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.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might need a little boost to get your rhythm aligned with the cycles of nature. For instance, there’s a reason why we sleep at night when it’s dark and wake during the day when it’s light. In recent years, scientists have been studying the alternating cycle of sleep and waking and how that is related the hours of daylight and darkness.
It turns out that when an individual is exposed to the sunlight, a nerve pathway from the retina to an area in the brain is stimulated, and this initiates the release of certain hormones, which influence body temperature and other functions that play a role in feeling awake. This area of the brain works like a clock and regulates patterns of activities such as raising body temperature and releasing hormones like cortisol. Later in the day, this area of the brain is also responsible for the release of melatonin, which is related to functions of the body which bring on the need to sleep.Continue reading
Most people who don’t get enough sleep are usually irritable, grumpy, or even angry throughout the day. And in fact, without enough sleep, mental and physical ability change getting worse and worse with the longer an individual has been awake. After 17 hours of no sleep, cognitive ability drops to a point that is similar to having a blood alcohol level of .05 (characterized by impaired judgment and coordination). After 24 hours of no sleep, it’s practically like being legally drunk. Over time a chronic lack of shut-eye makes you more prone to accidents, depression, and anxiety.
However, more and more experts are recognizing what’s called “short sleepers”, people who don’t need more than four or five hours per night. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours to feel rested and rejuvenated throughout the day. True “short sleepers” are rare, according to sleep specialist Carol Ash, DO, a member of the Ladies Home Journal Medical Advisory Board. “Only a tiny percentage of people can function well with that little [sleep],” she says.Continue reading
If you’re experiencing insomnia and your getting anxious about it, the whole situation can become a vicious cycle. You try to go to sleep but you can’t, so you start to worry about the fatigue you’re going to feel tomorrow. You start to worry about not being able to fall asleep. But the more you worry, the more you can’t sleep, and the more you can’t sleep, the more you worry.
So, one thing to do is to neutralize the anxiety before you go to bed. But first let’s explore what insomnia is. Insomnia is a sleep disorder. It’s the experience of either not being able to fall asleep or it’s an inability to stay asleep as long as you would like. For instance, you might fall asleep and then wake up at 4am every morning. You might not be able to get a healthy 8 or 9 hours of sleep.Continue reading
Recent studies indicate that when an individual suffers from depression and from insomnia, treatment of both psychological illnesses dramatically improves the chances of healing from both. It’s common for both insomnia and depression to exist concurrently. Although experts are not sure if one causes the other, research indicates that treating both disorders can bring significant healing.
Researchers found that among those who were treated successfully for insomnia, depression was also successfully treated. In one study, the insomnia treatment included four individual sessions of psychotherapy for over eight weeks. During the sessions, participants were provided with specific instructions to manage their insomnia – establish a specific time to wake up, get up and out of bed when not sleeping but do not eat, read, or watch television, and do not take any naps during the day. The results found that nearly 90% of those who followed the instructions and who fully participated in the study saw their depression lift.Continue reading
According to Fox News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new insomnia drug made by Merck & Co.
It should be noted from the start that insomnia is much more serious than the sleep disturbances that many people have. To be diagnosed with insomnia, you must have at least six months of chronic sleep loss which have created a disturbance in your ability to function at home, work, or in relationships. In fact, several studies indicate that insomnia can lead to many other health challenges, including physical and psychological illness. At the same time, it is a sleep disorder that can develop as a result of other illnesses.Continue reading