’re the superstitious type and don’t want to tempt fate.

The exit row will give you more legroom space and you can use your carry on back as a footrest. Avoid seats that are near the comfort rooms or the flight steward’s stations, as most people love hanging out in these areas of the plane and their noise will interrupt your sleep.

How to Sleep on Planes Tip #2 – Look for Airport shops that sell sleep props before you board

Bring your own travel pillow or you can shop for one at the airport. There are a lot of shops that sell sleep props like travel pillows and travel halos that can keep your head from rocking. Also consider shelling out on a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones for listening to some soothing music to help you sleep right away and keep out unwanted noise. Bose QuietComfort 3s are a particularly popular choice with frequent flyers.

If you;re serious about wanting to know how to sleep on a plane, then you’d better bring some essential props beforehand.

How to Sleep on Planes Tip #3 – Buckle your seat belt over your blanket or jumper and not under

Making sure the attendant can see that you are already buckled up will avoid the risk of them waking you up if there is any turbulence. Remember to take care of your basic needs first before you sleep. Make sure to visit the restroom, bring some snacks and water and tell the flight steward before you sleep not to wake you up when they will serve the meals. That way you can sleep on the plane without being interrupted.

How to Sleep on Planes Tip #4 – Wear comfortable clothes when flying

Long flights can be stressful especially when you’re seated in an uncomfortable area of the plane. Temperature changes when you are on board, so your outfit should also be flexible. You can avoid flight discomfort by wearing plenty of layers like wraps, cardigans, sweatshirts, vests and light jackets.

It’s also be wise to choose clothes that are made with breathable fabric materials like cotton, silk or linen so that the air and moisture can easily pass through. Bringing your own PJ’s is also recommended than wearing the PJ’s provided on board. That way you would have a more comfortable sleep on the plane, especially on red-eye flights.

How to Sleep on Planes Tip #5 – Make yourself drowsy before flying

Avoid taking sleeping medication to make yourself drowsy for a red-eye flight. It’s hard to fall asleep on a plane easily when your mind is racing with different thoughts and your eyes are still wide awake. The best option is to tire yourself out before your flight, so that sleep becomes effortlessly for the entire flight.

Following these tips will come in useful if you want to know how to sleep on planes, and arrive at your destination feeling fresh, relaxed and ready to make the most of your time at your destination.

Originally posted 2014-11-11 23:16:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Top 5 Best Insomnia Busting Sleep Apps that Help You Get to Sleep at Night

sleeping young man near to smartphone

There are few things as frustrating as when you can’t sleep at night. Getting 8 hours of shut eye is vital for your brain and body to tune out and shut down, restoring your physical health and cementing your memories in place. If you are still having trouble falling asleep with natural remedies, like drinking some milk or munching down a banana, then maybe you should try using a sleep app to help you nod off.

The following list of sleep apps will help guide you to the serenity of a good night’s sleep. From step by step meditation to nature sound playlists, you simply download one of these sleep apps to your smartphone just before you want to go to sleep and allow them to sprinkle some digital sleep dust.

Top 5 Best Sleep Apps

1. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock 

The most effective way get a regular sleeping habit is by following a cycle or a pattern. The Sleep Cycle Alarm Close is an intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase- which is the most natural way to wake up and feel well rested. This is rated as one of the best sleep apps on Android and has the most positive feedback on Google’s Play store.

2. Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep 

If you want to relax for a few minutes during the day, whether you are in your office or at home, to refresh your mind and increase your concentration, this app might be the solution you’ve been looking from. You can choose from 6 different relaxing sounds of nature, which includes thunder, ocean sounds, sea, birds chirping, the sound of the falling rain, night in jungle, water dripping sounds and waterfalls. If ‘white noise’ helps you nod off, this is an amazing app to increase your quality of sleep and cure your insomnia.

3. Sleep Soundly Hypnosis

This is a relaxation guide session by Kym Tolson, a licensed hypnotherapist. The session combines imagery with deep relaxation techniques, which helps you to get your mind and body in a relaxed state and then gently lulls you to sleep.

4. SleepBot 

One way of curing insomnia is by tracking your sleep. However, tracking your sleep is a very tedious task and costs a lot to get done at a special sleep clinic. Using SleepBot you can track your sleep patterns to see your nighttime habits in graphical form. This then gives you an idea of at what times you’re getting the most and least amount of sleep. The app lets you customize your sleep tracking, record your movements and sounds during the night and can wake you up at the optimum time during a light sleep phase.

5. Relaxing Nature Scenes

If you want to relax after a very stressful day at home, Relaxing Nature Scenes is a sleep app loaded with 20 themes, each with four soundtracks which offers you to be able to customize your own relaxation experience. There are over 100 individual sounds to choose from and which you can combine to create the perfect mind retreat.

There are many more sleep apps out there, so feel free to share in the comments any you’ve found useful. Harnessing technology to get more hours of rejuvenating sleep is much healthier and safer than taking sleeping pills or having a few beers late at night. So if you find you can’t sleep at night, download one of these top 5 best sleep apps to your smartphone or tablet to see if they help.

Originally posted 2014-09-16 20:02:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

How Do You Get to Sleep with Restless Leg Syndrome?

restless leg syndrome can stop you getting to sleep

It’s hard enough to be an insomniac and not know how to sleep. So imagine how much harder it is for people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Patients with restless leg syndrome complain about an uncontrollable urge to move their legs because of a creeping, crawling, itching or tingling sensation. The only way to relieve themselves of these odd feelings is to move their legs. This results to interrupted sleep or in severe cases, almost no sleep. Because of this, restless leg syndrome patients also worry about how to sleep more at night. They wake up tired, find it hard to concentrate, and are unable to function normally throughout the day just like most insomniacs.

Because of the similarities, many of the recommended natural remedies for insomniacs are applicable for restless less syndrome patients as well. The goals are the same after all: find ways on how to sleep better so that they can take on the new day with enough energy.

To help keep the restless leg syndrome symptoms at bay, experts recommend the following:

  1. Cut back on the caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. All three substances are known to interfere with sleep, so keep your intake to a minimum.
  2. Develop a regular sleep pattern. Some patients opt for a later bed time and also wake up later in the morning, since the leg sensations occur in the early evenings. Whichever schedule you decide to adapt, sticking to it is important to help condition your body to the idea of regular sleep.
  3. Do mild stretching exercises before bedtime. Stretching and gentle exercise can help lessen the persistence of restless leg syndrome symptoms.
  4. Watch your diet. Studies show that RLS may be caused by iron, folate or magnesium deficiency, so making sure you have enough of these nutrients in your diet can help prevent the attacks.

So if you are wondering how can I sleep with restless leg syndrome, try some of these tactics to see if they help

Originally posted 2012-05-15 13:17:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What is Sleepwalking?

Do you sleepwalk or know someone that does? If you do then you might have seen them appearing lifeless, like a zombie, shuffling around with their eyes closed and left wondering ‘what is sleep walking?’

It is quite difficult to understand how people are able to sleep while doing something else. But it is actually quite a common symptom of a sleep disorder.

Sleep-walking is one of the more common sleep disorders classified under parasomnias. It is characterized by complex body behaviour during slow-wave sleep and is most often evident during the first third of the night, or during other times of increased slow-wave activity.

Also known as somnambulism, the condition is more prevalent among children, and becomes less common as they become teenagers and then stops at reaching adulthood. Unfortunately, for some, the condition may last for most of their lifetime.

Sleep-walking is not limited to sleeping while walking. Some episodes include sitting up, fumbling, picking at bed clothes and mumbling. But usually sleepwalkers simply stand up and walk around quietly and aimlessly.

These episodes usually last for a couple of minutes and may occur three to four nights per week. After an episode of sleepwalking, the person is usually confused and remembers very little of what happened, if anything at all. Clearly, even they can’t understand how it’s possible to sleep while walking around.

What causes sleepwalking and can it be treated?

Research suggests that a variety of factors contribute to sleepwalking. These include genetic, developmental, organic and psychological factors. Furthermore, somnambulism can be triggered by fever, medication with some drugs, stress and major life events.

Considering that different factors contribute and trigger sleepwalking, it should not be dealt with alone. It’s recommended that someone suffering from sleepwalking should consult a doctor to discover whether there is an underlying cause. The doctor will not only help a sleepwalker identify the actual cause of the problem; they may also be able to give advice about improving sleep habits, having a good night’s sleep and how to stop sleepwalking.

Depending on the doctor’s assessment, the patient may also be recommended to seek additional advice from a psychologist or sleep specialist and discover how to sleep properly without sleep walking.

Originally posted 2012-06-21 19:07:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

a good night's sleep helps you feel healthier and more energetic

Overcoming your insomnia is already a feat in itself. But being able to do so will not only give you more hours of restful sleep, it can also lead to great health benefits. Many people don’t realize that not knowing how to get enough sleep can contribute to some serious health problems. Conversely, getting your daily dose of good night’s sleep can bring about surprising results.

So if you’re always wondering how to sleep better, act fast. Discover the different types of remedies and medical treatments that can help you. Learn relaxation techniques that can boost your chances of sleeping well, and gain all the health benefits that come with restorative sleep.

  1. Better immune system – When you sleep, your body works overtime to repair cells, tissues, and muscles. Knowing how to sleepwell keeps your immunity system strong, protecting you from viruses like flu and colds.
  2. More energy – When you are not tired and drowsy, you will have more energy to take on the day’s activities. When you get enough sleep you will feel more refreshed and invigorated.
  3. Healthier heart – Sleeping well contributes to your overall health and reduces the possibility of developing health problems such as heart disease. Like any other body organ, the heart is made up of muscles that need to be constantly maintained and repaired.
  4. Improved memory – While you are sleeping, the brain strengthens your memory and stores away all the information you learned during the day. When you’re trying to learn a new skill, you have greater chances of remembering the new things you learned after a good night’s sleep.
  5. Healthy weight – When you don’t get enough sleep, certain hormones in your brain are created and these can trigger you to feel hungry more often. This can lead to unnecessary weight gain.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder insomnia and a lack of sleep can make you feel rundown. So take advantage of all the useful advice on this website on how to get to sleep for more hours every night.

Originally posted 2012-05-21 16:06:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter




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