Is Procrastination the Cause of Your Insomnia?

Stressed man playing video game

A new study from Utrecht University from the Netherlands says that “Bedtime procrastination” can mess with your usual sleeping pattern. Let’s say that your usual bedtime is 9pm, while you are already lying down, you just can’t help but open your social media accounts or your favorite video streaming site and just browse on nothing in particular. Then you saw something worth watching and just got hooked up. Oblivious of how many hours had passed, it’s already 4am in the morning and you are just a couple of hours away till your alarm set to wake you up.

Some people procrastinate 2 or 3 times a week. It is either they are binge-watching a new season of the house of cards on Netflix or any other movie marathon on YouTube. I have a friend who has insomnia and she said that it began when she used to binge-view a 24 episode of prison break. She have not sleep for 30 hours and end up a little edgy the next day and couldn’t get to sleep the night after so she binge-watch another season again.  Little did she know that her sleeping pattern has been slowly altering. If the procrastination will continue, then your sleeping hygiene will surely get affected, thus it will most probably lead to insomnia.

Now, insomnia is a hard one to cure.  Almost 50 million Americans are suffering from insomnia and it is growing every hour.  Some have turned to natural remedies and different exercises and a lot of people have turned to over the counter drugs just to get a good night sleep. So, think twice before you open your phones or laptops and began browsing online. Follow your sleeping time and stay away from those disturbing gadgets at least 30 minutes before you sleep. That way you can set your mind and your body to involuntarily drift yourself into dreamland

Can Hypnotherapy Help if You Can’t Sleep?

try hypnotherapy if you cant sleep

Many people with insomnia rely on sleeping aids and pills just to sleep better. But another experiment that has surfaced that can make you sleep soundly at night is a more natural form of treatment – hypnotherapy. This medicinal form of hypnotism is a process which leads you into a deep sleep state, just like a fish swimming deeper into the ocean.

Recent research on its benefits for insomnia gathered objective data by using high-density electroencephalograph to document the high and low of the slow-wave sleep activity. It found that, patients that cant sleep and are suffering from insomnia because of difficulty turning off their thoughts can use hypnosis as a method in helping them focus their attention and sway off those deliberate thoughts.

Medication free, yes. But is hypnosis a risk free treatment when you cant sleep?

I have known hypnosis as a technique used by psychotherapist to treat a wide number of ailments and provide therapeutic benefits. I’d never known before that insomnia can be one of them. But what guarantee does it provide that it is safe? Knowing the vast history of hypnosis,  how does it affect the patient’s brain? After all, as the patient only responds to the suggestions of the hypnotist, being in a defenseless state is what makes it a bit scary. I’ve got a friend who tried hypnotism before and woke up an hour afterwards terrified. She thought she detached from her own body and just wandered around the room.

How does hypnotherapy cure insomnia? Considering the high cost of having insomnia and the health risks it comes with, I think it would be worth taking the risks to try it out for once. As it claims to have permanent result. The procedure is very simple; a hypnotist will coaxed you to breathe deeply and told to relax your body. Until you reach a euphoric stage where every part of your body is free from tension and at ease. And the hypnotist would count down from three. They then provide suggestive thoughts to lead your brain into certain ways of thinking.

Hypnotherapy may work for some cases of insomnia, but it doesn’t guarantee to work for patients who have low hypnotic suggestibility compared to those who have higher suggestibility. But the relaxing effect of hypnotherapy may help every patient with insomnia to feel more relaxed and ready for sleep.

Pregnant Can’t Sleep? 3 Tips on Getting More Sleep for You and Your Baby

Pregnant woman unable to sleep

If you’re pregnant and cant sleep, you’re not alone. Insomnia in most pregnant women is a common problem among 75 percent of expectant moms, especially when on the third trimester of pregnancy.

Just like any sleep disorder, if you’re pregnant cant sleep then you need to first identify its causes. This could be a combination of hormonal changes, anxieties, leg cramps and excessive urination. Do not worry too much about your baby or the labor days, I know how I cringe just thinking about it before. But stressing yourself out won’t going to help you one bit. It’s those worrying thoughts that may be why you cant sleep when pregnant, and it’s not healthy for you or your baby.
The following are easy to follow tips suggested by Baby Centre parents when you cant sleep when pregnant. After trying some of these tips you may be surprised how quickly you can fall asleep:

Pregnant Cant Sleep Tip #1 Eat Good Food

“My grandmother told me that drinking a warm cup of milk and having a banana helps you sleep. Well, after many a night of only having one or two hours’ of sleep due to baby moving, cramps and insomnia, I was ready to try anything. Now, whenever I can’t get back to sleep, warm milk and banana does it every time.” Says Prue.

Warm milk paired with fresh fruits like cherries and bananas is a good combination to aid you to sleep. Cherries are good source of melatonin that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep and researchers recommends eating them an hour before bedtime. Bananas are also rich in potassium and magnesium which are natural muscle relaxants.

Pregnant Cant Sleep Tip #2 -“Get Comfortable, means more pillows!”

“Propped up with six pillows (so basically sitting up!) helps a lot. That way I can get at least five hours’ good sleep until I awake at my usual time of 5am. I seem to be able to manage my toddler on this amount of sleep, so it must be good practice for when the baby is born.” – Ali
It gets really uncomfortable sleeping on your bed when you are already in your late pregnancy, that’s why most doctors and midwives often recommend their patients to sleep on a comfy armchair or just like what Ali did, pile those pillows on your back and sleep on comfortably.

Pregnant Cant Sleep Tip #3 -“Relax your mind and soul”

“My hubby helped me get good sleep by talking softly and massaging my aching back. And whenever I woke up due to heartburn or uneasiness, he was the one to make me calm and go back to sleep.” – Shameela
“I listen to a boring discussion on the radio and do the breathing exercises taught in the antenatal yoga classes I go to. These have a really soporific effect.” – Lisa

Relaxation techniques are very helpful if you’re pregnant and cant sleep. Deep breathing exercises and yoga are great ways to relax, it helps you put your body, soul and mind into a state of balance. You could also ask your husband to help you relax just like what Shameela’s husband did. Massage is often used to help babies sleep and it is also a good way in treating insomnia in adults.

So if you’re pregnant and cant sleep, try out these tips to get more rest and relaxation for both you and your unborn child.

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.

 

New Study Finds that Insomnia Might Cause Back Pain

back pain causes insomnia

A new study has found that insomnia could contribute to back pain. The survey was conducted in Tel Aviv Medical Center Inflammation Survey (TAMCIS) and was written by Maayan Agmon, PhD and Galit Armon, PhD of the School of Nursing at the University of Haifa in Israel. The assessment of the study was based on the medical records of the patients and their interviews during the TAMCIS. The study also revealed that more women who can’t sleep had reported to experience back pain problems than men. But the research’s authors failed to provide additional evidence on whether back pain can increase insomnia symptoms.

Does insomnia causes back pain? Or is it the other way around? I know most people who suffer with back pains have difficulty sleeping. Among those are mostly senior citizens, our grandparents and old folks who are experiencing the price of old age. But for those of us who are still on our prime and already experiencing back pains every now and then.

Well, I most certainly think that back pain precedes insomnia. I did not feel the effects of so many sleepless nights 10 or 15 years ago. But now, I know for sure that all those of years wondering ‘why can’t I sleep?’ has had an effect. I can feel my body is aching and my muscles are twitching whenever I wake up following a sleepless night. There were even times that I caught myself a few winks of sleep whenever I’m seating in front of my computer or even when I’m driving, which scares me sometimes.

Sleep is a requirement for life, an indispensable necessity that has no medical substitute. Sleep rejuvenates and repairs every cells and tissues in our body. Although some people considered sleep as their number one enemy. Like Yennis Cheung an actress from the James Bond movie Skyfall. She suffered from insomnia at a very young age. She had such a bad relationship with sleep that makes her anxious and nervous before going to bed.

But eventually she found a supplement that aid her sleepless nights – a chemical-free powdered food supplement made from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. She mixes them with soya milk and sprinkles them on her meals. Yennis is now back on our screens with BBC drama Panic, she said she felt much better that she conquered her sleep demons.

How to Sleep on Planes – Top 5 Tips

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.

I Can’t sleep! – Try these 5 Sleep Remedies

Woman with insomnia

Do you lie awake at night wondering ‘why cant I sleep’? Then maybe you belong to the 60 percent of Americans who is experiencing a sleep problem every night or almost every night. You are either waking randomly at wee hours of the evening, snoring, waking up too early or feeling tired when they get up the following morning.

Some people may have sleeping pills ready on their medicine cabinet or at their bedside table. But for some, sleeping pills effectiveness can become no more effective than a sugar pill, most especially when you use sleeping pills on a nightly basis. The brain receptors become less sensitive to their effects and can even worsen your insomnia in the long run.

So instead of stacking pills, why not look for other safer and more effective ways to end your struggle every night. You can try these five simple sleep remedies that would help you fall fast asleep tonight.

I Can’t Sleep Tip 1. Prioritize your sleep

Adequate sleep is an important part in living a healthy life, it is one of your body’s basic needs. When you lack sleep it will hinder your ability to concentrate and deal with daily pressure. It becomes harmful not only to yourself but with those around you. Recent studies have emerged that most of minor incidents at home, work and even some road accidents are due to the driver’s dozing off behind the wheels.

Plan your activities during the day so that you can have a relaxing sleep in the evening. Keep out from caffeine and alcohol hours before your bedtime, limit your computer, tablet and Smartphone use at night because the blue light emission from these devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and can impede your circadian rhythm.

I Can’t Sleep Tip 2. Try to de-stress when you get home

The reason why many people scream ‘I cant sleep!’ at night is because of anxiety and stress. One better way to discharge yourself from your stressors during the day is to unwind when you get home from work. You can do this just by gazing up at your ceiling while lying down from your bed or your sofa and count down from 60. This way your parasympathetic nervous system will get stimulated which cause to lower down your blood pressure and slows the pace or your breathing. Counting slowly will also help you get rid of your minds distractions. A cup of hot chamomile tea is also good to calm your nerves and relax your body as well.

I Can’t Sleep Tip 3. Meditate

Another factor for why you may be wondering ‘why is it that I cant sleep?’ is anxiety. If you have many troubling thoughts inside your head, there’s no way you are going to sleep soundly tonight. One way to relax your mind is through meditation.

Meditation sends signals to your sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” response and telling it that it’s all right to relax as what Dr.Weil says, “It can help you put aside thoughts from the day.”

I Can’t Sleep Tip 4. Before bed, get it on

Sex is a good stress reliever and when you are stress free you are most likely going to be sleeping well in your bed tonight. As you notice that after sex most couples quickly fall asleep in no time.

Sheenie Ambardar, MD a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, California has an explanation on this. According to Sheenie, “After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness after sex.”

I Can’t Sleep Tip 5. Try Aromatherapy and lavender oils

If you want to stop wondering ‘I cant sleep and want to get to sleep faster and stay asleep then some oils and aroma might be the answer for you. Aromatherapy can’t cure insomnia, however by using its calming effect and relaxing essential oils before your bedtime can quickly make you fall asleep in a short period of time.

“Studies show it’s one of nature’s best sedatives.” And if you’re stewing about work, anxious about money, or just feeling overwhelmed, try spikenard, vetiver, frankincense, myth and clary sage, says Hope Gillerman an aromatic healer and the creator of the cult line H. Gillerman Organics. Gillerman also added that “These oils will slow you down to promote a heavier, more restorative sleep.”

Juice Your Way to a Good Night’s Sleep

juice if cant sleep

Tart Cherry Juice has shown some potential to be the most delightful way in aiding your sleepless nights if you can’t sleep. This recent discovery was presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 Annual Meeting by a group of researchers from Louisiana State University.

The Montmorency cherry juice contains a set amount of proanthocyanidins and procyanidins, two naturally occurring compounds in cherries. They are also a good source of the naturally-occurring compound melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles which has been attributed with sleep enhancing effects. The presence of tryptophan in cherries is also known to improve sleep.
The research participants were insomniacs who agreed to drink the tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. Their assessments were divided in two parts the first one is in a sleep laboratory in which the researchers use polysomnography to evaluate sleep efficiency, duration and onset. The second part is through questionnaires that relate to anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep. After 2 weeks the scientists found out that through taking tart cherry juice you can increase sleep time by almost an hour and a half each night in adults with insomnia.

The positive result is greatly appreciated specially by most senior citizens who comprise the 23 percent of population suffering from insomnia. Recently a senior patient was admitted to ER due an adverse reaction to an insomnia drug. According to recent statistics, the risks of taking drugs like Ambien for treating insomnia in older patients are much higher than for patients aged 19 to 44.

With this in mind, the discovery of the sleep boosting properties of Montmorency Cherry Juice could offer a better and safer way to treat insomnia, plus the fact that it is a tasty way to get some shut eye.

 

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.

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.