Top 5 Natural Insomnia Remedies that Help You Sleep Better

natural remedies when you cant sleep

When you’re dealing with insomnia it’s tempting to take the easy root and reach for the sleeping pills. But you should always be wary of the side effects of sleeping pills, which includes feeling dopey the next day and, even worse, building a reliance on them as  the first option when you cant sleep. Sleeping pills might be effective at beating insomnia in the short term, but they’re not a long-term solution to the bedtime blues.

Thankfully, there are lots of natural remedies for when you cant sleep. They’re non-addictive, dont have side effects and give you the peace of mind knowing you’re not messing with your body’s natural rhythms.

Here are top 5 natural remedies for insomnia to try next time you’re wondering ‘what can help me sleep?’:

1. Cut down on Caffeine

Well, to be truthful, this is a natural remedy to avoid. Although, it is very tempting to have a coffee with your dinner or in the early evening,  it is always advisable to keep your caffeine intake as low as possible if you want to get to sleep that night. Caffeine stimulates your brain, so a cup or two is enough for most people to last the whole day, let alone at night.

2. Have a bedtime snack

Try consuming some high carbohydrate food like toasted bread or a sweet cookie at least an hour before going to bed. The reason for this is that,snacks high in carbohydrates and low in protein help your brain prepare for sleep. A sweet cookie can also act as a sedative because of the amount of sugar it contains. You can accompany your favorite snack with a warm glass of milk, which is an age-old treatment for those who cant sleep at night.

3. Establish a Bedtime Ritual

I know a lot of people have a habit of playing with their gadgets before going to bed and some acquired their insomnia because of these bad habits. You need to establish a peaceful bedtime routine that can send a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Make your bedroom more sleep friendly and make sure your bed is comfortable.

A hot bath before bedtime is also a wonderful way to relax your body. But you need to do this 2hours early before bed time. Also, if you are familiar with Epsom salts, you can add one to 2 cups to your hot bath and soak them for about 15 to 20 minutes before going in. They are highly recommended by Naturopathic practitioners because of their added benefits and proven to relieve stress, soothe your muscles, soften your skin and maybe even reduce some wrinkles.

4. Valerian

Although it sounds like a modern discovery valerian is actually a staple medicinal herb widely used throughout Europe. From some clinical evidence that has been gathered by two independent studies. Valerian has been proven to improve sleep latency, it increases the amount of time spent in deep and rapid eye movement (REM). Valerian has even been shown to improve sleep quality and to decrease anxiety in people trying to wean off of benzodiazepines.

5. Keep a Sleep Journal

Keeping a regular sleep schedule will get you in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. You will feel more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours but at different times.

Quick bonus tips for when you cant sleep

• Set a regular bedtime by going to bed the same time every night.
• Wake up at the same time Everyday and do it naturally without using your alarm
• Take a Nap to Make up for the lost hours of sleep and opt for a day time rather than sleeping late.
• Limit your nap time to at least 30 minutes and do it in the early afternoon.
• Fight after-dinner drowsiness

Originally posted 2014-09-11 16:48:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Study Finds that Insomnia and Restless Leg Syndrome Pose Greater Risk for Women than Men

restless leg syndrome can stop you getting to sleep

A Sleep in America poll of all adults revealed that women have more difficulty falling and staying asleep than men. This also means that they experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few nights or days a week. Women take longer to fall asleep than men and pose a rather indistinctive symptoms than men. This is due to the biological and physiological characteristic present in women. Some contributing factors for why women sleep differently are believed to be sex chromosomes, hormonal and physical changes, estrogen influence on our body, and biological conditions like menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. Pregnant women doubled the risk factor for RLS compared to women who have never given birth and men.

Nearly half of women struggle to get to sleep at night

Although women generally go to bed at a sensible time compared to men, 46% of women were complaining that they have trouble sleeping every night. This was according to several clinical studies gathered by Neurology Medlink and from several respected contributors. Aside from dealing with menstrual cycle, postpartum, menopause and pregnancy. Women are more resistant to high altitude periodic breathing than men and 10% of pregnant women are diagnosed with having restless leg syndrome. Another unaddressed problem is the diagnosis of sleep disorders in women. Sleep disorders in women are said to be under-recognized, misdiagnosed and mistreated. This should be communicated accurately without gender bias.

When women can’t sleep it can effect them in more ways than one

When a woman suffers from poor sleep quality compared to men, and is at higher risk for breast cancer, miscarriage and infertility, then the need to include these unique psychosocial issues into research should be prioritized. But how much sleep do we really need? These are the kind of questions I hear from my friends and family. What the research says though is that there is no magic number. But there’s no doubt that nobody wants to have their sleep disturbed by nervous leg disorder, man or woman.

Originally posted 2014-07-28 15:13:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep at Night

cant sleep

Sleep problems only normally start as we get older. A newborn baby sleeps 16 – 20 hours a day because this is when it bodies develop the fastest. Adults may not need that much time to sleep but getting enough shut eye is still vital for our health. If you cant sleep at night it can cause depression, high blood pressure and even early death. But before you panic and rush off to bed, remember that your doctor can advise you if your lack of sleep is endangering your health.

1. Insomnia is linked with depression

One of the common signs of depression is insomnia or an inability to fall and stay asleep. Sleep is important to restore our body to its normal state. However when we only sleep a few hours it can make us irritable, tense and on edge.  A person who is diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder may worsen their symptoms if they have inadequate amount of sleep. Treating Insomnia and depression simultaneously is the best way to improve their symptoms.

2. Popping pills won’t get you far

A sleeping pill may be effective and immediate way at ending your sleeping problems in the short-term. But all medications have side effects and sleeping pills have plenty of them, plus its effect can wear off when used in the long-term. What is really important to kick insomnia for good is to have a good sleeping habit. Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least 12 hours before going to bed. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time everyday. It’s okay to take 10-20 minutes naps in the afternoon but try not to take them later than 2pm.

3. Kitchen cures or home remedies may or may not work

The latest magical home remedy for insomnia is tart cherry juice. Researchers from Louisiana State University have found out that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks can increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia. Other than cherry juice, drinking chamomile tea and bathing in lavender oil are just some of the natural insomnia remedies you can try at home. It may or may not work for some but it won’t hurt to give it a try and see if it’s right for you.

4. Look out for the “three P’s

If you suddenly having trouble falling asleep, there are three factors you have to look out for. The predisposing factors, precipitating cause and the perpetuating cause. Predisposition may not cause the problem on having insomnia but may increase the likelihood of it occurring. This includes having a family history of poor sleepers or being an all time worrier.

Precipitating factors are those that could trigger insomnia, like lifestyle changes, a promotion at work, too much pressure at school and a whole lot more disturbance around your family, at home, health and at work/school.

Perpetuating cause are stressful events, that creates an initial disruption of sleep. Any factors that might exacerbate the problem and heightened anxiety/arousal levels for the development of depression. It may also be a case of behavior and coping strategies, like napping long periods of time during the day and spending too much time in bed.

5. Attention can make it worse

We may have learned in the past that keeping sleep diaries can help you identify the underlying factors of what’s keeping you awake. But Feinsilver advises to ignore it, he is concerned that too much analyzing and the more you think about it the harder it is to fall asleep. The best way to stop worrying is through meditation. In fact a recent study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows that mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia.

Originally posted 2014-10-14 09:43:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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

Originally posted 2014-06-23 13:00:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2014-07-22 12:14:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

5 Top Tips to Stop Snoring

Snore while sleeping

Almost everyone snores, even my 23 months old toddler snores occasionally. In fact, almost 90 million people in the United States alone snore.

While common, frequent snoring can disturb other people, particularly if they are in the same bed as you. So if you get complaints from other people that they cant sleep because of your snoring, it’s sensible to find a way to stop. While there’s no miracle cure, it is possible to find ways to stop snoring by identifying the cause of why you snore. Common causes of snoring include nasal and sinus problems, being overweight, alcohol, smoking and medications, oor sleep posture and the way you are genetically born.

Here are 5 ways to stop snoring depending on the root cause:

1. Keep your nasal passages clear

This will help you to easily breathe in through your nose rather than your mouth, and help you stop snoring.

I thought at first that my snoring sound comes from my throat, but I wake up from my loud snoring one night and the sound definitely came from my nostrils. I have a sinus problem and it happens to block my airways which makes my inhalation difficult, it then creates a vacuum in my throat which leads to my snoring. An effective home remedy I tried was steam inhalation. The hot steam moistens the nasal passages and effectively clears out my blocked nose which allows me to breathe more easily and sleep peacefully.

But if you are suffering from severe sinusitis or allergy, it is better to ask your GP or pharmacist for nasal spray or antihistamine prescriptions.

2. Quit or cut down on smoking

Smoke causes swelling and catarrh that if your nasal passages become congested it will be difficult to breathe through your nose because the airflow is decreased. This blockage then causes the vibrations in your throat and nose that cause snoring.

I occasionally tried smoking in college to keep me awake when I cram on examination week. It did help me stay awake but I guess I can’t tolerate the smoke, it irritates my throat so much that I end up having a cold the next day.

3. Avoid stimulants late at night

Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and sedatives before going to bed. They contain the same substance that relax the muscles in your throat and interfere with breathing. If you are taking a prescription medicine at the moment, it is better to talk to your doctor and see if he can give you an alternative medication that doesn’t obstruct you getting to sleep.

4. Change your sleep position

It is advisable to sleep on your side, because lying on your back makes the base of your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back wall of your throat which causes a vibrating sound when you are asleep. You can also position a pillow beneath your head to open up nasal airways passages and might help you to prevent snoring.

5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet

Aside from my sinusitis, your snoring problems might be due to being overweight. The fatty tissue around your neck squeezes the airway and prevents the air from flowing freely in and out of our nose and mouth, causing you to start snoring at night.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might snore at night. To find a solution, it’s a good idea to tick off all the possible causes on the list. You might be able to stop snoring by improving your diet, giving up smoking or changing your sleeping position. But if these don’t help, and you think your snoring problem might require surgery, then it’s recommended that you speak to a doctor for their expert advice on how to stop snoring for good.

Originally posted 2014-09-22 18:44:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2014-07-08 10:28:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2014-12-01 09:07:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

Originally posted 2014-08-14 19:54:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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.

 

Originally posted 2014-08-25 18:03:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter




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