Tossing and turning at night is a sure sign that something is wrong. Whether you have long-term bouts of insomnia or temporary sleep issues, going even a few hours without sleep can cause a serious drop in your energy and productivity. Fortunately, most sleep issues are fairly easy to identify, and you can be back on track to getting a full night’s rest by checking to see if any of these common causes of sleep problems sound familiar.
Have you ever crawled under the covers, wanting desperately to sleep but instead tossing and turning all night long? Maybe your mind won’t shut down or you have a long to-do list that you cannot seem to stop thinking about. Whatever the cause, sleep problems can leave you feeling down in the dumps and make it difficult to perform at your best the next day at work. In addition, chronic insomnia is related to high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious health issues. Here are some groundbreaking therapies that can help you banish insomnia for good and get a better night’s rest.
- Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Research from the JAMA Internal Medicine indicates that mindfulness meditation is effective at improving sleep. Mindfulness meditation is a mind-calming practice that focuses on staying present in the moment and breathing. It involves bringing your mind’s attention to the present instead of focusing on past or future worries, such as your long to-do list for tomorrow. Another component of mindfulness is focusing your breathing. Staying present in the moment and slowing your breathing helps the mind calm. This practice produces a shift in the body that is opposite of the stress response. For many people, sleep disorders are triggered by stress. Relaxing your body and mind can help ease many stress-related problems, as well as improve sleep.
Insomnia is a condition that affects everyone occasionally, but there are also individuals who have chronic insomnia that leads to feeling tired each day. Finding better ways to sleep by changing your daily lifestyle and your bedroom’s environment can lead to a restful night’s sleep.
Stop Ingesting Caffeine
If you are having trouble getting to sleep or wake-up several times, then stop ingesting caffeine. You probably know that caffeine is in coffee, tea and many flavors of soft drinks, but this stimulant is also in chocolate, chewing gum or some medications. It is also possible that the bottled water you drink several times a day has caffeine. To avoid caffeine, read the labels on all foods and beverages before making a purchase.
So you have insomnia or some other form of sleep disorder, but you’ve decided the prescription pharmaceutical route (i.e. Ambien) isn’t going to work out for you. You begin looking over the all-natural and OTC options … and there’s a staggering amount. Where do you even start? Are all of these substances safe to try? What exactly is a “valerian root,” anyway?
The truth about OTC sleep aid ingredients is that some of them do have some amount of science backing them, but there is a lot more anecdotal (non-scientific) evidence from individual users who have experienced good ongoing effects with them. Even with the ones that work, however, the dosing can be highly individualized — the optimal amount for you may not be what works for someone else.
Sleep deprivation is a common problem in America. In fact, it is estimated that 20 percent of people in America get less than six hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can put your health at risk. Fortunately, there are natural sleep solutions you can use. Below is a list of natural ways that you can improve your sleep:
One of the best things you can do to improve your quality and quantity of sleep is to exercise. There was a study done that involved sedentary adults who reported sleeping poorly. They were asked to exercise four times per week. The results of the study showed that the subjects sleep quality went from poor to good.
It is best to get your workout in early in the day. Exercising right before bed can make it harder for you to go to sleep.
Do you have a hard time getting any sleep at night? As soon as it is time for you to get into bed, you may suddenly feel a surge of energy. If you toss and turn regularly, you could have insomnia. It may not seem like such a big deal right now, but only getting three or four hours of sleep each night is going to cause problems for you in the future. Even if you do not feel excessively tired at the moment, the lack of sleep is going to destroy your ability to perform well enough. It is best to get at least eight hours of sleep, but even more than that would be great for your body. Not sure how to get more sleep? Try these few simple techniques. Continue reading
Getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial factor in maintaining good health and a positive well being, but it is also something that millions of people struggle with each night. If this has become a problem for you, it is worth it to make a concerted effort at attaining more and better rest. Benefits can include an improved mental state, an increase in energy, an immune system that functions optimally, and much more. Here are some proven methods for helping you achieve a full night’s rest.
Create a Tranquil Setting
The place where you sleep should be ideally arranged in order to facilitate good rest, however too many people’s bedrooms are cluttered environments that end up revving you up when you should be powering down. In order to induce restfulness:
- Make sure it is dark: If the bedroom gets a lot of light, take steps to change this. These could include wearing an eyeshade and/or installing room-darkening window coverings.
- Invest in a quality mattress: Instead of buying the cheapest surface to sleep on, put money towards a topnotch product. After all, 1/3 of your life is spent here, so it is worth it to make sure that this time is spent comfortably.
- Check the temperature: If the room is under 54 F or above 72 F, it can disrupt slumber. Consider installing a fan or heater to correct the conditions.
When you suffer from insomnia, you tend to rise in the morning feeling tired and sluggish. It is easy to use fatigue as an excuse to skip the exercise, but research shows that it is beneficial not just for cardiovascular health and brain function, but also for improved sleep. A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity found that a representative sample of more than 2,600 Americans slept considerably better and felt more alert during the daytime after exercising at least 150 minutes per week. In fact, they experienced 65% improvement in sleep quality, and felt less sleepy during the day! So, how do you get started?
Set Exercise Goals
To increase your chance of success, the American Council on Exercise suggests setting goals that are SMART:
- Specific – Choose exercise sessions that are easy to understand and plan out.
- Measurable –Stay away from vague proclamations and aim for goals that you can check off.
- Attainable – Set the bar at a place that challenges you a bit, but is not so insanely hard that you are likely to quit.
- Relevant – What motivates you? Do you enjoy walking or swimming?
- Time-bound –Set a time frame to complete goals in.
Insomnia can be excruciating when you desperately need sleep. Here are tips for mindfulness meditation to get you on your way to dreamland.
Before crawling into bed, there are a few things you can add to — or remove from — your evening to get your mind and body into a good place to be ready for sleep.
- Eliminate caffeine. Reduce the overall amount of caffeine you ingest throughout the day, but completely refrain from it in the evening hours. You might find it necessary to place the cutoff point earlier in the afternoon.
Everyone can benefit from a good night’s sleep, but that is hard to come by for many of us. Individuals with insomnia in particular may toss and turn trying to find the most comfortable sleeping position. What exactly is the best position for sleep? Is there a correct way or an incorrect way to sleep? While science can tell us a little about the pros and cons of the various resting positions of back, side, or stomach, ultimately, you need to stick with the one that feels most comfortable to you.
Lying on Your Back
Technically speaking, sleeping on your back with minimal pillows is the best for the spine, provided the mattress is supportive. Lying on your back will keep your face from getting smashed and wrinkled, so the cosmetically conscious may choose to sleep on their back for this benefit. However, sleeping on one’s back is not recommended for those with sleep apnea or snoring problems.
Many people settle onto their sides for sleep. This position is particularly helpful for those with lower back trouble. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can alleviate the pressure on the lower back. Side sleeping is also best during pregnancy. While pregnant, mothers should try sleeping on the left side to improve circulation as a benefit to mother and baby. Sleeping on the left side can also help those who struggle with heartburn. Reflux symptoms can worsen when sleeping on the right side, though.
Snoozing on Your Stomach
A small percentage of individuals sleep on their stomachs. This sleeping position is hazardous for pregnant women and can leave anyone’s neck sore from resting with the head turned out to the side. Those who are stomach sleepers may get into the habit of sleeping on their stomach because it is the most comfortable to them.
However you find yourself falling asleep, it can be deleterious to your sleep to think too much about your sleep position except to find a restful pose that helps you get some shut-eye.