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.

Help Me Sleep! What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia and wondering how to get to sleep at night blights the lives of millions. If you aren’t getting  the recommended eight hours of sleep a night then you can feel lethargic, irritable and unable to perform at your best. Prolonged sleep deprivation can also be very damaging to your health, as your body hasn’t had time to rejuvenate.

Thankfully, wondering how to get to sleep need not be a long-term problem. Through taking the right steps to improve your ‘sleep hygiene’ and making healthy lifestyle changes, you can find ways to help you to get to sleep at night and enjoy more lucid dreams.

Why does insomnia occur?

There are a wide range of reasons why you might be thinking of visiting your doctor and asking them to ‘help me sleep.’ In fact, a reaction to medication could be the root cause, so it’s a good idea to check whether your insomnia started at a particular time.

More common reasons for insomnia are psychological, notably stress, anxiety and/or depression. There can prevent your mind from reaching the relaxed state you need to be able to drift off to sleep. So if you think your sleep deprivation might be due to a mental cause then the best advice is to try and resolve the issue that is making you anxious. Although this may be easier said than done, it’s far healthier than reaching for the sleeping pills.

Other causes of that can stop you from sleeping can include taking stimulants, such as tobacco, alcohol or caffeine, a couple of hours before you want to get some shut eye and descend into lucid dreaming. These put your mind into a heightened state of alertness which makes it difficult to firstly get to sleep and secondly to reach the level of deep sleep needed so your mind and body can rejuvenate itself during the night.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep hygiene is the process of creating the right conditions and patterns of behaviour for making how to get to sleep easier. Along with cutting out stimulants from your diet, good sleep hygiene tactics on how to go to sleep include going to bed at the same time every night, not watching TV in bed and not eating a large meal too late at night.

While sleeping pills can help for brief periods of insomnia, they can be addictive as you can start to think that the only way to sleep is to pop a few pills every night. Sleeping pills can also make you drowsy the next day, which can be dangerous if you work in a hazardous environment, such as a building site.

An alternative is to try natural remedies. This includes a warm glass of milk, bananas and camomile tea, which releases relaxing chemicals in the brain that can help you drift off to the land of nod.

So if you find yourself lying awake at night thinking ‘what can help me sleep’, try some of the tips in this article so you can stop counting sheep and spend more time enjoying lucid dreams catching zzzs.

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.

Study Finds that Not Coping with Stress One of Main Causes of Insomnia

stress and insomnia

Stress has been considered as one of the most common emotional issues that causes Insomnia. A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine investigated the factors that can affect our sleeping patterns. According to the study, it is not the stress that you experienced throughout the day that keeps you awake It is the way you cope with the stress and how you respond to your stressor.

The study sampled a community of 2,892 people with no history of insomnia. The participants were asked to report a number of stressful events that they encounter and their coping mechanisms with the corresponding stressful events.
The three coping mechanisms that were identified that are most likely to develop insomnia after a stressful event are:

  • Alcohol
  • Watching TV
  • Denial

According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America, they surveyed that almost 13 percent of Americans have turned to alcohol to ease down their stress level. But alcohol can cause sleep disturbance later at night, leaving you more exhausted and weak the next morning.

Those who opted to just watch TV or movies have a 4 percent risk of insomnia. They may forget their stressor momentarily while enjoying some entertainment, but the fact remains that their stressor is still unresolved and at the end of the day they have to come face to face with their problems.

The people who are in Denial and chose not to cope with their stress have the highest percentage of risk to develop insomnia, with a 9 percent increased of risk to develop insomnia for every sign of resignation.

Relieve stress to reduce insomnia

Thankfully, there are certain stress reliever strategies that can help you drift off at night. Dr. Vivek Pillai of the Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital suggested that mindfulness based meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia are two of the most effective methods that can treat insomnia.

I personally treat my chronic insomnia with breathing exercise and some cardio during the morning. A long steam shower an hour before my bedtime can also make a difference.

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.

Jawbone UP24 Review – The Smart Way to Track your Sleep

Jawbone Up24 sleep tracker

 

Do you know that less than half of Americans get the recommended seven of sleep a night? A very alarming number considering the impact it can have your concentration, health and even your weight. A lack of sleep has also been linked to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)).

If you’re worried that you might not be getting enough healthy sleep, one way to check whether you have an abnormal sleeping pattern is with a sleep tracker. Better yet, if sometimes you cant sleep you, by tracking your sleep patterns and the patterns of your sleep you can identify the root of your insomnia.

Jawbone Up24 brings state-of-the-art technology to sleep tracking

There are a lot of sleep tracking apps and devices on the market, but Up24 by Jawbone could be the best yet. Jawbone Up24 can give you an in-depth picture of your sleep patterns as well as the impact of your diet and daily exercise. This allows you to make smarter choices about your lifestyle habits and changes you can make to get the optimal amount of sleep.

Up24 is wireless, allowing you to stay connected to your Smartphone via Bluetooth. You can check out your notifications and see real-time updates of your goals anytime of the day. You can also team up with your friends and compare your sleep data and results. If you are annoyed by the sound of your alarm clock then Jawbone’s Up24 takes care of this too with a vibrating alarm that can pleasantly wake you up on the time you set.

Jawbone Up24 can tell whether it’s too much caffeine that means you can’t sleep at night

The one thing I also like about Jawbone Up24 is the coffee app. I’m an avid caffeine lover, I like my coffee black, with cream, with coco or marshmallows. I take them anytime of the day, basically I can’t control it. My addiction with coffee is way too much that sometimes I can feel my hands shaking involuntarily. My sister, who is a nurse, said that it’s the result of too much caffeine. Jawbone Up Coffee will able to understand your sleep patterns and help you identify the impact of caffeine intake.

In a matter of days you can identify how much you lost on sleep for every 100mg of caffeine . It helps you control and moderate your caffeine intake to be able to achieve your sleep goal for the day.

You can buy Jawbone UP Coffee app through App Store and Up24 Jawbone in Amazon. A good investment if you want to get more hours of sleep, to improve your health and eat better all at the same time.

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

3 Steps to Changing Unhelpful Thoughts if You Can’t Sleep at Night

stop anxiety if cant sleep

If you’ve had a stressful day it can be difficult to shut off and forget about it when you get home. Your mind can keep running over what happened and stop you from being able to feel relaxed at bedtime. If you’ve had a long soak in the bath, maybe even meditated and had a nice warm glass of milk and still can’t sleep then you need to address the negative thoughts and emotions keeping you awake at night.

Try following these 3 simple steps to address anxiety levels and increase your amount of sleep:

1. Accept the unchangeable

If it’s something that happened in your past that’s troubling you then you need to let it go. If you are blaming others for your mistakes then acceptance can become a hard process to accomplish. Stop lamenting on your missed opportunities and accept the fact that it already slipped through your hands. You can’t change what happened in the past, it is better to focus on what you can change at the moment. Learn from your past mistakes and do not commit the same mistakes again.

Learn to forgive and forget. You can’t move on and start a new beginning if you are still trap on your wrath. It is always better to live life away from hatred and grudges. Success is the best form of revenge. Focus on being successful and live in the moment. That way you can be truly happy.

2. Change the changeable

Think of the things that are changeable in your life, yourself and your environment. The most important change you should make is to change how you react on anything thrown at you. It is your choice to react positively or negatively you can control your thoughts to draw a positive result.

It is best to react not on emotional impulse but rather on logical and rational actions. Keep in mind that if you react negatively you will get the same negative feedback. Try to wait a few moments before you react and give your reasons a chance to compete with your emotions.

3. Avoid the unacceptable

Walk away from people who are bad company. Use your judgment well, if someone in dubious character approaches you take a left or a right. If someone is trying to annoy you learn to ignore. If someone is trying to test your patience learn to laugh it out and stay your cool.

Maintaining an alert mind especially on negative situations that can endanger your personal safety, health, financial ventures and relationships is just one way of keeping yourself away from stress.

Life is always going to be stressful at times. However, thinking in a calm, relaxed way about yourself and the world around you can help to keep stress levels low and positivity high. Stress and anxiety is one of the main causes of insomnia, so if you can’t sleep try to address what is causing this stress and anxiety to help yourself to feel calmer, happier and more able to switch off and doze off at bedtime.

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.

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.