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

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.

Originally posted 2012-10-18 14:34:21. 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

Can’t Sleep? How to get to sleep naturally without medication

Can’t get to sleep?

Are you spending hours tossing and turning dreading another day at work feeling tired and irritable?

If so, you’re not alone. As many as one in ten people suffers from chronic insomnia or a sleep disorder that keeps them awake into the early hours.

Stress, physical pain and anxiety are common causes. If you’re spending hours counting sheep it could also be due to a reaction to medication or injesting stimulants late at night, such as coffee, nicotine or alcohol.

Thankfully, insomnia is a medical condition that can be treated like any other. And I don’t mean reaching for the sleeping pills. Whilst medication can help in the short term, popping a pill every time you want to get to sleep can lead to an unhealthy reliance. A few late night beers also isn’t the answer. While alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it stops you from reaching the deep level of sleep you need to feel refreshed and rejuvenated the next day.

Instead, the best way to cure insomnia is to identify the root cause.

One way is to keep a sleep diary in which you record your night time habits. This could include what you had to eat or drink, what you were doing before going to bed or what you were thinking about when trying to sleep. That way you can spot patterns in your insomnia and identify what you need to change for more hours of snoozing and less hours of stressing.

It’s also a good idea to adopt good sleep hygiene habits.

Avoid watching TV in bed but instead listen to some relaxing music.

Have a long hot bath and try natural sleep remedies, like a banana or camomile tea, just before bedtime. These habits will help your mind and body to relax so you can drift off to the land of nod.

For more advice on how to get more hours of rejuvenating sleep each night and feel more energized and alert each day, visit helpmelseep.us – the home of natural sleep solutions

Originally posted 2014-02-09 15:01:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Will Listening to Music Help Me Sleep?

Will music help me sleep? It’s a good question.

When you’re battling insomnia, you lie there for hours on end, getting agitated and worrying about being tired and crabby the next day. You may dread, yet again, missing the eight hours of sleep you need to be getting every night.

There’s a wide range of reasons why you might be suffering from the nighttime blues. It could be a reaction to medication, too many cups of coffee, troubling thoughts or a wide range of other reasons.

So the first step in battling insomnia is to try and identify what is stopping you from going to sleep at night. Introducing good sleep hygiene habits, such as going to sleep at the same time every night and avoiding stimulants late at night, is a also a wise step.

But if you’ve cut out the caffeine, haven’t been sat in bed working on your laptop and cant identify any psychological reason why you are still awake, it might be worth listening to some music a try.

How can music help me sleep?

To get to sleep, your mind and body has to be able to relax. If your mind is too active, worrying about things or being distracted, then it wont be able to go through the stages of relaxation needed to drift off to sleep.

There are a number of reasons why music can help you get to sleep at night:

1. Helps your body to relax

Along with your mind, your body has to be able to relax in order to get to sleep. This means your heart has to be able to beat at a slow, steady pace so that your muscles and body can relax.

Music can help if it is slow and matches the rhythm of a calm heart because it can subconsciously slow your breathing so that you reach a semi-meditative state and your muscles stop being tense and relax.

 2. Calms down an overactive mind

Have you ever noticed how your thoughts seem to become abstract and random just as your drifting off to sleep? This is your mind becoming relaxed. It stops focusing on the here and now, but instead delves into the chaos of the subconscious mind. To help your mind get there, it needs to be able to relax.

Adopting the practices used by meditators to relax their mind and body can be an effective way of overcoming insomnia.  Soft, relaxing music can enable you to calm the mind and to think in a less ‘present’ active state.

3. Blanket out background noise

If you live in a busy street, with noisy flatmates or family members watching the TV until late at night, background noise can be a real problem. Music can be helpful in providing a blanket of soft noise to replace the background sounds that might be keeping you awake.

Another option is to listen to ‘white noise’ that provides a continuous stream of sound. This can mask distracting background noise that’s disturbing you.

What sort of music can help me sleep?

Some of the music that helps people get to sleep includes Coldplay, Loreena McKennitt or even some downbeat ‘Dream’ trance music.

The best advice is to try calm instrumental music without any vocals. If there’s a singer in the song then it can distract your mind and stop it from relaxing. This could be because your brain has to subconsciously make sense of  the words.

Soft, soothing music without vocals is probably the best for helping your mind and body to relax. You could try listening to panpipes, something ambient (like the sound of crashing waves or rainfall) or maybe even classical music.

A study by the University of Toronto  found that music with slow rhythmic patterns created a meditative mood and slower brainwaves. It also found that classical music with this pattern helped people to get to sleep faster and for longer.

So if you’re wondering ‘what music can help me sleep? try some Bach or Beethoven to see if the scientists are right and that calming classical is great for sleep.

Originally posted 2012-12-05 21:33:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Can Brainwaves Entrainment Help Me Get to Sleep?

brainwaves entrainment

Every night, millions of people all over the world find themselves lying awake desperate for that miracle cure that can help to relax their mind so they can drift off to sleep naturally and healthily.

There are all sorts of bold claims made about light boxes, sleep clocks and hypnosis tapes that can help you get to sleep. It’s always wise to be cynical. But when the claims can be backed up by scientific research it’s worth checking out whether they might be the insomnia cure you’ve been looking for.

One of the latest treatments getting a lot of insomniacs excited (or ideally, more relaxed) is the phenomena of brainwaves entrainment and how it can help you to get to sleep.

What is brainwaves entrainment?

Our brainwaves fluctuate at different frequencies depending on the activity they are engaged in. During the daytime, when we are awake, they are typically between 12 and 30 Hertz, known as the Beta frequency. But when we are asleep the frequency slows dramatically to between 0.1 and 4 hertz, known as the Delta frequency.

In order to get to sleep, our brainwaves have to reduce from Beta to Delta. Normally this happens naturally, as our bodies and mind relax, our breathing slows and our minds drift off to the land of nod. But when you are feeling stress, depressed or anxious, you can find it difficult to relax enough mentally for your brainwaves to slow so you can get to sleep.

This is where brainwaves entrainment comes in. Brainwaves entrainment is the process of using special sounds and pulses to induce slower brain frequencies. When sounds are played at between 0.1 and 4 Hertz our brains naturally adjust themselves to replicate the slower frequency. Much like how fast dance music can make us feel more alert and active, slow sounds can help our minds to relax and feel calm and lulled into the Delta state needed for us to get to sleep.

A method of relaxation used for 100s of years

Brainwave entrainment isn’t a new concept. It’s been used for hundreds of years in spiritual and religious ceremonies to induce people into certain states of mind. Over the last hundred years brainwave entrainment has been developed and refined, and is now used widely for meditation, hypnosis and for curing insomnia.

Brainwave entrainment has been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing brainwave patterns and helping people to relax. This was done using a brainwave scanner to record feedback and images on the slowing brainwaves as a result of listening to brainwave entrainment music. What’s more, brainwave entrainment has been used successfully by the Monroe Institute since the 1980s, and many hypnosis experts swear by its power to help you feel relaxed and calm.

Where can I find brainwaves entrainment music?

There are many different types of MP3s you can buy that use brainwaves entrainment for inducing more relaxed states of mind. Many people use them as a form of therapy relaxation to reduce anxiety, stress or depression.

If you’re looking for an MP3 series focused on battling insomnia then you might want to check out the MP3 series produced by the Sleep Salon. Comprising of 12 different sessions, the set includes different types of brainwave entrainment for treating different levels of insomnia.

So if you’re suffering from bouts of insomnia then brainwave entrainment MP3s are worth trying to see if they can help you relax your mind and gain more hours of healthy, rejuvenating sleep each night. The entire Sleep Salon MP3 set is available on a 60 day money back guarantee, so if it doesn’t help to reduce your insomnia then you can get your purchase fully refunded.

Originally posted 2013-05-07 08:03:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Are There Psychological Changes that Can Help Me Sleep Better?

is anxiety stopping you from sleepingAnother night spent tossing and turning in bed? Before you start losing hope, know that you are not alone. You might not know it, but every night there are plenty of other people begging the universe to ‘help me sleep!’

The key to dealing with your insomnia problem is identifying the cause. There are many possible reasons why sleep evades you night after night.

Sleep experts say that among the most common causes of insomnia are psychological conditions. This can mean anything from stress to depression and anxiety. In fact, most temporary insomnia attacks are tied to specific triggers such as stressing over major exams, suffering jet lag, or recovering from a painful breakup. Often, once you are able to overcome these situations, your sleeping pattern goes back to normal and you’re no longer constantly wondering ‘what can I do to help me sleep!’

How to sleep better by facing the mental causes

However, if you are suffering from chronic or recurrent insomnia, it’s possible that your sleeplessness is a symptom of a particular mental or physical issue. As mentioned, it can be caused by stress, depression, or anxiety. It may also be the result of bipolar disorder or a traumatic experience.

Instead of fretting over what you can do to help me sleep, ask yourself questions to help you determine if there are monsters in your mind that you need to battle. Are you stressed or depressed? Do you often worry about everything? Is there a recent event that triggered the insomnia attack?

As the saying goes, sometimes it’s all in the mind. Recognizing signs of a psychological issue can help you make the appropriate lifestyle changes so you can stop the nightly battle with sleeplessness. It will also help you decide if it’s time to visit your doctor. Finding out what’s causing your insomnia is the first step to knowing how to sleep better.

Originally posted 2012-04-30 12:33:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What can help me stop snoring? A guide to anti-snoring devices

what can help me stop snoring

Are you a Snorter? A snorchestra? Or a rattler? Snoring can be a source of amusement, but for people with a severe snoring problem it’s no laughing matter. It can disrupt your sleep, damage your relationship with your partner and even cause health problems.

Up to a quarter of people in the UK snore, with two thirds of them snoring so loudly that it keeps their partner awake and leaves them wondering nightly what can help me stop snoring? What’s more, if snoring makes you to wake up in the night, and disrupts your sleep, it can make you feel tired the next day and at a higher risk of having an accident. In fact, The Department of Transport estimates that a fifth of traffic accidents are due to excessive sleepiness.

So if your snoring is ruining your sleep and that of your partner, it’s wise to find a solution and discover what can help me stop snoring?

Why do I snore?

People snore due to vibrating soft tissue in the mouth, nose or throat. Snoring can affect anyone and to different degrees: some only snore occasionally while others snore every night.

Snoring is linked to being overweight, smoking and/or drinking alcohol. It could also be due to a response to medication, often ironically sleeping medication which causes the neck muscles to become too relaxed and allow the skin to vibrate.

Snoring can also indicate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where the airways might be partially or totally blocked from anywhere from 10 seconds for up to 2 minutes. This in turn can cause other problems due to the lack of oxygen to the brain. So if you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath it’s a wise idea to see your GP to get it checked out.

How can I stop snoring? Anti-snoring devices you can try

With three million people suffering from the problem nightly and wanting to know ‘how can I stop snoring?’, there’s a range of anti-snoring solutions you can try. Firstly, with snoring being linked to being overweight, drinking alcohol or smoking, the first step is to make some lifestyle changes to eliminate possible causes.

If you snore through your nose then the first anti-snoring devices to try are nasal strips or a nasal dilator. Nasal strips are simply self adhesive strips of tape that are placed over the nose to pull the nostrils apart so that the wearer can breathe through their nose comfortably when they sleep. Alternately, nasal dilators resemble nose rings and are placed inside the nose to push the nostrils apart to clear the airways.

If, on the other hand, you snore through your mouth, you could try wearing a chin strap to keep the mouth closed while you sleep, and so you force yourself to breathe through your nose. Another option is a vesilibutor shield which resembles a gum shield rugby players wear and blocks the flow of air through the mouth, forcing you to breathe through your nose when you sleep.

If none of these anti-snoring devices work, the absolute last resort might be surgery to tighten the tissue that’s vibrating when you sleep. Surgery, however, is far from an ideal solution for snoring and isn’t going to help in many cases, such as if you suffer from sleep apnea. Due to the nature of conducting surgery on sensitive areas, surgery can have unpleasant side effects and will only last up to two years before it will need to be repeated.

So before you think about going under the knife, try out some different anti-snoring devices to see if they can stop you wondering ‘what can help me stop snoring?’ And it’s wise to always visit your GP if snoring is harming your sleep and that of the people around you.

Originally posted 2013-02-14 09:43:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Will Sleeping Pills Help Me Sleep?

medical treatments for insomnia

medical treatments for insomnia

In today’s fast paced world we’re always looking for a quick fix. Got a headache? You can get a pill for that. Need some energy? Knock back an energy drink. The same is true for when you’re wondering how to get to sleep.

Reaching for sleeping pills is the first resort for many. In fact, an article in The Guardian on Britain’s hidden addiction to sleeping pills has highlighted some shocking statistics. Ten percent of people now take medication for insomnia, which amounts to 15.3 million prescriptions every year costing the NHS £50 million per year in sleeping pills. What’s worse is that there has been a ten percent rise in people asking their doctor to ‘help me sleep’ and then knocking back some tablets.

The sharp rise over the last four years coincides with when the recession hits, and suggests that stress and money worries could be the psychological triggers behind people’s insomnia. But is medication the best way forward?

Addressing anxious thoughts can help sooth the soul and help the brain drift to sleep

While beneficial for people with chronic insomnia, a genetic condition or struggling through a brief period (such as a bereavement), sleeping pills can have some worrying side effects. People can form a dependency, believing they can’t sleep without them, they can have more accidents from feeling drowsy the next day and they certainly arent cheap.

It’s been suggested by a leading sleep specialist – Kevin Morgan, professor of gerontology at the University of Loughborough – that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might be a more practical solution for many people suffering from insomnia and wondering how to get to sleep at night. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people to challenge the irrational and negative thought processes that are causing problems in their life, and is a highly effective method of treating mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

With many people’s insomnia caused by anxiety or stress it makes sense that teaching people to address the underlying problems or thoughts causing their insomnia can be a more practical approach than simply popping a pill to paper over the cracks. The Department of Health in the UK is due to assign £400 million over the next four years to this type of talking theory, so it’s clear that the benefits are real and proven.

Combined with sleep hygiene practices

As always, the first step in tackling insomnia is to assess whether your habits are getting in the way of getting a good night’s sleep. This means adopting sleep hygiene practices to eliminate all the stimuli that could be keeping you awake at night wondering ‘how can I get to sleep?’

This includes avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol, before you go to bed. While alcohol can help you fall asleep in can prevent you reaching a deep rejuvenating level you need for your body to rest and recuperate. Other habits to avoid are watching TV or sitting in bed working on your laptop late at night.

To help put your mind in a relaxed mood, there are also natural remedies you can try, such as chamomile tea, bananas or a warm glass of milk to help you drift off to the land of nod without the use of medication.

Originally posted 2012-08-21 14:35:45. 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