What is Insomnia?
A health article about insomnia cures from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Enough sleep and rest is important to every living creature since it aids the body in replenishing the energy consumed during the day.
Insomnia, by itself, is not a disease. It may be a symptom of a physical and emotional imbalance or just manifestation of fatigue caused by lack of sleep.
Signs & Symptoms
This condition is manifested by any of the following:
a) light, interrupted sleep that one is still tired upon waking up,
b) not being able to sleep, even if fatigued,
c) lack of sleeping hours.
Types of insomnia
Although this condition is usually temporary, insomnia may be classified based on the length of time it has affected the patient.
* Transient insomnia
This condition remains only for a few days. Transient insomnia is commonly caused by stress or as a direct response to change. It is sometimes called adjustment sleep disorder.
The disorder may develop after a traumatic event or even during minor changes such as traveling or weather changes.
Caffeine and nicotine are also observed to affect sleeping patterns. Caffeine, which is present in coffee, and nicotine, present in cigarettes, can cause transient insomnia.
In most cases, treatment for transient insomnia is not necessary. It usually resolves after a few days once the person was able to adjust to the new situations or surroundings.
* Short-term insomnia
Short-term insomnia lasts for three weeks or less. Short-term insomnia and transient insomnia are almost similar in their causes.
Female hormonal changes can affect sleep patterns. One of the female hormones, progesterone, promotes sleep. During menstruation, when its levels are low, women may experience insomnia. On the other hand, during ovulation, the increase in progesterone levels increases sleepiness.
Fluctuations in the level of progesterone during pregnancy and menopause cause altered sleeping patterns leading to transient insomnia. Although women after 50 also experience chronic insomnia, this is usually caused by psychological or emotional factors.
Changes in working conditions, such as shifting schedules, also cause short-term insomnia. Also, people who tend to overwork get less sleep than the average. In one study, insomnia was also observed in people doing much computer work.
Light can also affect one's sleep. Too much light at night can disrupt sleep or even prevent sleepiness. Likewise, less light during the day, as in disabled or elderly patients who rarely go out can also cause short-term insomnia. This is because the levels of melatonin responding to darkness.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, a pea-sized gland at the center of the brain, that help regulate the cycles of sleeping and waking up.
* Chronic insomnia - when a person couldn't sleep, has interrupted sleep, or is still tired after sleeping; and the condition recurs for more than two nights every week for more than one month. Also, it is characterized when the patient is fatigued and believes that his daily activities are affected by this sleeping condition.
Based on the causes, chronic insomnia may be further characterized into primary or secondary:
* Primary chronic insomnia - when the insomnia is not caused by any physical or mental imbalance.
* Secondary chronic insomnia - may be caused by physical and mental conditions, such as depression, or emotional and psychiatric disorders.
In one study, in industrialized nations, chronic insomnia affects about ten percent of adults.
Insomnia can affect a patient during daytime when patient may experience sleepiness in the mornings or in the afternoon. Some, despite their sleepiness report failure to nap. Even worse, another group reported excessive energy during the day. These people are more anxious and even more irritable.
Due to failure to get enough rest, these people have reduced concentration. If someone has preexisting medical condition, such as and orthopedic pain or arthritis, this may be worsened by insomnia.
When one suspects that he or she has insomnia, consulting a doctor would be the best advised. One of these therapies may also be tried.
* Minimizing consumption of caffeine containing beverages. This includes coffee, colas and chocolate. It is advised to restrict consumption after 3pm. For most people, these substances are eliminated from the body in a few hours. But some people have slow biologic elimination process, which caffeine can stay in the body longer than the average.
* People can also limit stay in bed during the sleeping hours. This is effective to increase the tendency to sleep when in bed.
When none of these procedures work, one should consult a specialist for other therapies or if a medication is needed.
What Causes insomnia ?
It is commonplace for several people to suffer at least an occasional night of almost non-existent sleep.
The causes of insomnia differ from person to person. What made a student insomniac varies from what caused a shift worker or a traveler or an employee to acquire such sleeping disorder.
Insomnia, which is the inability to sleep satisfactorily or to have any sleep at all, is one of the most common sleep disorders.
It is characterized by restlessness, sleep interruptions, decreased sleeping time than the usual, or sometimes complete wakefulness.
Aside from the annoyance that insomnia can cause to its sufferers, this sleep disorder causes those afflicted to lose enthusiasm and energy, acquire memory and concentration problems, feel lethargic, frustrated, and of course sleepy.
Worse cases that may be induced by insomnia is one's being prone to accidents, reduced work productivity and the aggravation of psychological and medical conditions.
So what exactly are the culprits that make insomnia one menacing sleeping problem?
1. Emotional Distress
More particularly when it is from internalized anxiety or anger, emotional problems can easily trigger this sleep disorder.
2. Substance Abuse
Drinking too much coffee, colas or other "energy-upper drinks" is known to cause insomnia. Caffeine from these drinks is the main reason. Chain smokers can also be easy victims of insomnia because of the nicotine that cigarettes contain.
Herbal remedies, alcohol and other medications can also make one prone to becoming an insomniac. Some may think that alcohol, when consumed, can make one feel drowsy. But little did they know that in the long run, when the alcohol gets metabolized, sudden wakefulness will follow.
3. Biological Clock Disturbance.
Also known as circadian rhythm, one's body clock, when altered, can damage the amount of sleep one can peacefully enjoy. This body clock disturbance can be caused by an irregular slumber schedule because of too much siesta or partying too late at night.
It can also be jetlag or body clock disturbance due to traveling by plane to some place where there is a different time zone. Other causes may be the grave yard schedules of workers and cramming review season for students induced by exams.
4. Environmental Factors
Extreme temperatures can disrupt one's sleeping patterns. Noise and bright lights can have the same effect too. Homesickness or when one is forced to sleep in an unfamiliar place is also one reason behind getting into the habit of not having enough sleep.
5. Health Problems
Health disorders such as diabetes, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, ulcers, and Parkinson's disease can also induce insomnia. Asthma may also be one health problem that makes one prone to insomnia because of an asthmatic's shortness of breath.
Frequent urination, heartburn, and chronic pain from leg cramps, tooth ache and arthritis can also cause insomnia.
Psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and depression are also possible culprits for insomnia. Snoring with prolonged pauses in breathing while at sleep, also known as sleep apnea can also cause insomnia.
Periodic arm and leg movements during sleep causing the muscles to twitch excessively is one underlying cause of this sleep disorder. Another cause is narcolepsy or one's lack of control on whether to stay awake or to fall asleep, is another cause of this sleep disorder.
6. Pre-bedtime Activities
Engaging to vigorous activities such as exercise just right before bedtime can deprive one of a good night's sleep. Consuming large meals when one is just about to sleep can also make one experience this sleeping disorder. This is because when metabolism is at its most active thus the body prompts one to stay awake.
Reports have it that 90% of people can acquire transient insomnia at some point in their lives. While an estimate of 30% suffers from its chronic form.
a. Women are said to be more at risk in acquiring insomnia because of the following reasons:
- Pre-menstrual syndrome with symptoms of irritability, depression and anxiety, and bloating due to menstruation disturbs a woman's sleeping pattern.
- Menopause can also change a woman's sleeping pattern.
- Pregnancy makes sleeplessness one common thing to happen.
b. Elderly people are also prone to getting insomnia because ageing alters one's sleeping patterns.
c. Depressed people have lighter slumbers compared to those who don't feel this psychological condition.
d. Students or younger ones who are conscious with their grades (because of cramming) can easily become insomniacs too.
With that vast information on what causes insomnia and who are at risk with this sleeping disorder, one can easily ward off this annoying condition.
Balance and perspective:
At certain times, insomnia may result from stress.
Massage techniques can ease tense necks, aching shoulders and upright torsos, and face massage can be an instant calmer.
Some stress is an inevitable part of life, but when you need to achieve a state of inner calm, a range of meditation and visualization techniques can help you work through your insecurities, worries and anxieties.
With practice, stress can be diminished so that it is no longer a cause of sleepless nights.
A calm environment:
Lack of sleep can also be exacerbated by external factors such as noise, a “busy” atmosphere in the bedroom, or simply the wrong type of mattress.
By making the best of your physical environment, you can reduce or remove many of these detrimental factors.
Following the principles of feng shui you can arrange your bedroom space to best effect and remove clutter that can clog free-flowing “chi” or energy.
Choosing a calming room décor and lighting scheme can soothe the senses, while establishing a bed-time ritual can make sleep a pleasant and comforting experience to look forward to.
In view of the many demands made by daily life, it is essential to find time to switch off from cares and worries in the evening, and indulge in some personal quality time.
However busy you are, you should take time to wind down before trying to go to sleep, otherwise your mind will still be buzzing with the concerns of the day.
Surrounding yourself with gentle candlelight and sinking into a hot bath laced with aromatherapy oils or herbal sachets can go a long way to soothe and prepare your body for sleep.
Essential oils such as lavender and clary sage added to the water help to diminish tension headaches and muscular aches, while bath bags or bath salts made with chamomile help to ease stress.
You can also use the natural energies from flowers and herbs as a base for warming foot baths, soporific sleep pillows and effective sleep tinctures.
You ate dinner at 6pm; it’s now 11.30pm and you’re ready to go to bed, but now you’re feeling hungry and thirsty again.
What do you do? Instead of raiding the refrigerator for a substantial and perhaps indigestible meal, it is better to opt for a light snack, such as toast with a topping and perhaps a hot, comforting beverage.
Try to avoid tea and coffee as they are stimulants and will tend to keep you awake if you drink them late in the day.
Instead, herbal teas prepared for their sedative properties may be sipped in the evening, while warm, milky drinks are ideal for consumption before bed – milk contains peptides that calm the system.
The occasional hot toddy can also provide a delicious way to wind down, and this is particularly good on a cold winter’s evening, especially if you are suffering from a cold.
Calming the psyche:
Sometimes it is difficult to sleep due to excessive emotions, such as fear, excitement or anxiety. Crystal therapy can help to calm heartache; choosing the right stones can also calm restlessness and anxiety, and help to regulate sleep patterns.
Crystals can be helpful when bad dreams and nightmares are keeping you awake, as can techniques such as visualizing a guardian angel or spiritual protector. When you have perplexing or mystifying dreams, it can be very helpful to write down what happened before you forget, so that you can ponder and try to analyze them later on.
Working towards an understanding of your dreams adds an enjoyable richness to what can be the fascinating pageant of sleep.
Exercise to relax:
Keeping the body moving is essential for good sleep – without exercise, you 3will not be physically tired enough to rest at night. Aerobic activities such as walking and cycling exercise the heart and tone the muscles, while some specific yoga techniques provide an excellent way to stretch and relax.
When to seek Medical Advice:
If you experience these symptoms:
1. Restless sleep at night.
There are people who cannot sleep restfully at night. These people have the tendency to toss and turn while they are trying to get some stable sleeping pattern.
Restless sleeping goes to show that the body is responding to a certain stimulus that triggers some activities. These may mean stuffed nose that leads to difficulty in breathing.
Hence, restless sleep is a good indicator that a person is experiencing sleeping disorder.
First, if the person is having difficulty in breathing even while sleeping would definitely lead to snoring or sleep apnea. These are two of the known sleeping disorders which when taken for granted may cause serious health problems or even death.
2. Sleeping during daytime or generally falls asleep most of the time.
People who are suffering from these kinds of symptoms are known to have sleeping disorders. This goes to show that the person is having a difficulty in staying awake.
These conditions are vital indicators of a certain sleeping disorder known as narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy has no known cause. However, it is usually characterized by excessive sleeping during daytime, in spite of the fact that the person had enough sleep during the night.
Studies show that those who usually fall asleep during the day, without any justifiable reason is said to be suffering from narcolepsy.
What’s worse is that the attack usually occurs without notice or tell-tale signs. There are, in fact, some cases wherein people just doze off unexpectedly, even if they are doing something, say, watching the television or even walking.
3. Snoring while sleeping.
There are instances wherein people snore while sleeping. Because it is so common to almost anybody who sleeps, most people tend to think that snoring is just a part of sleeping and is a normal behavior. They even associate snoring with too much fatigue and stress, that is why, they consider it too common to get worried.
The only thing people get worried about is when the snoring is already causing too much trouble with the couple or to those who are around them.
What people don’t know is that snoring may be the primary indicator of a person who has more serious sleeping disorder aside from snoring itself.
Excessive snoring may lead to other serious sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea. This is because snoring manifests difficulty in breathing. That is why the vibration that happens inside the throat area is being induced whenever something is blocking the area.
Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleeping disorder that manifests any interruptions or pauses in between breaths. It is so alarming because a person who is sleeping and suffering from sleep apnea usually stops breathing for several seconds usually up to a minute long and resumes breathing thereafter.
Indeed, these symptoms may seem too common for people to understand that they are the main factors that indicate the sleeping disorder.
But now that these items are known, the best thing to do is to assess them if they experience these problems. As soon as they are able to identify if they have these problems, it is best to have their conditions diagnosed by a doctor immediately so as to obtain necessary measures.
Remeron insomnia is related to Remeron, a drug known as Mirtazapine. Remeron is a part of a new class of antidepressants.
It stimulates norepinephrine and serotonin while block two specific serotonin receptors. By specifically blocking these receptors, patients may be able to minimize or avoid side effects typically associated with antidepressants such as insomnia, nervousness and decreased sexual drive.
One of the more sedating antidepressants, Remeron insomnia treatment is on the rise. As a sleep aid, it appears to be very effective and the most common negative side effect in Remeron insomnia treatment is weight gain.
Anti-depressants affect chemicals in the brain if they have become unbalanced. A person is not self-diagnosed with depression. It is normal for everyone to experience periods of depressed emotions and 'down days.'
Depression is a clinical diagnosis related to chemical imbalances and other factors. Only physicians are certified and possess the knowledge and laboratory exams to confirm a diagnosis of depression.
Remeron insomnia treatment is effective in some forms because it treats depression and insomnia together. The conditions of depression and insomnia have been linked with cause-effect going in both directions.
Physicians use a great deal of care when prescribing a Remeron insomnia treatment. When insomnia and depression are linked, physicians must strive to identify which factor is contributing to the other.
In cases where insomnia is linked to another condition, both must be treated or the treatment will not be effective. The antidepressant may increase the effects of other prescription and over the counter medications causing increased drowsiness.
The drug interactions to watch for are alcohol, antihistamines, other anti-depressants and sedatives. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anxiety medication can also interact negatively with a Remeron insomnia treatment.
Be certain to always notify the attending physician of all medications currently taken so they can be aware of the combinations the drug cocktails may cause.
Melatonin is a natural hormone, which is produced and secreted by the pineal gland.
Melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of many hormones in the body. Among its key roles, melatonin controls the body's circadian rhythm, an internal 24-hour time-keeping system that controls when we fall asleep and when we wake up.
Melatonin is also a very powerful antioxidant. In one study, melatonin was 60 times more effective than Vitamin C or water-soluble Vitamin E in protecting DNA from damage.
Preliminary evidence suggests that it may help strengthen the immune system. There are numerous claims and theories concerning all the things that melatonin may do and as a result it has become one of the popular life extension and life enhancing supplements that are currently available on the market today.
The most accepted function of Melatonin is it role in sleep regulation. Melatonin supplements help induce sleep in people with disrupted circadian rhythms.
Melatonin is significantly more effective in decreasing the amount of time required to fall asleep, increasing the number of sleeping hours, and boosting daytime alertness.
Melatonin is purported to be one of those miracle substances that has a hand in everything.
This may be due to the fact that during the height of the antioxidant craze, Melatonin was found to be a more powerful and more universal antioxidant than both vitamin C and vitamin E.
Since a lot of evidence for many of these claims is rather light and since I am not trying to sell you melatonin supplements, I am going to focus only on its role in sleep enhancement.
As many parents realize, drugs like Ritalin are not without side effects. One of the major complaints that parents have is that their children who take Ritalin can't fall asleep at night. Many parents report that their children, who may be only five or six years old, are wide awake until 11 pm or later.
Melatonin may be able to help these children. Since it is the primary chemical in the body that helps to induce sleep, children who suffer from insomnia often find that Melatonin restores their normal sleep cycle and helps them to be more awake and alert during the day.
There are currently no guidelines as to how to take Melatonin. Sensitivity to Melatonin is an individual thing and doses that are ineffective in one person may be too much for someone else. The best approach for any condition is to begin with very low doses and slowly add more until you get the effect that you are seeking.
In children, it is best to start with a dose of about 0.3 mg/day or less. Although current research suggests that even doses as high as 10 mg are perfectly safe, it is best to proceed with caution.
In adults, 3 mg is usually a safe starting dose and you can increase it or decrease it as you see fit.
Melatonin is readily available in most health food stores in the United States and it is very cheap. In Europe it is a controlled substance. Most Europeans who wish to use Melatonin find it cheaper and easier to have it shipped from the US.
Melatonin is one of the least toxic substances known. In one extensive clinical trial, a high dose of 75 milligrams of melatonin per day was given to 1400 women in the Netherlands for up to four years with no ill effects.
The only consistent side effect of high doses has been drowsiness and a slower reaction time.
Other common complaints include:
Vivid dreams or nightmares
Breast enlargement in men
Decreased sperm count.
These side effects were in healthy people. We also don't know how melatonin may affect people suffering from disease.
Possible Drug Interactions
Melatonin may interact or interfere with other drugs
Antipsychotic Medications: many of these medications are now being used in treating children with ADHD and Bipolar disorder
Blood Pressure Medications
Blood-thinning Medications, Anticoagulants
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Steroids and Immunosuppressant Medications
If your child is taking any of these things, you should consult with his doctor before giving Melatonin.
Also, caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol can all diminish levels of melatonin in the body while cocaine and amphetamines may increase melatonin production.
Often children with ADHD have a great deal of difficulty falling asleep.
This can be due to the medications that they are taking or just be one component in the spectrum of their problems.
When used properly, melatonin may be a safe and effective way to handle sleep problems in ADHD children.
Medical hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Hollywood has caused a number of stereotypical misunderstandings to shadow the world of hypnosis, but the fact is that most hypnotists do not cause their patients to perform funny or embarrassing acts.
Should you take sleeping tablets to deal with insomnia ?
Sleeping pills can and do become addictive. In addition, your body developing a tolerance after the first couple of weeks.
Also, point that most people are unaware of, is that the pills usually contain an antihistamine, as in most sinus medications, and will make your nose, mouth and eyes dry.
Don't take a higher dose than prescribed, or mix with sedatives or alcohol. If the dosage no longer works, it is best to discontinue the medication.
It is always best to discuss with your doctor first if you are having problems sleeping instead of reaching for those pills. Make sure that you ask when is the best time before bed to take the medication, the side effects you may get, and report any side effects that you may be having.
Another drawback is that sleep mediation will stay in your blood stream, so you may not feel very "refreshed" the following morning. It can give you a hangover effect.
There has been much debating amongst researchers and medical experts on the use of sleep induces, or sleeping pills. They do however, offer some short term help.
“Treating Insomnia: Is having sweet dreams just a dream?”
A person who is suffering from sleepless nights, someone who frequently wakes up at night and rises up early in the morning even though that person does not have enough sleep is having a sleeping disorder known as insomnia.
Insomnia is a condition in which a person is not getting enough sleep.
This person when awakened at night has a hard time sleeping again. Insomnia can happen every night, from time to time or in a period of time.
Here are the some suggestions wherein insomnia can be treated:
1. Follow a positive routine.
If an insomniac has an erratic eating routine, this should be changed to a fixed routine dedicated to directly fight insomnia. The person should eat early dinner so as to condition the body to sleep early.
2. Do not drink coffee.
As much as possible, a person with insomnia should avoid drinking coffee, sodas, chocolate, cocoa, green tea, black tea or anything that has caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that triggers sleeplessness. It can make someone awake for as long as 20 hours. For some, even drinking a cup of coffee in the morning causes them sleeplessness at night.
3. Exercise at night.
Insomnia is often caused by too much stress. Doing exercise at night makes blood to circulate in our brain and body. This in turn makes us calm and stress free.
4. The bedroom should be conducive to sleep.
Loud noise coming from cars in the street, upbeat music set at very high volume, bright lights and uncomfortable bed should be avoided.
5. Read not watch.
Read books, magazines or anything that interests an insomniac instead of watching television. Television enhances attention which makes a person awake. Reading on the other hand while in bed causes the eye to get tired and creates a sleepy feeling.
Try ways that causes our body to relax. Meditation technique like yoga can initiate a calm state of mind and body. Listening to soft and classical music can also help. There are fragrant oils, incense, and candles that are made specifically to aid in relaxation. Consult a shop that sells these on type of scents that can induce sleep.
7. The root solution for insomnia.
There are root extracts that can engender a sleepy state. 300 to 600 mg of concentrated extract should be taken 30 minutes prior to going to bed. This root extract can be mixed with calming herbs like chamomile, passion flower and balm made from lemon.
8. Take melatonin with caution
Melatonin can help in adjusting one’s sleeping pattern. 0.5 to 3.0 mg an hour or two before going to bed may help. Melatonin though should only be taken with the approval of a physician. The human body has different reactions to melatonin.
As people grow older, the melatonin level of the body decreases. This explains why older people usually have a hard time sleeping and sleep less compared to children and younger people.
Conditions such as restless legs syndrome (RLS) and period limb movements (PLM) while sleeping can cause insomnia. Taking 300 mg of magnesium at night from four to six weeks can solve insomnia. Again this should be done with doctor’s consent.
Acupuncture which is a Chinese healing method could help to heal insomnia. These needles put into the skin strike nerve transmitters that produce sleep inducing hormones like serotonin.
Natural methods in curing insomnia are always preferred but upon a doctor’s approval the following over the counter medicines are formulated to stimulate sleep.
• Diphenhydramine (Excedrin, Nytol, Sominex)
• Doxylamine (Unisom)
The following on the other hand are medications that need to have doctor’s prescription to avail:
• Zolpidem (Ambien)
• Zaleplon (Sonata)
• Flurazepam (Dalmane)
• Estazolam (ProSom)
• Temazepam (Restori)
• Triazolam (Halcion)
Although these medicines are chemicals that trigger sleep, long periods of usage lessens its effectiveness.
Altering a person’s diet is effective in preventing and healing insomnia. Doctors suggest eating food that is high in carbohydrate prior to sleep.
Examples of these are bread and crackers. Studies showed that carbohydrates enhance the quantity of serotonin produced by the body. Serotonin is a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter that affects the brain. This chemical lessens anxiety which in turn creates sleep.
Consulting a psychologist or psychiatrist may give light in solving insomnia. This sleeping disorder is usually caused by stress. A psychologist or psychiatrist can give expert advice on how to treat insomnia.
There are natural methods, practices, over the counter medicines and prescribed medicines that can be the solution to insomnia. It would be best to consult a doctor on this disorder for sound guidance towards a sound sleep.
Self Care strategies for Living with insomnia cures
If all else fails and you are still awake in the dead of night, try some or all, of these quick insomnia cures:
• Lie on your back with your knees propped up on a small pillow
• Sleep with your head pointing in the direction North
• Get up the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night for a week
• Visualize yourself in a peaceful place, such as a field full of wildflowers with a gentle breeze blowing, or near a gently flowing stream where you can see fish swimming past you.
• Visualize a boring scenario, such as a lecture you have no interest in
• Read out loud the names and numbers from the phone book
• Reserve your bedroom and the bed as a place for sleep only
• Wiggle your toes gently until you fall asleep
• Rub your stomach lightly
• Cut up a mild onion, place in a jar by the bed and sniff before retiring.
• Think of ten wonderful things that have happened to you today
• Squeeze all your muscles together tightly for a few minutes and then relax.
• Threaten yourself that “If I am not asleep within the next 10 minutes, I will get up and…” clean the oven, or clean the fridge….whatever you really hate doing… When your brain knows you really mean it - this will scare you to sleep to avoid a nasty chore!
Avoid these sleep deterrents:
• Drinking excessive alcohol
• Smoking cigarettes
• Drinking caffeine
• Taking long naps in the afternoon
• Watching disturbing films prior to bed
• Reading mentally stimulating books prior to bed
• Playing video games
• Listening to fast paced or loud, stimulating music.
Diet change strategies:
What you eat during the day and evening can affect your sleeping patterns.
If your diet consists of a high amount of processed foods you may want to try eating more wholesome products.
You may want to eliminate, reduce, or substitute the amount of sugars, fats, and preservatives from your daily intake of food.
This may benefit your ability to fall asleep at night as well as improve your general health.
Eat a well balanced diet by following the recommended daily food allowance.
Make sure you are meeting the daily requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat complex carbohydrates and choose protein that is low in fat.
You can also choose healthy meat substitutes, such at tofu and vegetarian burgers.
Become aware of any food allergies that you have and try to avoid them. If your body is allergic to certain foods it may affect the way you think and feel.
This could be a contributing factor to your sleep problem. Some common food allergies that are known to contribute to insomnia are corn, dairy products, wheat, and chocolate.
Try to schedule your last evening meal at least four hours before bed. Eat a healthy, well balanced meal. Try not to overeat as this may cause you to become tired after your meal.
You want to avoid feeling tired or napping in the early evening hours as this will greatly hinder your ability to fall asleep at bedtime. As well, try to eat enough so that you are not hungry later and find yourself reaching for foods that are high in fat or sugars.
If you find that you are hungry before bed you may find that a small snack an hour or two before bedtime will help. Avoid foods that are high in protein, fats, and sugars.
You should also avoid foods that are too heavy or spicy. Try a bit of cereal and milk or one serving of low-fat yogurt. The key idea is to provide your body with a bit of nourishment to avoid hunger pangs and not overindulge in an evening snack.
The goal is to reduce your hunger and allow your body to rest and relax.
Make sure that you drink enough water during the day. Studies show that your daily recommended water intake should be around 8 glasses, or 2 liters.
If your body is well hydrated it won't signal you to wake up during the night. Try to avoid drinking water or other liquids one hour before bed if the need to urinate wakes you up during the night.
The healthier you eat the more balanced you will feel both physically and emotionally.
The target here is to get you to sleep regularly and deeply without waking during the night.
“Vitamin B12 isn't a shot in the dark”
Studies have shown a link between Vitamin B12 and other health conditions including insomnia. The body requires vitamin B12 to manufacture red blood cells and myelin. Myelin is the fatty lining around nerve cells. There has been a great deal of research into the effectiveness of vitamin B12 injections and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 is a part of the natural diet of most of the Western countries, with the exceptions of Vegans. The vitamin is found in significant amounts in animal protein-foods including meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products. The small amounts of vitamin B12 present in these different foods are more than enough to provide a supply for a healthy diet.
Vegans, on the other hand, especially strict Vegans who do not allow any of these Vitamin B12 source foods into their diets, will eventually develop a dietary deficiency. The deficiency usually takes years to develop and B12 supplements can stave off that effect.
Vitamin B12 acts along with folic acid and vitamin b6 to control different levels in the body. A deficiency can cause fatigue, whereas those who are not deficient may feel a significant energy boost upon taking additional B12.
Vitamin B12 injections have been used to treat sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Injections of 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams every two to three days has shown a significant improvement in the energy levels of those suffering from CFS. B12 deficiencies are not common and they are usually related to diet or malapsorption through the intestines. Both of which are treatable with dietary adjustments.
Doctor's recommend that vitamin supplements be used as a regular part of a healthy diet. Vitamin supplements whether including the B12 complex or otherwise, should not be used as the replacement for a healthy diet unless there is a total absence of the vitamin such as found in Vegan's dietary concerns.
You can help ensure sound sleep by eating from a variety of healthy foods throughout the course of the day. Avoiding foods that contain stimulants will also improve night time rest.
Caffeine and alcohol aren't the only substances that affect your sleep.
Everything you eat can affect nighttime slumber.
For example, tomato products and spicy foods give many people heartburn (as does eating too fast). What does heartburn have to do with sleep?
Lying down makes heartburn worse, and heartburn itself makes falling asleep more difficult.
Heartburn also awakens sleepers with middle-of-the-night discomfort.
Drinking too much of any beverage can lead to more awakenings because of the need to urinate during the night.
Also, the older we get, the more we experience these nighttime awakenings.
Try to restrict your fluids before bedtime to help promote an uninterrupted night's sleep. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.
Another cause of sleep problems can be eating too much - of any food - that can make sleep difficult.
A heavy meal close to bedtime may make you less comfortable when you settle down for your night's rest.
At the same time, going to bed hungry can be just as disruptive to sleep as going to bed too full.
It is best to avoid these over-stimulating foods:
• Caffeine: this potent drug can make you edgy and irritable: avoid drinking coffee or tea after 4pm
• Sugar: refined sugars disturb metabolic processes; substitute honey, fruit sugars or maple syrup.
• Chemical additives: these are difficult for your body to process and may keep you awake.
Bountiful sleep enhancers:
Ensuring that your daytime diet is rich in B vitamins will help you sleep: the B group supports the nervous system and aids dream activity.
Foods rich in B’s include:
• Green vegetables
• Soya bean
• Dairy foods
• Yeast extract
Slow burning carbohydrates such as:
provide the body with a steady release of energy that helps keep the system on an even keel all day.
Foods that work on Regulating the sleep cycle:
If there are sufficient levels of vitamin B6 in the body, tryptophan will aid in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which helps to regulate sleep patterns.
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in:
• Tuna fish
• Most carbohydrates
Calcium also helps release such serotonins. Choose foods such as:
• Sesame seeds
• Raw vegetables
• Kelp and other seaweeds
Perfect night time foods:
Although doctors maintain that eating a large meal late at night is harmful to the system, hunger pangs can be a cause of wakefulness.
A light snack provides the perfect solution.
When restlessness is due to a rumbling stomach, the best remedy is to treat yourself to a midnight snack.
Stick to light foods – try whole-meal crackers spread with a little peanut butter and a hot, milky drink.
A small sandwich filled with turkey, avocado or cottage cheese is ideal, as these contain tryptophan, which may assist healthy sleep.
Other easy to digest foods include a bowl of comforting oatmeal porridge, or a banana.
It is best to avoid foods that are difficult to digest, such as meats and high fat content cheeses or rich foods such as heavy sauces, pastries and cakes.
Very sugary or acidic foods may give you heartburn, which will keep you awake.
Always sit up for 15 -20 minutes after eating before going back to bed, to give the food a chance to travel down the intestines, before you lie down.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Studies say over 100 million Americans suffer from some form of insomnia. But the good news is, you can easily improve your sleep with better sleep habits.
There are some dietary suppliments that may have a direct impact on the problem in some cases:
Tang Kuei (Angelica) is useful if you are stressed as apart from balancing female hormonal issues it is also a muscle relaxant. That means that taking one or two tablets shortly before sleeping relaxes the muscles and can be very useful for sleeping without using medication.
Guarana is a product that has been around now for thousands of years and it’s properties are well known. Using it as a processed product, like the way we drink coffee, with give a very quick pick up in energy and pick up your nervous energy as part of that process. Used in a natural state, raw guarana, it have a very different effect. While in the natural state there is a little caffeine associate, it is less than a very week cup of instant coffee per serve. What the Raw Guarana does instead is to work on the adrenal system.
You know when you do exercise and runs around for a time then you finish, shower and change, and while you have cooled down you are still feeling uplifted? Much of this is because of the adrenalin in your system being raised to “normal” working levels.
Guarana can have a similar effect on your adrenal system without actually doing the exercise. Also, because it is not affecting the nervous system there is no “energy shadow” leaving you tired afterwards like there is with coffee and other stimulants.
For anyone who is hyperactive then raw guarana has an interesting effect from the balancing of adrenalin. If your adrenalin is already too high then the Guarana has a calming effect as it brings the adrenalin into balance.
If you have a hyperactive child, also in many ADHD cases, guarana has a calming and soothing effect. I have seen children at parties who have been into the red cordial sweet drinks and who are running around the walls with excessive energy who have a guarana tablet and 15 minutes later are sitting and playing with the other children.
If you have high adrenal levels then raw guarana may be a natural answer to bring them down to allow you go to sleep.
If you have pain in your bones then you may find that a calcium
will be helpful. It has a natural nerve sedative associated with it and can reduce pain very quickly with toothache and many people find very noticeable improvement with other nerve pain.
In the specific case of back pain there are some supplement suggestions that normally have a measurable affect. What often occurs is that back pain from an accident or operation or other damage has at least two components. One is the underlying nerve pain from the bone or spine damage. The other is muscle pain or muscle tension from the surrounding muscles.
In such cases you may find that things are fine and you reach across a table to pick up a pencil and suddenly the back spasms or the disc slips or something else occurs to give pain. Often it is sharp or extreme pain. When that happens is that the surrounding muscles tense in response. This can then put more pressure from those tight muscles upon the damage area and that increases the nerve pain. The increased nerve pain heightens the muscle tension and the cycle can snowball until you have muscle spasms and cannot function normally.
When this sort of problem occurs often using a mixture of Calcium and Tang Kuei can have a significant effect. The Tang Kuei relaxes the muscles and within 10 or 15 minutes that eases the pressures. The XtraCal has the nerve calming effect that further calms the situation and the snowballing effect is working in reverse.
I have seen may dozens of people who are standing or walking stiffly from back problems and given them enough Tang Kuei and Calcium for them to take 2 tablets of each a couple of hours before going to bed and then 2 mores tablets of each just before they go to bed and I have lost count of the number of people who have come back to me to say that they have just had the first, or the best, nights sleep that they have had for a year or that they have had since they don’t remember when.
This may be worth investigating if these specific circumstance are part of the sleep problem,
Also, it has been proved now that some foods have the power to affect our sleep. The affects can be positive as well as negative. Some foods can increase our nervous simulation and prevent us from sleeping.
Drinking caffeinated beverages or xanthine in tea before bed time are examples of such foods. Also fizzy drinks and cigarettes have the same effect.
Basically, these foods stimualte neurochemicals that perk up the brain. Other major factor responsible for a disturbed sleep is eating a heavy dinner before bedtime, it results in snoring, heavy breathing and reflux esophagitis.
Myth: The most common myth found among mass is, they believe alcohol helps in the sleep. But the fact is, alcohol may initially act as sedative but it interupts normal sleep patterns in the long run.
Now, lets look at the other side of the story. There are certain foods which improve our sleep. These foods are rich in trytophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter that slows down nerve traffic and lulls us into restful sleep. Eating carbohydrates rich in trytophan makes this calming amino acid more available to brain.
Foods containing trytophan that aid sleep are
. Sesame seeds
Tip: Avoid eating junk food and highly refined food at night because fibre-rich food increases serotonin availability, but processed carbs over stimulates insulin, which leads to disturbed sleep.
Other Bed time snacks can include:
. Whole grain cereal with milk
. Seasame seeds
. Oatmeal or rasin cookies
Tip: Lighter meals are more likely to give you a good night's sleep.
What are some better sleep bedtime drink recipes?
Caffeine is best avoided from mid-afternoon onwards, but in general, hot drinks have a calming effect at bedtime, especially in cold weather.
If you wake frequently in the night, a flask filled with a hot, caffeine-free drink such as herbal tea, chicory “coffee” or plain hot water, can provide an instant soother.
It also means that you don’t need to get up out of bed, making it easier to return to sleep.
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Vitamin B12 and other health conditions including insomnia. The body requires vitamin B12 to manufacture red blood cells and myelin. Myelin is the fatty lining around nerve cells. There has been a great deal of research into the effectiveness of vitamin B12 injections and multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 is a part of the natural diet of most of the Western countries, with the exceptions of Vegans. The vitamin is found in significant amounts in animal protein-foods including meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products. The small amounts of vitamin B12 present in these different foods are more than enough to provide a supply for a healthy diet. Vegans, on the other hand, especially strict Vegans who do not allow any of these Vitamin B12 source foods into their diets, will eventually develop a dietary deficiency. The deficiency usually takes years to develop and B12 supplements can stave off that effect.
Vitamin B12 acts along with folic acid and vitamin b6 to control different levels in the body. A deficiency can cause fatigue, whereas those who are not deficient may feel a significant energy boost upon taking additional B12. Vitamin B12 injections have been used to treat sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Injections of 2,500 to 5,000 milligrams every two to three days has shown a significant improvement in the energy levels of those suffering from CFS. B12 deficiencies are not common and they are usually related to diet or malapsorption through the intestines. Both of which are treatable with dietary adjustments.
Doctor's recommend that vitamin supplements be used as a regular part of a healthy diet. Vitamin supplements whether including the B12 complex or otherwise, should not be used as the replacement for a healthy diet unless there is a total absence of the vitamin such as found in Vegan's dietary concerns.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your insomnia and othersleep disorders problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
As Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification
As well as about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells.
There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate. We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about insomnia cures :
What is The Interrelationship of Depression and Insomnia?
Depression is the most common cause of chronic insomnia, especially in the elderly. A study shows that depressed elderly patients, if they suffer from insomnia, have a tendency to be depressed for over a year.
Another study shows that even without a history of depression, if an elderly patient suffers from insomnia, they have a high risk of being depressed. This is usually observed in women.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)
Good quality sleep is a habit. If you make the changes above, don’t expect changes in your sleep pattern to occur overnight, give it time. And be forgiving of yourself. Nothing prevents a good nights sleep more than the increased sense of annoyance at not being able to go to sleep. So quit trying, get up and do something relaxing.
child sleep disorders
Childhood sleep disturbances affect not only the child but also the whole family. There is an abundance of different beliefs and lore on this topic. Sifting through the enormous amount of material, approaches, and opinions about kids' sleep can be daunting for parents.
There is not one correct way to deal with your child in regard to sleep. Each child is unique and has his own special set of circumstances and needs. What's important is for parents to identify what they feel comfortable with and what they feel is best for their child.
daily sleep requirements
It’s a basic necessity of life, as important to our health and well-being as air, food and water.
When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed, alert and ready to face daily challenges.
When we don’t meet our daily sleep requirements, every part of our lives can suffer.
Our jobs, relationships, productivity, health and safety (and that of those around us) are all put at risk.
In general, there are three levels of energy level, hyperthymic, even balanced and hypothymic. To figure out in which energy do you fall in, answer the following questions.
(To read the rest of this article click on the Title above here.)
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Ekbom’s syndrome is a misunderstood common condition which causes the legs and sometimes the arms to twitch just before going to sleep; this can cause problems with insomnia Around one in twenty people suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) during their life, it tends to affect women more than men especially pregnant women and middle aged women, other groups that tend to suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) are those suffering from kidney disease, nerve diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and varicose veins
Free Report Reveals Natural Insomnia Cures:
Living & Dealing with Sleep Disorders for your Health Success!
Free Health Book.
This report reveals the most common sleep disorders like sleep apnea, snoring, its affects on individuals and the remedies.
Click the link above or book cover to get your free Report & eCourse today!
Natural Sleep Aids & better sleep Tips
Free simple sleep aid recipes, therapies and how-to instructions for better sleep using massage, aromatherapy, oils, herbs, baths, comfort drinks, dream meanings, healthy sleep routines.... AND MORE.
Jet lag sleep disorder
One common problem with jet lag is that, for many people, the true effects of jet lag are not immediately apparent and it may take a day or two to "catch up" with you. In addition, the excitement of arriving at your holiday destination, or for an important business meeting, may also tend to mask the symptoms of jet lag. So, if you arrive at your destination feeling like a million dollars and throw yourself into your holiday or business activities - beware! Jet lag will almost certainly creep up and hit you on the back of the head just when you least expect it.
Statistics show that about 45% of adult’s snores from time to time while around 25% snores regularly. This is mostly considered as a problem that needs some intervention or treatment.
Generally, snoring is most common in men than women. Overweight people show more tendencies to snore than those within normal weight. Age appears to aggravate the situation as well.
Sleep apnea, sleep apnoea or sleep apnœa is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These episodes, called apneas (literally, "without breath"), each last long enough so one or more breaths are missed, and occur repeatedly throughout sleep. The standard definition of any apneic event includes a minimum 10 second interval between breaths, with either a neurological arousal (3-second or greater shift in EEG frequency, measured at C3, C4, O1, or O2), or a blood oxygen desaturation of 3-4 percent or greater, or both arousal and desaturation. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram.
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What is a Sleep IQ Test?
The following true or false statements test what you know about sleep. Be sure to discuss the answers with your healthcare provider.
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