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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.