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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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: