sleep disorders Archives

How To Know If You’re Getting Enough Sleep

why are you deprived of Sleep

You know the feeling: wake up mid-morning to find that you are feeling entirely too tired to hop up and start your day. There are several ways to respond to this problem, whether by chugging a pint of coffee and slugging through your workday or by hitting that easy-to-reach snooze button on your honking alarm clock and diving back under the covers for some extra Zs. Either way, cutting the problem off at the source by consistently getting a good night’s rest will ultimately make you more alert, aware, and cognizant of your day-to-day activities and routines.

However, knowing whether you are getting enough sleep is not as simple as discovering a ‘magic number’ of hours that perfectly satisfies the amount of sleep necessary for a not-so-drowsy day. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, and is largely controlled by a range of factors including genetics, age, and health status.

Monitor your “Awake-ness”

One of the surest ways to ensure yourself a good night’s rest is to simply track how you are feeling throughout the day. Pay attention to your levels of tiredness during the waking hours, particularly focusing on the specific times of the day that you begin to feel more or less sleepy. If you feel sluggish or sleep-deprived by mid to late afternoon, chances are you are not getting enough nighttime rest. It is perfectly normal to feel sleepy by 4 pm, a time when a great deal of motor accidents are caused due to drivers falling asleep at the wheel but it is important to try to adjust your personal sleep schedule in accordance with one that better allows you to feel active and awake during the day.

Catch Some Daytime Z’s

If you do happen to feel drowsy before the next night’s sleep, try to temporarily make up for it a little bit by taking a short nap during the day. The point is to feel alert at the times of the day when you should be awake, and sometimes this might include getting some extra shut-eye before continuing your daily activities. Nap for 45 minutes or less if you need to get things done shortly after snoozing: any more sleep and you may experience sleep inertia, which causes you to feel groggy and sometimes even sleepier than before your nap. Making up for getting a less than sufficient amount of sleep required for a good night’s rest may be possible by settling your sleep debt with an additional hour or two of sleep during the subsequent night. However it is not recommended to retain this as a principle to live by. Accumulated sleep loss can lead to several health problems in addition to exhaustion.

Maintain a Proper Sleep Schedule

It is vitally important to avoid turning ‘nocturnal’, that is, carrying out all your daily activities during the nighttime and simply getting your “night’s” sleep in the daytime. Although pulling an occasional all-nighter to get work done is oftentimes unavoidable, you should steer clear of making this a routine. Those who sleep only during the day are not necessarily less productive or less motivated individuals, but they may experience shallower sleep due to the sun’s natural light, which can also affect their brain oscillations that are associated with sleep depth.

 

This article was written by Thomas Jay who works at www.SaatvaMattress.com. Thomas is an avid writer who enjoys blogging on a variety of topics.

Foods That Can Exacerbate Insomnia

insomnia

 

Trouble sleeping is not just annoying, it can also damage your health, cause weight gain and effect your relationships and career. If it progresses to be a semi-permanent experience, insomnia can be very debilitating.

It’s very important that human beings get enough rest, to allow the mind to de-stress and process the thoughts and feelings of the day, as well as to allow the body to repair itself. Children and babies do most of their growing while they sleep and, in adults as well, that is the time of greatest cell renewal. Cell renewal doesn’t just relate to “beauty sleep” or slowing down the ravages of time on our faces, but also to the repair and replacement of other cells within the body, such as liver, cell walls, kidneys and bones. Without adequate sleep, the body cannot be as efficient at recovering from toxins, illness or injury.

Understanding what maybe causing disturbances in sleep can help us find ways to improve our sleep quality, and reduce the impact of insomnia.

Our sleeping environment is an important consideration. Making sure we have a supportive bed, pillow of the correct height, clean sheets, dust free floors, and walls free of mould and mildew will help improve the circumstances for a peaceful slumber. Turning the lights down after dark, avoiding “screen time” before bed and making sure we are warm enough (but not too warm!) will all help to put us into a sleep-friendly state.

What if these important considerations have been taken care of, though, and we are still experiencing insomnia? Take a look at your diet. The foods we eat, and drinks we consume in the latter half of the day can also affect our sleep.

Foods that commonly impair sleep include stimulants such as drinks containing caffeine such as cola and coffee; green tea and even chocolate. Some alcohol is also stimulating, and can keep us awake for other reasons as well. Alcohol can have detrimental effects on overall health, including damaging liver cells and creating inflammation of the gut lining, which can lead to digestive problems and hamper absorption of nutrients. Foods high in sugar can “wake us up” and spicy foods can also be stimulating. If your evening meal is going to have lots of chilli try to eat it earlier in the evening, allowing plenty of time for it to be digested before bedtime. Some diet drinks and energy drinks also contain stimulants. Try to restrict their consumption, or avoid them after lunch, and definitely in the evening.

Foods you are allergic too can also cause night wakefulness or insomnia. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), for example, is a frequent culprit. MSG is a very harsh chemical food additive used a lot by food manufacturers, restaurants and take-away food providers, including Italian, Chinese, Thai and Indian cooks to add flavour. Most people have a very low tolerance to MSG and can find themselves very thirsty and restless after eating a meal that has MSG. It can also keep people awake at night.

Nicotine is another stimulant, so if you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, avoid smoking at night.

Anxiety, caused by work issues, money worries, or relationship difficulties can also make it difficult for people to sleep through the night, potentially leading to insomnia. Grief can also be a cause of sleep disturbance. Seek advice from your manager, friends or a counsellor to help resolve whatever is bothering you, and find ways to manage your emotions so can achieve a more peaceful state.

Some foods can actually assist in creating a more restful night. A light snack before bed on low-fat yogurt, a banana, wholegrain cereal with milk, or crackers can ensure the brain has enough fuel to get through the night, preventing wakefulness induced by a drop in blood sugar during sleep.

Katherine West is a health freak and freelance writer who in 2003 studied for a Diploma of Nutrition. She is also into yoga and pilates.

Three Sure-Fire Tips for Better Sleep

sleep well for health

Having sleeping problem?

Dawn is fast approaching yet you’re awake in bed for another night. Sleeplessness now and then is normal, but this is every night. If you suffer from insomnia it might feel like you’re slowly losing your mind. Medications have a lot of unwanted side effects. (In fact, your insomnia may actually be a side effect of something you’re taking.) If you are already taking medication for something else you may not be able to take sleeping pills because they can interfere with each other.
Luckily there are several natural remedies to get you back on a regular sleep schedule. Healthy sleep patterns are extremely important for your brain to release body-repairing chemicals that are only released at night. Read on to learn the best natural cures for insomnia:

 

Remove Distractions from the Bedroom

Pets, TV, laptops and many other factors contribute to distracting noise and light in the bedroom. Just the light from a computer screen can trick your brain into thinking it is daytime and not allowing you to sleep. It’s important to sleep without distractions from pets or anything else that can make sounds or wake you up in the middle of the night. Waking up during sleep interrupts the brain processes that occur at night and they must be restarted which can take several hours.

Sleep In Total Darkness

There are several important chemicals the brain will only release at night. Artificial lighting from street lamps, computers, TV, smart phones, and many other devices is almost unavoidable unless specific action is taken by you. Make sure no light touches your skin by covering windows with thick blinds or even a blanket. Turn off all electronic devices that have light displays.
Any light that touches your skin can disrupt natural sleep processes that have been in place for many thousands of years. The only type of light that does not disrupt these cycles is a specific frequency of blue light. There are certain alarm clocks that are made with only blue light. Many iHomes and phone-charging devices have a blue light that are non-intrusive. Invest in one of these if you need a device to wake you up in the morning. Of course going back with a simple, no-light alarm clock is just as fine, too.

Chemicals Produced During Sleep:

– Human Growth Hormone
– Prolactin
– Melatonin
– Testosterone
– many others

Create a Routine

Sleep is as much a biological process as it is a psychological one. As we try to create better life patterns we have to retrain our habits to create an environment that promotes good sleep. Help yourself make good decisions by creating new habits.
Stop drinking stimulants at least four hours before trying to sleep. Coffee, alcohol, and energy drinks all discourage us from sleeping. Instead drink caffeine-free tea (no black tea allowed!). A good choice would be chamomile. Studies suggest that caffeine should be out of the system at least six hours before you go to bed but four is a good rule of thumb because that is more than adequate time to release to properly flush the system. Drinking water, milk, and hot tea are recommended but not required.

Conclusion

Getting good sleep, along with exercise, and a healthy diet are the greatest factors in maintaining a healthy body. It may take some time to adjust but your body will thank you for years to come. Spending the effort to create new habits will pay off with a happier mood and more productive lifestyle. Oftentimes, sleep studies don’t pinpoint the exact problem you’re having. If you suspect you have a sleep issue, you probably do. You don’t want to let this problem drag on until it’s too late. And you’re body will tell you when it’s too late.

Author Bio:
Carol Carter is freelance writer and often writes about sleep study. She also loves to cook, read and at times go for a walk with pet dog.