Saturday, October 30, 2010

Secret Sleep Stealers

There are many reasons why you may not be able to fall asleep such as menopausal symptoms, heart racing, anxiety, stress and/or physical pain. There may be other silent mental or physical sleep stealers that may hinder your sleep. One of the secret sleep stealers could be an over-active thyroid or hyperthyroidism which can cause you to have too much energy at night. Did you know that you can develop thyroiditis following the delivery of a baby? 5 to 10 percent of women in their 20’s and 30’s will experience thyroiditis along with postpartum depression. After a couple months the condition will reverse into hypothyroidism which is a lack of thyroid hormone that will slow your body functions and leave you constantly tired. If you are too agitated to sleep or find yourself suffering from extreme fatigue postpartum you should see your doctor.

[caption id="attachment_516" align="alignright" width="299" caption="Secret Sleep Stealers - Postpartum Depression - Anxiety"][/caption]

If your doctor prescribes anti-depressants for your depression make note that some medications may cause sleep related side effects. Treating insomnia and depression can be counter-productive and many times an alternative approach is necessary. Some physicians recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling to alleviate depression or adjusting medications that aim to help both insomnia and depression like trazodone. Trazodone will interfere with other prescription drugs and supplements like St. Johns Wort. Trazodone can cause many side effects in which some will never go away or are very serious and require immediate medical attention. Be sure to consult with your doctor and list all drugs and supplements including over-the-counter medications. Review all side effects before considering this drug. Serious side effects include; chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, skin rash, difficulty breathing, swelling, numbness, dizziness, fainting and a painful erection that lasts longer than normal.

When you turn 40 you may wake up during the night to go to the bathroom more often which may be a sign of a UTI. A UTI or urinary tract infection is caused by a decrease in estrogen levels that leads to thinning of the lining of the vagina and bladder which make women more prone to this disease. Women in their 40’s are usually sexually active which can also lead to more UTIs. Another secret sleep stealer is losing the ability to sleep deeply as we age, making waking from nightmares more frequent. Exercise may help, especially weight training because when you work out you break down your muscles and tissues which require deep sleep to repair. When you give your body a good work out it will naturally increase your deep sleep.

Do you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and on medications to treat these medical issues? Are you taking a diuretic to treat hypertension? Ask your doctor if it is OK to take your pills in the morning instead of late at night when they might hinder your ability to sleep.  Statins that control cholesterol can deplete your body's muscles of co-enzyme Q-10, a natural protein that is required for normal muscle cell functioning, as a result many suffer from muscle aches like restless leg syndrome that interfere with not only falling sleep, but staying asleep as well. Many benefit from taking the supplement CO-Q10.

My father has to take a diuretic ever since he had triple-bypass surgery and in order for him to sleep during the night without continually getting up to go to the bathroom he takes his medication as late as possible or he sleeps in shifts, which is common with a lot of the elderly and toddlers.  Sleeping five hours during the night and 2 to 3 hours during the day is known as a biphasic sleep pattern.

[caption id="attachment_513" align="alignright" width="266" caption="Secret Sleep Stealers - Snoring - Obstructive Sleep Apnea"][/caption]

Do you snore?  Is it only occasionally or is it chronic (every night)? Snoring not only depletes your quality of sleep it impairs your partners ability to fall a sleep easy.  Heavy snoring may be related to the sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes the individual to stop breathing for a period of time (30 seconds) sporadically during the night. If OSA is not controlled it may worsen causing additional health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or even a stroke. One note: women are more prone to OSA after menopause when their progesterone levels decrease.  Taking prescribed progesterone can help muscles in the upper airways stay open.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication. Medications like progesterone may cause abnormal blood clotting. This may cut off the blood supply to the brain, heart, lungs, or eyes and cause serious problems. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. OSA is also caused if someone is overweight, as there is more pressure on the neck with the added weight. Just losing 10 pounds can alleviate the pressure and in most cases cure the OSA.

The content provided in Secret Sleep Stealers is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sleep Easy When You Have Lupus

Lupus also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that affects the skin, joints, kidneys and other organs. An autoimmune disorder means that the body has a problem with its normal immune system. A healthy immune system protects the body from harmful substances, but patients with lupus find that their immune system can’t tell what is harmful from what is a healthy substance. The outcome is an overactive immune response that attacks even healthy tissues and cells. The result leads to chronic inflammation. Researchers state that lupus occurs after an infection from an organism resembles certain proteins in the body and the immune system attacks the look-alike healthy proteins. Lupus can be mild to severe and even cause death.

[caption id="attachment_506" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep Easy When You Have Lupus - An Autoimmune Disease"][/caption]

Women are affected by lupus 9 to 1 and this disorder most often appears between the ages of 10 and 50. African Americans and Asians are affected more than people of other races. Symptoms of lupus can include extreme exhaustion, rash, sun sensitivity and joint pain. In fact some believe that lupus flares up can come about due sleep deprivation. People suffering from lupus exhaustion find it hard to get out of bed, are restless during the day and are unable to do what they would do normally, such as going to the grocery store, cooking dinner or attending their children’s after school activities. Lupus exhaustion is sporadic as they may feel great one day but unable to get out of bed the next. Early lupus sufferers feel they need to sleep at least 10 hours a day.

How can you sleep easy when you have lupus? In the 1950’s people thought that sleep was nothing more than a passive, inactive part of life. Now we know we need sleep to repair and restore our body as it will affect our daily functioning and physical and mental health. 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. And the reason women suffer from lupus more than men is that women suffer from lack of sleep more and their sleep problems increase as they age. People that don’t get enough sleep are two to three times more likely to have poor health verses people who live a healthy lifestyle and get enough sleep. Add lupus to an unhealthy lifestyle and the importance of a good night’s sleep takes on an even more essential role. Not being able to fall a sleep easy and get at least 7 to 8 hours a night can be harmful to the immune system. The neurons in the brain that control sleep interact with the immune system. As you know when you have the flu you feel sleepy, this happens because cytokines chemicals that are fighting the infection are also powerful sleep-inducing chemicals. Sleep conserves energy so the immune system can fight the infection. If you are in pain from a chronic illness many times you take a prescription drug that can disrupt your sleep. If this is the case you should talk to your doctor about changing your medication.

How much sleep do you really need? This all depends on many factors, including age. Teenagers need at least 8 hours of sleep while most adults do well with seven hours. In order to keep your lupus from flaring up you need to take control of your sleep habits, stick to a routine (this means go to bed and get up at the same time every day even on the weekends), don’t think you can make up for lost sleep and don’t overdo it. Exercise improves your ability to sleep but make sure you exercise early enough to calm your body down before bed.

Many doctors recommend acupuncture as a way to relax and preferred as an alternative treatment to prescription drugs or over-the-counter sleep aides as they have side effects and are addictive. Who wants to go through drug withdrawals with another health issue? Some lupus patients take prednisone; try taking this medication in the morning instead of later in the day when it can interrupt your sleep. Look forward to going to bed by making your bedroom cozy, cool and free from distractions, including the family pet. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol before bed as these drinks will either keep you from falling asleep or rob you of deep sleep.

Calming your mind and body at least an hour before bed will help you to fall asleep, try reading, taking a warm bath with sleep-inducing bath oils like lavender or chamomile or writing in your journal. If you can’t fall asleep, get up a do something for about 20 minutes and then try to go back to bed. If you feel your sleep deprivation is chronic insomnia or causing your lupus to flare up over and over again see your physician as he may recommend a sleep specialist so you can receive the proper treatment and finally get the sleep you deserve.

Do you have lupus? Here are a few of the more common symptoms:

[caption id="attachment_507" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Sleep Easy When You Have Lupus - Lupus Rash"][/caption]

Malar Rash. This is a red rash that appears over the bridge of the nose and across both cheeks. Some people get a different rash; it is round scaly spots that may show up on any part of the body exposed to the sun, though it also is most common on the face. If it isn't treated, it may leave white spots or scars. This is a different disease, called discoid lupus.

Sun Sensitivity. You may notice your rash for the first time after you've been in the sun. You think you may have a sun burn, except it is differen, instead of pealing or turning into a tan, it remains red and may have raised patches and your joints began to ache. UVA and UVB rays, even those reflected off sidewalks or the snow can be harmful. If you are not sensitive to the sun beware as the sun’s rays are stimulating the production of auto-antibodies which activate your lupus. Wear long-sleeved shirts, hats and gloves especially during 11am and 3pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Pain. Lupus pain may be very mild or severe. Joint pain can be sharp, steady or a burning sensation and affects the joints in the hands and fingers more often.

Exhaustion. Exhaustion, like the pain and the rash, comes and goes, and almost always is worse during the early stages of your illness.

The content provided in Sleep Easy When You Have Lupus is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How We Can Sleep Hard

Some say in order to sleep hard we need to work and play hard. Falling asleep hard is falling into a deep sleep also known as delta sleep. It is referred as delta sleep due to the low frequency delta waves that are present during sleep stages 3 and 4. Delta sleep occurs several times during the night intermingling with the more vivid dream sleep. Since sleep stages were discovered in the 1930’s researches paid more attention to nature of dream sleep or REM sleep and less emphasis on the non-dream state of deep sleep.

[caption id="attachment_499" align="alignright" width="280" caption="How can we sleep hard - Only take 20 minute naps"][/caption]

Deep sleep is the time when you nearly disengage from your environment and it can be difficult to wake up from this stage. In fact, this is the stage when sleepwalking becomes apparent. You may be aroused from deep sleep enough for motor control but not the higher centers to wake you up, so you remain in a sleep state dissociated by motor activity with limited judgment and awareness.

The greatest amount of deep sleep typically occurs in the first cycle of sleep and gradually decreases as the lighter stage 2 sleep and REM increase the closer you get to morning. Deep, hard sleep is effective in decreasing our need for sleep during the day. Some say a short afternoon “power nap” of 20 minutes doesn’t affect night time sleep because there isn’t time to cycle into deep sleep. If a sleep deep stage does occur it will decrease your sleep drive and make it harder for you to fall asleep easy at night.

What happens during deep sleep? Human growth hormone (HGH) is released which promotes cell repair that is necessary especially if you need to recover from weight training. How we can sleep hard? A supplement gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) increases deep sleep and with the increase of deep sleep more HGH is released. Since many misused this supplement as a date rape drug it is now only available by prescription for treatments of sleep disorders like narcolepsy. Getting treatment for sleep disorders is necessary for deep sleep, so if you  find it hard to sleep at night see your doctor or a sleep specialist to determine the cause. Try deep-breathing exercises or meditation as an alternative to prescription sleep aides.

Other benefits of deep, hard sleep it that it may refresh the mind for new learning. If you are wakened out of this stage you may feel sluggish and it may be unsafe to drive. If you do not get enough deep sleep you may be vulnerable to the effects of stress, sleep disruptions, aging and feel tired and run down daily. Falling into a deep sleep or sleep period is thought to be “hard-wired” into our brain. Researchers have a theory that instead of falling asleep as a passive process it may be an active one or an “arousal inhibitory mechanism” that stops us from being conscious.

For every four seconds in delta sleep there is a short burst of activity deep in the brain known as a sleep spindle. This burst interrupts activity in the brain by sending low frequency delta waves to stop RAM from re-activating the brain. Since the spindles occur occasionally, if we need to wake up – we can. Experts consider deep, hard sleep is a kind of “reversible unconsciousness”. If the brain gets damaged by stroke or tumors and we can’t wake if we need to, a person may experience panic attacks and an increased heart rate. Disruption in our sleep/wake cycle can contribute to heart and kidney disease.

At a sleep easy we find that hard work and hard play is not only good for your general health it provides good brain health too. Research on the physical results of thinking and stimulating the brain increases the number of dendritic branches that interconnect brain cells. The more we do things that make us think, the better our brains function – regardless of age.

If playing hard includes a morning exercise routine, you can relieve stress and improve mood which indirectly improves sleep. To get a more direct sleep-promoting benefit from morning exercise, exposure yourself to natural light in the morning. Whether you're exercising or not you can improve your sleep at night by reinforcing your body's sleep-wake cycle when you get some sun between 6am and 10am.

When it comes to having a direct effect on getting a good night's sleep, it's vigorous exercise in the late afternoon or early evening that appears most beneficial. That's because it raises your body temperature above normal a few hours before bed, allowing it to start falling just as you're getting ready for bed. This decrease in body temperature appears to be a trigger that helps ease you into a deep, hard sleep. If there is no time for exercise taking a hot bath or having a hot cup of decaffeinated tea will also give you the same beneficial effects that promote how we can sleep easy.

The content provided in How We Can Sleep Hard is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Calming a Baby to Sleep

Your pregnant or just had a baby and you probably have read all the baby books available, but did you know that each cry a baby makes has a different meaning? A Sleep Easy has determined ways in calming a baby to sleep by understanding their cries. Overtime, you’ll recognize each cry as if it were a spoken word. The following are common reasons why your baby cries.

• I’m hungry…a baby wants to eat every three to four hours and especially when they just wake up.

[caption id="attachment_488" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Calming a Baby to Sleep"][/caption]

• I’m tired….rubbing eyes, decreased activity, yawning, irritable these are signs that it is time to go to bed.

• I’m uncomfortable…wet, hot and/or cold, they may squirm or arch their back when they cry as if trying to get away from the source of discomfort.

• I’m in pain…this cry is usually sudden and very loud and may include long cries with a pause during which they may stop breathing then catches their breath and lets out another long cry. Your baby is under duress and needs your full attention.

• I’m over stimulated….too much attention, too much noise and your baby closes their eyes to shut and turns away trying to avoid what is going on. It is time to find a quiet cozy place to calm down.

• I’m sick…your baby is crying softly and moaning as a way of saying “I don’t feel good”. Take the babies temperature and/or call your pediatrician.

• I’m frustrated….if your baby is trying to learn motor control and their body is not cooperating they will cry out in frustration. Help them learn how to accomplish their task.

• I’m lonely…if your baby falls asleep while feeding in your arms and wakes alone in their crib they may cry. Try to put your baby to bed before they fall asleep in your arm feeding. This way they will learn to fall asleep easy on their own and not rely on you to be there.

• I’m afraid…you left your baby in the care of a baby sitter or you mom and they can’t see YOU! Their playful cries will suddenly turn into cries of panic. Where is Mommy? Where is Daddy? Try to let the baby and the new caretaker get to know each other before letting them stay together alone.

• I’m bored…I’ve been sitting in my car seat for…ev…er while you have been visiting with your friends…I am hungry and uncomfortable! Try to keep him engaged in an activity with toys or settle them into a new position. Or just give them a change in scenery!

• I’m colicky…my digestive system is not mature enough for the food you are giving me. What can Mommy do? Mommy can breastfeed and avoid foods such as cabbage, broccoli and other vegetables that will cause the baby to have gas. Bottle feed with smaller meals or try different nipples that prevent air from entering the baby as they eat which will lessen gas and indigestion especially when they are sleeping.

[caption id="attachment_491" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Calming a Baby to Sleep - Reasons Baby Cannot Sleep"][/caption]

Not only can you find yourself with a fussy baby, you can get also get frustrated and nervous when trying to get your baby to sleep. If your baby is crying just hold them, as they find that being wrapped up in your arms can be quite comforting. You can also swaddle them in slings or front-pack carriers. Rocking, swinging, swaying or driving in a car can help them to fall asleep easy.

When the baby was in the womb they experienced many noises, try to incorporate familiar noises such a heartbeat, white noise or even a vacuum cleaner. Sooth your baby with lullabies or record your own song. Massage your baby as they loved to be touched, but keep your strokes rhythmic as this will help them fall asleep easy. Babies, especially newborn have a natural sucking instinct, so provide a pacifier, teething toy or even your pinkie which can work wonders as a means of comfort. Eventually you will learn your baby’s body language and avoid crying altogether especially early signals such as fussing, stiffening or rooting for a breast. As you get to know your baby and learn their signals you can give them what they need before they begin to cry.

As your child matures their need for a continued sleep routine will alleviate sleeping problems such as the child waking during the night and wanting to be rocked or coddled again to fall sleep. Some parents give into letting the child just sleep with them which is a hard sleeping habit to break. The best way to soothe a crying child to sleep, if all else fails, is to take them for a car ride or giving them a warm bath using aromatherapy like lavender or chamomile oil.

You want a sleep easy baby? Make sure their bedroom is cozy and warm (70 degrees). Do not use a memory foam pad in their crib until the child can lift their head. Memory foam pads can become too soft and will mold to the child’s body causing suffocation. Make sure if they suffer from colic to keep their head elevated. Try preparing them for bed by keeping a routine that includes a warm bath, a massage, swaddled, rocked, car ride, lullaby or even lay them on your stomach so they can feel and hear the familiarity of being in the womb. Many foods are known to have tryptophan an amino acid that causes drowsiness. Enfamil Nutramigen LIPIL has tryptophan and its hypoallergenic formula is easy to digest and has a balanced nutrition especially for baby’s first 12 months. The content provided in Calming a Baby to Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your baby’s sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Homeopathic Sleep Easy Solution

If you can’t sleep at night because you are suffering from insomnia you might need a homeopathic sleep easy solution. An occasional night without sleep might not seem like a big deal, but when it happens over and over again this vicious cycle can begin to take a toll on your daily activities and health. Worrying over getting a decent night’s sleep can be overwhelming.

Sleep is essential to your well-being for peace of mind and a wholesome body. On average people spend close to 30% of their life sleeping or at least trying to. Sleep is the time when your body rests and repairs itself and when the mind processes daily events through dreams. If you are sleep deprived you will show signs of restlessness during the day resulting in slow reflexes, lack of productivity and can lead to a form of psychosis, with delusions and hallucinations.

Chronic insomnia occurs when you are in pain, stressed, worried, anxious, panicked, ill and experience side effects of drugs, jet lag or other disruptions of your normal sleep/wake cycle. Symptoms of insomnia include; not being able to fall asleep easy, wake up during the night or wake up too early. Other causes can include other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea or night terrors (nightmares). Sleep comes to those that can filter out internal and external stimuli and gradually shift their attention to slowing their heart rate and breathing pattern to gradually fall asleep. If your mental activity is overactive or you have a medical condition you have a hard time falling asleep as your body will produce anxiety hormones that re caused by an excited or fearful state, what is known as a flight or fight response. During this response, certain hormones (adrenalin and cotisol) are released, speeding up your heart rate, slowing down digestion, forcing blood flow to major muscle groups and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. No wonder you can’t fall asleep!

What can you do about your insomnia? First, you need to find if there is a medical or physiological cause. Usually once that is determined you can get proper treatment which can help the body to relax and slow down. Many physicians recommend prescription drugs that offer sedative properties. Some doctors and patients prefer herbal remedies especially if they are suffering from other medical conditions or on other prescriptions which can cause drug interactions and exacerbate medical conditions. Homeopathic supplements restore natural sleep/wake cycles while balancing and healing emotional states that prevent sleep.

Common herbal medications that calm the nerves and help induce drowsiness and relaxation are chamomile, valerian root, passion flower, hops, catnip and California poppy. Other alternative sleep aides are GABA, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Each can be bought individually or combined in capsule, tablet, extract or tincture. The most potent herbal sedative is valerian root which by itself can often induce sleep. Other herbs are more effective in combination such as passion flower and hops. Some homeopathic insomnia remedies are made from substances in nature like coffee, strychnine and arsenic that can cause wakefulness in healthy people. Prepared in minute, potentized doses and prescribed according to the patients cause for insomnia as well as the whole person, some these remedies need to be controlled and administered by a physician or homeopathic professional.

Arsenicum album is prepared by separating arsenic from iron, cobalt or nickel by baking it at high temperatures. The powder is ground and diluted with lactose so there are no atoms of arsenic left. The final product is sold in tinctures, tablets, pellets or powder. Arsenicum album is poisonous in its pure form and it is important that you buy it from a reputable source and take the proper recommended dose. Arsenicum album eases sleeplessness from worry and anxiety with a fear of dying. It also helps with those that wake up during the night.

Nux vomica not only calms the mind over worries and stress and for those with the insomnia symptom; not being able to get back to sleep it also helps with nausea, indigestion, heartburn and sour stomach from over eating and spicy foods. A homeopathic preparation of Nux vomica are most commonly in tablet form and comes in several strengths, including 6X, 12X, 30X, and 30C. Taking nux vomica for more than a week, or in high amounts of 30 mg or more, can cause severe side effects. Over dose of nux vomica has a predominantly neurological effect, and may cause painful seizures, spasms, difficulty breathing, dizziness and confusion. Other side effects include muscle cramps, pain and tenderness. Do not take Nux vomica is pregnant, nursing or have liver disease. Patients taking prescription drugs, herbs and supplements that are potentially damaging to the liver, such as kava, should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.

Coffea cruda cures an over stimulated mind or for those that cannot fall asleep. Sold in pills or tablets in globule or pellet form. Coffea cruda is not advised for the elderly who suffer from tinnitus because it is prone to raise uric acid production which also causes kidney irritation and muscle/joint pain. Babies who are overly excited or teething may benefit from taking coffea cruda to alleviate these symptoms. But be aware it may cause increased urination.

Cocculus aides sleeplessness from nursing the sick, motion sickness, vertigo, anxiety, jet lag, lower back pain and nausea. It has also been proven very helpful for individuals drained by stress and tension. You can purchase cocculus as a tincture in 1/5 and 1/10 drug strength.

Chamomilla or Chamomile eases pain, nightmares, teething. irritability and restlessness. For more information on chamomile see: Fall Asleep Easy with Chamomile

Other homeopathic remedies for insomnia are through self-hypnosis tapes, relaxation exercises and meditation. These remedies can prepare you for sleep by deeply relaxing all your muscles, lowering your heart rate and slowing down your breathing. Some people can get the same relaxing feelings just by taking a warm bath in chamomile or lavender oils, drinking a cup of decaffeinated Sleeptime tea or a glass of warm milk.

Remember to keep your bedroom a place that is cool, cozy, quiet and free from external interruptions, which includes the family pet. Keep a familiar night time routine so your body and your mind can prepare for bedtime. Gradually decrease your daily activity and stimulation as you prepare for bed, for instance; read a book, listen to some soothing music or write in your journal. A journal is also a way for you to write down all your worries and anxieties. Getting it out of your mind and on paper can calm your mind and help you to fall asleep easy.

Note: Like prescription drugs, keep supplements out of the reach of children, never share your supplements with others, and use supplements only for the indication prescribed. The content provided in A Homeopathic Sleep Easy Solution is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Drinks for an Easy Sleep a Drank Review

There are drinks for an easy sleep on the store shelves today like iChill, RelaxZen, Slow Cow and Dream Water which have been called the “anti-Red Bulls” marketed to help those who have trouble falling asleep, fall a sleep easy. These drinks are gaining popularity like energy drinks with sales of $20 million a year, but experts have warned that sleep-inducing melatonin is unsafe in drinks. Drank has 2 milligrams of melatonin which is 20 times the body’s natural amount. Dr. Charles Czeisler, a sleep expert from Harvard medical school claims that hormones shouldn’t be added to beverages since the amount is not controlled due to people drink for thirst and taste rather than only taking a sleep aid supplement when needed.

Dream Water and iChill are sold in 2 ounce shots with 5 milligrams of melatonin which is 50 times the body’s natural amount. Drank, which tastes like grape soda, is sold in a 16 oz can and not only contains melatonin but valerian root and rose hips, two well known supplemental sleep aides. Valerian root is used for restlessness and insomnia with the affects in the same class as Xanax and Valium, but much less concentrated.

Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.

Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression. Many people take a supplement to regulate melatonin deficiencies that may occur from SAD, sleep disorders, working the night shift or jet lag.

Rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C and it’s known to be an important antioxidant. Some experts say it is helpful in dispelling depression, stress, and nervous tension. More commonly, this supplement is taken to help build the body's defense against colds and flu, catarrh, sore throats, and chest infections.

Other ingredients are water, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium citrate, potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate, niacinamide (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), red #40, blue #1, cyanocobalamin (vitaminB12).

Does Drank work? The effects of Drank are not even close to the effects of Codeine, over-the-counter sleep aides or doxylamine succinate the sedative found in NyQuil. If you are watching your weight you might want to stay away from Drank because it is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Drinking a drink laden with melatonin like the anti-energy drink Drank could eventually cause many undesirable side effects associated with this hormone. At its worst, improper amounts of melatonin can interrupt a person's circadian rhythm, which can cause a host of other symptoms such as constipation, lethargy, depression, high acidity levels, and breaks in menstrual cycles for women, in rare cases, even organ failure. If you're looking for the relaxation effects of Drank, have a cup of decaffeinated chamomile tea or warm glass of milk instead to sleep easy.

Drank, as it is named, is produced by the Houston-based Innovative Beverage Group, and bears the slogan "slow your roll" as its motto. Does this make Drank sound like a legal drug? Maybe in some ways, it is. In fact, the anti-energy drink's purple color and name are strikingly similar to an illegal drug commonly referred to as "Purple Drank" in hip-hop culture. Manufacturers have not even attempted to hide the similarity between their product and Purple Drank, and is actually marketing their beverage using drug terms. The similarities are undeniable: both purple drank and the new anti-energy drink cause drowsiness, both are purple in color, and both go by almost the same name.

The content provided in Drinks for an Easy Sleep –Drank Review is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remedy to Sleep Easy with Panic Attacks

Do you wake up during the night with a panic attack and can’t sleep? You wake up with a rapid heartbeat all disoriented, confused, anxious and feel like you’re about to die! If sleeping panic attacks occur often people can develop a fear of going to sleep and insomnia. 50% to 70% of the people who have a panic disorder also experience sleeping panic attacks, but this is relatively rare. Panic attacks symptoms can include grinding teeth, head ache and/or pressure in the ears, which are not typical when experiencing a panic attack while awake. Why do you have a sleeping panic attack? What is a remedy to sleep easy with panic attacks?

The exact reason a panic attack occurs while sleeping has yet to be established, although there are a couple theories. One theory is that a panic response is triggered during sleep as a result of increased levels of carbon dioxide, which can happen to people that tend to hyperventilate. The second theory is based on the change in the sleep cycle from light to deeper stages of sleep. Remedies for panic attacks vary depending on these theories and the persons symptoms. Medication and lifestyle changes can help to reduce the attacks. Anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants or tranquilizers may be prescribed depending on the severity of the panic attacks. Counseling can be beneficial if the person is suffering from depression or fear to fall asleep.

Panic attacks can range from 5 to 20 minutes, but in severe cases episodes can last for hours and require medical attention especially if the person’s rapid heartbeat feels like a heart attack. How often panic attacks occur can also vary from one a week to multiple attacks a day.

If a person is suffering from depression it is advised to seek a professional to find out the cause. Many professionals theorize that panic attacks and depression may be genetic as others feel it stems from childhood insecurities. Your physician may recommend breathing exercises that will help you to calm down and slow your heart rate. There are many self hypnotic CD’s on the market that can tell you how to keep a steady, consistent breathing pattern and this also will help you to fall asleep easy.

If your psychologist believes your attacks stem from childhood insecurities he may recommend that you smell something that soothed you as a young child, such as baby powder, freshly baked cookies or any smell that is related to your childhood. The idea being that these smells can reflect happy memories and stop your fear and anxiety.

Another remedy is cognitive-behavioral therapy which is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change. This therapy offers a type of relaxation or "de-stress" strategy that is accessible whenever you need calmness and peace in your life.

If prescription drugs are recommended, but you would rather take an alternative supplement due to the side effects and possible addiction, a natural supplement designed to stop anxiety and panic attacks is Panicyl. Panicyl has three primary herbal ingredients; Ashwaganda, GABA and L-Theanine which is touted to bring balance to certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that are associated with anxiety, panic attacks and depression. The specific neurotransmitters involved are serotonin and norepinephrine. Research has suggested that abnormalities in neurotransmitter activity can affect mood and behavior, while Panicyl’s ingredients can help balance these two chemicals to allow the body to resist anxiety, panic attacks and stress.

Panicyl is produced by Panicyl Corp. owned by Bill Burniece who is an ex-anxiety, panic attack, and agoraphobia sufferer. With any supplement it is advised to talk to you doctor before taking as it may interfere with other medications or medical issues. Panicyl is not recommended for those that are pregnant.

The content provided in Remedy to Sleep Easy with Panic Attacks is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Insomnia Sleep Easy Information

Insomnia Sleep Easy Information: What is insomnia? Basically insomnia is when you can’t fall asleep easy or stay asleep during the night. Sleep deprivation causes you to be less productive and restless during the day. Insomnia symptoms include: it takes more than 30 minutes for you to fall asleep, your sleep is sporadic, you wake up during the night and can’t fall back to sleep and/or you wake up too early in the morning. There are three types of insomnia; transient, short-term and long term or chronic.

Transient is when you can’t sleep due to an emotional or physical ailment that is temporary. It could be stress over a new job, getting sick, getting too excited about an upcoming big event or just falling in love.

Short-term insomnia lasts about 2-3 weeks and is cause by worrying over money matters or a physical condition such as being pregnant that makes falling asleep difficult because you are uncomfortable. Once this reason is resolved you insomnia will often disappear.

Long-term or chronic insomnia could be a result of a severe medical or emotional issue such as heart disease, rapid heart rate, acid reflux, diabetes, anxiety or depression. Other factors for chronic insomnia may be due to an addiction to drugs or alcohol, medications that interfere with sleeping or an unhealthy lifestyle. When determining if you suffer from chronic insomnia it is important to seek medical treatment and/or counseling to determine the cause. Once the cause is determined treatment can be established. Defining the amount of sleep you need or the type of sleep can be established by a trial and error period where you adjust the hours each night until you feel energized during the day. While most people require 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night which is known as a monophasic sleep pattern, some can split their sleep into two segments or biphasic sleep. Biphasic sleep is where you get 5-6 hours during the night and sleep (nap) 1-2 hours during the day. Toddlers and the elderly are known to have a biphasic sleep pattern.

Balancing your life and trying to establish a healthy lifestyle and sleep routine may be difficult at first but it is imperative as sleep deprivation not only is caused by physical or emotional issues it can also be the reason you have or will have health problems in the future. If you don’t take time to calm down each night, enjoy your life and get a good night’s sleep you may experience diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Prolonged lack of sleep even causes premature-aging. Sleep is the time when the body renews and rejuvenates itself; it is a time of rebalancing, detoxification, and the re-booting of the immune system. Cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory, is produced during the day and prevents natural cell repair from occurring. During sleep, cortisol levels are lowered, allowing normal growth and repair to take place. If your cortisol levels remain high due to lack of sleep it is one of the main causes for weight gain, especially belly fat. Melatonin, another body hormone, is released at night, and works to fight against abnormal cell growth. Melatonin also keeps your sleep/wake cycle in check. Taking care of yourself during the day by maintaining your weight, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise is one step towards keeping your health in general which will make it easier for you to sleep better at night .

Allowing yourself to establish a sleep routine that includes calming your mind and body down prior to going to bed will allow you to reflect on issues that are important to you. You can meditate, take a leisurely bath, read, take a walk or keep a journal. One note about keeping a journal, if you are suffering from chronic insomnia and considering seeing a physician it is advised to take notes on your sleep behaviors. A sleep journal can help the doctor determine the cause and severity of your insomnia. Also, if you are experimenting with different sleep patterns such as biphasic or monophasic, it is a good idea to record how you feel the next day to clarify which type of sleep or the amount of sleep works best for you.

If you are sleep deprived you will not only be less productive during the day your reflexes will also slow down. It is important to note that you need to be very careful when handling dangerous machinery or drills, saws, electric knives, etc. It is not safe to drive as statistics have shown that sleepy drivers are as dangerous as intoxicated drivers. It has been reported that people who fall asleep at the wheel cause 40,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths each year. Having insomnia is only now beginning to get the attention it deserves and why people need to be responsible for themselves as well as others and don’t drive.

If work is a major priority in your life it is often the cause of a lot of stress and anxiety. Yes working pays the bills and provides for your family, but you also need time for yourself and your family. Leading a life that is full and satisfying is one of the best defenses against insomnia. Keeping work at work and especially out of the bedroom is one way to help your mind and body relax at night and prepare for sleep. Yes, there will be times when you take your work home for instance to prepare for a big meeting, but if you do it night after night you might just end up falling asleep during the meeting. After a heavy meal, if a room is too warm or a business meeting are the main reasons when insomniacs have a hard time staying awake during the day. If your stress and anxiety is causing you to toss and turn for hours on end every night it may be due to a serious emotional issue and a professional counselor should be contacted.

If your sleep deprivations is not due to your ability to fall asleep as it is in regards to staying asleep this is a sign of depression and/or anxiety. It could also be caused by other sleep problems like acid reflux or restless leg syndrome (RLS). Others find it difficult to go back to sleep because they have something important on their mind. At this point it is better to get up and write down what is bothering you. Just getting it down on paper and out of your head may be just enough for you to fall back to sleep. Then you can deal with the situation in the morning. This could also be the reason why you wake early in the morning.

Aging causes many factors why we wake up in the middle of the night and one of reasons might be that we need to get up and go to the bathroom. First try to lessen the amount of liquid you drink before bedtime. If you are getting up every night, eliminate beverages at least 2-3 hours before to see if this helps, otherwise, it could be a sign of a medical condition and require medical treatment. Medical conditions could be prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, bladder infection, kidney infection, elevated blood sugar or even diabetes. These serious medical conditions should not be left untreated and you should see your doctor right away.

When we get older we may require less sleep or our ability to get a full night’s sleep may be due to our hormone levels. The hormones that once helped you to fall asleep have been reduced and you may consider hormone replacement therapy. Many women find relief from symptoms of menopause which include sleeplessness once they are taking hormones. Remember that hormone replacement therapy may help with menopausal symptoms but they also have side effects. See Sleep Easy with Menopause for natural alternatives and tips.

So if you have transient or short-term insomnia a healthy lifestyle with a sleep routine may be all you need to resolve your sleep deprivation, while chronic insomnia could not only be caused by medical or emotional issues, it could also cause health issues in the future. The content provided in Insomnia Sleep Easy Information is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for insomnia and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kava Kava to Sleep Easy

Many people can’t fall asleep easy because of the economy, raising children and trying to keep their jobs. Due to lack of sleep from stress and anxiety people rely on prescription drugs or over the counter medications (OTCs), but they often have many side effects and often lose their potency and effectiveness which create a need for higher doses that result in a dependency. If you want to sample a natural herbal sleep aid without the side effects try Kava kava to sleep easy as it claims to have the same calming effects as synthetically made sleeping pills.

Kava kava (Piper methysticum) a member of the pepper family, has been used for hundreds of years and the effect is comparable to having a glass of wine. In the past it was ground into a pulp and added to cold water resulting in a thick brew used in ceremonies offered to guests and dignitaries visiting the Pacific Islands. In addition to ceremonial uses, Kava kava was used to elevate mood, treat anxiety and produce feelings of relaxation. Kava kava is a tall shrub that grows on the islands in the Pacific and its roots are the part of plant that is used medicinally. In some parts of the world, whole kava roots are chewed for their therapeutic value. Kava kava in the U.S. is available in liquid form, as tinctures or extracts and powdered in capsules or tablets. In 2009, Vanuatu Beverage launched Lava Cola (also called Kava Cola), a soft drink containing a kavalactone additive, marketed for its relaxing properties and described as an "anti-energy drink".

A potent anti-energy kava drink results in a faster onset of sleepiness as the user's eyes become sensitive to light, they soon become drowsy and then they fall into a deep, dreamless sleep within 30 minutes. Sleep is often restful and sleeping through the night depends on the amount and potency of kava consumed. After wakening they don’t experience any mental or physical after effects, however, this sleep has been reported as extremely restful and the user often wakes up more rested than they normally would, unless the drink is too potent which has been known to cause evident sleepiness into the next day. Although heavy doses can cause deep dreamless sleep, it is reported that many people experience lighter sleep and rather vivid dreams after drinking a moderate amounts of kava.

In some clinical studies, Kava kava has been found to be effective in treating symptoms of anxiety. In fact one study reported that kava and diazepam (Valium) causes similar changes in brain wave activity suggesting they many work in the same ways to calm the mind. In 2004, researchers found that using 300mg of kava may improve mood and cognitive performance. What is amazing about their findings is that some prescription drugs used to treat anxiety such as Valium or Xanax tend to decrease cognitive function.

What is Kava kava made of? Kava's active principal ingredients are the kavalactones, of which at least 15 have been identified and are all considered psychoactive. Only six of them produce noticeable effects, and their concentrations in kava plants vary. Different ratios can produce different effects. These chemicals (including kawain, dihydrokawain, and methysticum) have been extensively studied in laboratory and animal studies. They have been found to reduce convulsions, promote sleep, and relax muscles in animals. They also have pain-relieving properties, which may explain why chewing kava root tends to cause a temporary numbness and tingling sensation on the tongue. Herbs have been used to strengthen the body and treat disease, however, some components may trigger side effects when used with other herbs or medications. Kava kava has been linked to liver problems. Kava products have been associated with 25 reports of liver-related injuries including hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure and death. It may be that the kava supplements were contaminated with other substances that caused liver damage. Or the people already had liver problems before taking kava in which kava exacerbated the condition or they combined kava with other medications or herbs that damaged their livers. Doses that are recommended by a physician vary as this herb affects people differently. You should only take kava with your doctor’s supervision due to its uncertainty associated with liver damage, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. If you take kava and experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

The doses listed below are the ones used in most studies. However, given reports of liver damage, it is now impossible to say what dose of kava may be considered safe. That is why it is important to have your doctor determine any dose of kava you may take.

Standardized dosage: 150 - 300 mg, 1 - 3 times daily as needed for anxiety or nervousness, standardized to contain 30 - 70 % kavalactones. Most clinical trials have used the German kava extract WS 1490.

Kava dried root: 2.0 - 4.0 grams as a decoction (a preparation made by boiling down the herb in water), up to 3 times daily.

It may take 4 weeks before you notice improvement. Kava should not be taken for more than 3 months without a 2-week rest period.

Who should not take Kava kava ? People with liver damage, pregnant or breastfeeding women, do not take kava if you are going to have surgery, because kava can prolong the effect of anesthesia. Do not drink alcohol, take other drugs especially anticonvulsants and anti-anxiety agents like Xanax or Valium or OTCs and take kava. Other side effects associated with kava include allergic skin reactions (such as contact dermatitis), long-term use at high doses may cause flaky, dry, and yellowish discoloration of the skin, hair loss (alopecia), partial loss of hearing, and loss of appetite. Like alcohol, kava may have intoxicating effects and should not be taken before operating a car or other machinery. Drugs that help the body get rid of excess fluid (diuretics) effects may be stronger when taking them with kava, raising the risk of dehydration. Kava may also increase the side effects of drugs that treat schizophrenia. Not recommended to mix with levodopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson’s as it may reduce its effectiveness.

Kava kava grows naturally in many of the Pacific Islands even though we don’t recommend it for pediatric care, mother on these islands gave a small dose to their babies to ease their crying. Adults use it for its calming effect, treat anxiety, migraines and even bladder problems. This plants magical properties spread to Europe and Germany used it to treat high blood pressure.

Many physicians recommend Kava kava to their patients as a sleep aid or a way to reduce their daily stress and anxieties. Unlike prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications Kava kava does not lose its effectiveness so the longer you take it you will never need to increase the dosage. People all around the world have used Kava kava for thousands of years which help make this herb a proven a successful sleep supplement. The content in Kava Kava to Sleep Easy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

21 Uncommon Ways to Fall Asleep Easy

You have looked at all the sleep websites and they all seem to suggest the same ways to fall asleep easy. You’ve tied a white noise machine or self-hypnosis CD, but to no avail you are still tossing and turning every night. Insomniac can never get enough ways to fall asleep as what may work for one person, may not work for another. More and more uncommon ways to fall asleep easy are being discovered and some are finding relief in some of them. Here are 21 uncommon ways to fall asleep easy:

Put a washcloth in the dryer, then lie down and place the warm washcloth over your eyes.

To increase blood flow that helps people got to sleep by wearing thick socks.

If thick socks don’t work, maybe wet socks will. Wet socks spur a rush of blood to the feet and after your feet get warm it is said that you will fall asleep fast.

Have a salt crystal lamp lit in the room throughout the day and even when you go to sleep, as it can help remove stale energy, keep the air clean and create a relaxing atmosphere.

If you are restless in bed and cannot get to sleep get up and soak your feet in warm salt water for 20 minutes, or take a salt water bath, before you slip under your blanket. Salt is a powerful anti-stress element that clears fatigue and encourages relaxation. You can also try a bath into which a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or chamomile have been added to promote relaxation.

Pinch of salt on your tongue is said to make electrical charges in your brain aid sleep.

Clear the mind by listening to external soothing, repetitive shushing sounds like a fan, the wind, traffic or your own breathing.

Sing to yourself it can be a lullaby or a simple song to sooth and promote stress-reducing properties. If you are singing a song you will deter worrisome thoughts.

A baby loves to be rocked to sleep in a rocking chair, so try it for yourself.

Curl your toes tightly while holding your breath for an 8 count then slowing exhale and relax your toes. Repeat. You can also trying this technique with each muscle group.

Naturally when you start to fall asleep your thoughts will start a story. When you lay down to go to sleep start a light hearted story. Avoid heavy, mind stimulating topics. After a while your mind will take over and you will fall asleep.

Let your thoughts wander or repeat a phrase to reduce your heart rate and breathing.

Lucid dreaming are dreams that you remember. These dreams can be used to promote sleep.

Dr. Oz reported that cherry juice can induce sleep because cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that contributes to sleepiness and relaxation.

Light weight on top of you may release the hormone, serotonin that helps you to produce melatonin. Try weighted blankets or a pillow.

Sleep better if you get into a clean, made bed? Make your bed and straightening your bedroom will help you feel more organized which can impact on your stress levels.

Write either in journal or on your blog. It helps you to think of other things besides your every day work and family schedules. Also if you do write about your worries it relieves stress because you got it out of your mind.

There are many forms of self-hypnosis to fall asleep and one way to imagine a pendulum in your mind. Close your eyes and imagine it going back and forth, back and forth etc…

Spritz calming herbal oil on your pillow like lavender or chamomile.

Other sleep inducing herbs like buckwheat and hops can be stuffed into a pillow.

Trick your mind with opposite suggestions which can sometimes work. REPEAT: “I don’t want to go to sleep” and eventually you will go to sleep.

If you know of any other uncommon ways to fall asleep easy, please leave me a comment. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

The content in Uncommon Ways to Fall Asleep Easy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

My Child Falls Asleep Easy - Narcolepsy

Does your child fall asleep easy no matter what they are doing? Frequent daytime sleepiness is often called excessive daytime somnolence (EDS) that can be caused by a chronic sleep deprivation, but it may be a symptom of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy consists of EDS with involuntary sleep episodes. 87% of people have interrupted sleep patterns and 76% of those with narcolepsy show signs of cataplexy which is a sudden weakness without loss of consciousness brought on by emotion. Other symptoms associated with narcolepsy are; hypnogogic hallucinations or vivid dreams and sleep paralysis a condition when one’s muscles are paralyzed, both occur at the onset of falling asleep, according to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine.

100% of the people that have narcolepsy carry a genetic component to the condition with a particular antigen called DR15 on their while blood cells. This antigen is seen in about 15% of the population, but not all people that carry the antigen get narcolepsy. First degree relatives or a family member who shares about 50 percent of their genes such as parent with the condition can pass it to their children. These children have about one percent chance of getting it themselves, which is a much higher rate than the general population.

The first signs of narcolepsy usually occur between the ages of 10 and 25 years old with only occasional sleep attacks. Eventually most narcoleptics develop cataplexy, but its severity varies from one attack per year to several attacks per day. The intensity of the cataplectic attack can also vary from slight weakness in the jaw that allows the mouth to drop open to a complete loss of strength in all voluntary muscles that cause the person to fall.

Sleep studies are often performed to diagnosis and determine the severity of the narcolepsy by using an electroencephalogram or EEG which records the patient’s rapid eye movements (REM). Normally a person sleep pattern has periodic stages of REM that typically occur every 60-90 minutes. Someone with narcolepsy will often go into REM sleep almost immediately after falling asleep. Another test that may be conducted is the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) in which the patient will lie down several times during the day and the time it takes for them to fall asleep easy will be recorded. Narcoleptics fall asleep much faster during the day than most people.

Narcolepsy usually subsides with age, but if you think your child has this condition it can pose a real danger especially if they are driving. Treatment is basically stimulants such as Ritalin or amphetamines. Cataplexy, hypnogogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis may respond to antidepressants. Some doctors have new drugs for narcolepsy other than prescribing antidepressants and stimulants. Herbal concoctions, minerals and vitamins that include St. Johns Wart, gotu kola, vitamin B complex, calcium and magnesium have been used to improve energy levels naturally and reduce the intensity of fatigue. Food allergies can also have an effect on narcolepsy. Researchers have documentation that a person was cured after he took potatoes out of his diet.

Doctors also advise taking a nap in the daytime to help prevent sleep attacks. Behavioral changes are usually recommended along with medications to help a child sleep better at night and to manage their narcolepsy symptoms. Combining the various treatments can improve alertness and help them control the effects of a narcoleptic episode. A medical alert bracelet or necklace will warn others if they suddenly fall asleep or become unable to move or speak. Narcolepsy is often mistaken for depression, epilepsy, or the side effects of medications. If your child falls asleep easy and you think it could be narcolepsy contact your physician to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

Behavioral changes are an important factor in managing the symptoms of narcolepsy. Suggested self-care tips, from the National Sleep Foundation, University at Buffalo, and Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Take several short daily naps (10-15 minutes) to combat excessive sleepiness and sleep attacks.
  • Develop a routine sleep schedule – try to go to sleep and awaken at the same time every day.
  • Alert your employers, coworkers and friends in the hope that others will accommodate your condition and help when needed.
  • Do not drive or operate dangerous equipment if you are sleepy. Take a nap before driving if possible. Consider taking a break for a nap during a long driving trip.
  • Join a support group.
  • Break up larger tasks into small pieces and focusing on one small thing at a time.
  • Stand whenever possible.
  • Take several short walks during the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
  • Carry a tape recorder, if possible, to record important conversations and meetings.
  • Stop drinking alcohol especially during the nights as this can complicate the symptoms.
  • Exercise regularly at least three to five hours before bedtime as this helps you sleep better at night.
  • Avoid heavy meals and chocolate drinks before going to bed.
  • Avoid bright lights before bedtime.
  • Take a warm bath before sleeping in the night.
  • Keep your environment calm without any distractions from TV or computer.

The content in My Child Falls Asleep Easy - Narcolepsy is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.


Last winter, 29 million children in the United States were given a seasonal influenza shot that incorporates the swine flu vaccine, but according to Tom Skinner, press officer of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, narcolepsy associated with the vaccine has not been reported.

According to Marjo Renko, chairwoman of Finland’s national group of experts on vaccines, a substance was identified as possibly cause narcolepsy, but later denied it.

“There is no proof that the increase in narcolepsy would be linked with the vaccines. We do not suspect anything. This is mere speculation,” she said, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

resource: The Epoch Times
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Sleep Baby

Two easy sleep baby methods on the market today are the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer method and The Happiest Baby on The Block method. The baby whisperer’s sleep method makes use of the concept E.A.S.Y. which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep and You. Tracy Hogg’s book, Secrets of the Baby whisperer talks about how to calm a fussy child with techniques that help them get the rest and support for a good night’s sleep. Dr. Karp creator of The Happiest Baby on The Block states that there are 5 S components; Swaddling, Side/Stomach position, Shushing sounds, Swinging and Sucking, when used together, work amazingly well to calm a crying baby and in many cases help them go to sleep with no fuss. To summarize a little about each:

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

Eat – We all know baby’s need to eat, but do we know how often and how much? Hogg’s Feeding Guide gives you a breakdown on how much to feed your child at every stage of development.

Activity – Try to encourage your baby to have a little bit of activity after eating as this will help their quality of sleep. It is also good that they don’t associate eating with sleeping. As the child ages they won’t wake up during the night and want to eat in order to fall back to sleep. Establishing good sleep routine early will encourage good sleeping habits later. Newborns don’t need much activity a bath, song, staring at toys or even a diaper change would be enough.

Sleep – Baby’s especially newborns can sleep between 20 minutes to 2 hours off and on throughout the day and night. This is known as a polyphasic sleep pattern. They need 14 to 18 hours a day during the first week and 12 to 16 hours a day by the time they are a month old. Sleep helps them develop and grow.

Your Time - After baby is asleep, you get precious time to do whatever you want. Maybe a little sleep of your own.

Baby’s sleep habits need two things: a regular bedtime and a consistent routine. A bedtime that occurs at the same time every night will set your baby’s internal clock so that he’s naturally sleepy at a predictable time. E.A.S.Y has structured sleep routines, but since each child is different so you may have make an adjustment here and there to find what works best for you and your baby.

Typical E.A.S.Y. Day for a 4-week-old to 4 months:

E – 7:00 – Feed

A – 7:45 – Diaper change, bath, singing..etc. (select activities that calm the mind rather than excite the mind)

S – 8:15 – Swaddle and lay baby in crib. May take 15-20 min. to fall asleep.

Y – 8:30 – Your time

E – 10:00 – Feed

A – 10:45 – See 7:45 above.

S – 11:15 – 2nd morning nap.

Y – 11:30 – Your time.

E – 1:00 – Feed

A – 1:45 – See 7:45 above.

S – 2:15 – Afternoon nap.

Y – 2:30 – Your time.

E – 4:00 – Feed

A – 4:45 – See 7:45 above.

S – 5:15 – Catnap (about 40-45 min)

Y – 5:30 – Your time.

E – 6:00 – 1st Cluster Feed

A – 7:00 – Bath, bedtime ritual

S – 7:30 – Another catnap

Y – 7:30 – You eat dinner.

E – 8:00 – 2nd Cluster Feed

A – None

S – Put baby right back to sleep.

Y – Enjoy your time until the Dream Feed.

E – Between 10-11 – Dream Feed.

This routine assumes baby doesn’t have special needs, isn’t below birth weight, etc. that may require more frequent feedings.

Your baby will want to eat when they wake up then they should be active throughout the day. Activities should be based on the child’s age and personality. Look for cues they need to nap. Like yawning or crankiness. Using a consistent routine allows your child to know exactly what to expect. If your child remains fussy after you put them down, rub their back or hum a lullaby. This approach sends out a message that you are there but want them to fall asleep on their own.

As your child gets older you need to continue your sleep routine of putting them to bed/nap at the same time every day. This goes a long way in helping the baby to learn how to fall asleep easy without your assistance. Some older children, 8 to 12 months, may find it hard to be separated from their parents when going to bed. Separation anxiety disorder is not a normal stage of development, but a serious emotional problem characterized by extreme distress when a child is away from their parents. Unlike the occasional worries that children may feel at times of separation, separation anxiety disorder causes fears that limit a child’s ability to engage in ordinary life. If your baby has a favorite toy or blanket that you feel is safe to have in the crib, it can be left for comfort. This is when "transitional" objects become important to babies. They help your baby transition from being with you most of the time to having some time away from you and becoming more independent. For these children you may have to reassure them that you are there and that everything is all right over and over again until they fall asleep. The Baby Whisperer Method should only be used on an infant who is healthy and well-fed. Never use it on a baby who is sick or who is upset for other reasons, such as physical discomfort.

The Happiest Baby on The Block

The Happiest Baby on The Block is a sleep method formulated by Dr. Harvey Karp as he believes that babies, especially newborns can experience “fourth trimester” issues trying to adjust to external stimuli and that is why they are fussy. The 5 S’s system he developed will help induce what he calls the “calming reflex”.

Swaddling – Tight swaddling provides continuous touch and support they experience while still in the mother’s womb.

Side/Stomach position – When placing the baby in these positions while holding them assists digestion and reassures support. Once the baby is asleep you can then place them in their crib on their back.

Shushing Sounds – These sounds imitate the whooshing sound made by the blood flow through the arteries near the womb. Shushing sounds can be created by a white noise machine or CD, fan, hair dryer or vacuum cleaner.

Swinging – While the baby was in mother’s womb they were used to the constant swinging motions she made every time she took a step which calmed them. Once the child was born they missed this motion that was so familiar and comforting. Engage the same motion by rocking, car rides or other swinging baby aide.

Sucking – Dr. Karp says - "Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain." This "S" can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.

If you have a fussy baby you can try to incorporate these methods into their sleep routine. Establishing good sleep habits will let your child know they will be comforted beforehand and what is to follow next which will allow your baby to sleep better and a fall asleep faster. Even when you travel or buy a new house where a new environment may stress the child, you will be able to settle them down faster if you keep to their routine.

Remember how to make baby sleep easy involves the child in activities that calm the mind such as getting into their pajamas, taking a bath, telling stories, playing lullabies or singing a song. If your child is wound up with a lot of stored energy let them sit in a bouncer or swing before changing into a calming activity. If taking a bath is part of your nightly routine try adding chamomile or lavender oil into the water for a calming effect. If the child is older let them take their favorite stuffed animal or blanket to bed for security and comfort. Most of all bedtime should be a positive experience so indulge yourself and your baby with any of the above easy sleep baby methods that will help them and rest of the family get the rest they deserve.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

When I need to sleep I cannot When I need to work I can sleep

When you’re struggling to meet the demands of a job and family life, cutting back on sleep can seem like the only answer. But if you find that you cannot sleep at night and are drowsy during the day you may be suffering from insomnia. Your body’s internal clock works on a 24 hour cycle in which sleep consists of a series of stages that will restore and energize your body and mind. If you do not get the required amount of sleep it will take a toll on your mood, productivity and ability to handle stress. If you want to stay health and perform to your potential sleep is necessary. So why is it when you need to sleep you cannot and when you need to work you can sleep? Let’s look at what is going on when you are sleeping, how to determine the amount of sleep you need and what you can do to correct you sleep/wake cycle and stop the insomnia insanity!

If you are sleeping as little as possible to keep up with your daily life you will eventually find your quality of everyday living is affected. You feel that a healthy lifestyle in which diet and exercise are a priority but also is sleep. Sleep makes it easier for us to keep us mentally sharp, creative, and physically vital, it also helps us maintain our weight. No other activity provides so many benefits for so little effort.

Sleep isn’t a time when you brain and body shut down, you brain stays constantly active managing a variety of biological functions that prepare you for the next day. As you start getting the sleep you need you will feel energized and your daily productivity will increase.

If you think by getting one less hour of sleep per night won’t affect you, you are wrong. Even trying to function on slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think correctly, respond quickly and even cause health issues like heart disease and the ability to fight infections.

Jet lag and night shift work requires at least a week for your body to adjust and correct its sleep/wake cycle. Although adjusting your sleep schedule will relieve part of your lost sleep, don’t think sleeping in the weekends or sleeping more than nine hours a night will make up for lost sleep. Quantity of sleep is important, but so is the quality of sleep. Sticking to a bedtime schedule keeps your sleep/wake cycle in check. Trying to make up sleep can affect your biological clock which will only make it harder for you to fall asleep easy when you need to.

Average Sleep Needs

Age Hours

Newborns (0-2 months) 12 - 18

Infants (3 months to 1 year) 14 - 15

Toddlers (1 to 3 years) 12 - 14

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years) 11 - 13

School-aged children (5 to 12 years) 10 - 11

Teens and preteens (12 to 18 years) 8.5 - 10

Adults (18+) 7.0 - 8

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours per night; this is a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation. While sleeping requirements vary slightly from person to person the average adult needs 7 -8 hours of sleep. Senior citizens often find it hard to sleep this long and will change their sleep pattern from monophasic sleep to biphasic sleep. Monophasic sleep is when you get your sleep in one time period; biphasic sleep is when you sleep 5 – 6 hour during the night and have a daytime nap to make up the difference.

Getting 7 hours of sleep a night might be what you think you need, but might not be what is necessary for you to function optimally. The best way for you to figure out how much sleep you require is to keep a sleep journal and evaluate how you feel the next day after you’ve adjusted your sleep schedule. Not only try adjusting the number of hours you sleep but also try different times you go to bed and wake up in the morning. Example 1: Instead of 7 hours of sleep; sleep 8 hours. Example 2: Instead of getting 7 hours of sleep between 11pm and 6am; sleep 7 hours between 12am and 7am. (Per your work schedule)

If you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep each night, chances are you’re sleep deprived. What’s more, you probably have no idea just how much lack of sleep is affecting you, unless you falling face first into your dinner plate. Furthermore, if you have a habit of sleeping less than 7 hours a night you might not know what it feels like to be fully energized the next day. It might feel normal to get sleepy at work doing the same tasks over and over again, but the truth is it is only normal if you are sleep deprived.

Other signs of sleep deprivation are: needing a alarm clock to wake up, relying on the snooze button, having a hard time waking up, feeling sluggish in the afternoon, falling asleep if the room is too hot or in a meeting, drowsy after a heavy meal, need a nap to get through the day, fall asleep while watching television and/or sleep in on the weekends. Sleep deprivation or insomnia can lead to lack of motivation, irritability, reduced problem solving skills, stressed, memory problems, weight gain, impaired motor skills, difficulty making decisions and/or heart disease, diabetes or other health problems.

If you want to learn about foods that induce sleep see: List of Foods that Induce Sleep. You may want to avoid these foods at lunchtime to help you stay awake during the day.

As I mentioned before sleep is a series of stages that recur during the night. These sleep stages are very different from one another; from deep sleep to dreaming sleep each plays an important part in preparing you for the day ahead. The two main parts of sleep are the Non-REM or NREM sleep which consists of four stages of sleep, each deeper than the last and the REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep which is the stage where you dream.

Stages of Sleep:

Non-REM sleep

Stage 1 (Transition to sleep) – Stage 1 lasts about five minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, muscle activity slows down, and you are easily awakened.

Stage 2 (Light sleep) – This is the first stage of true sleep, lasting from 10 to 25 minutes. Eye movement stops, heart rate slows, and body temperature decreases.

Stage 3 (Deep sleep) – You’re difficult to awaken, and if you are awakened, you do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes.

Stage 4 (More intense deep sleep) – The deepest stage of sleep. Brain waves are extremely slow. Blood flow is directed away from the brain and towards the muscles, restoring physical energy.

REM sleep

REM sleep (Dream sleep) – About 70 to 90 minutes after falling asleep, you enter REM sleep, where dreaming occurs. Eyes move rapidly. Breathing is shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure increase. Arm and leg muscles are paralyzed.

The sleep cycle:

You may think that once you go to sleep you fall into a deep sleep that advances to a light sleep in the morning, but in reality the sleep cycle varies during the night

When you chart the sleep stages over the course of the night, the result looks like a city skyline—which is why it is called "sleep architecture"

During the night, your sleep follows a predictable pattern, moving back and forth between deep sleep and more alert stages and dreaming or REM. Together, the stages of REM and NREM sleep form a complete sleep cycle that repeats until you wake up.

The amount of time you spend in each stage of sleep changes as the night progresses. For example, most deep sleep occurs in the first half of the night. Later in the night, your REM sleep stages become longer, alternating with light Stage 2 sleep. Even if you get a full 7 hours of sleep it still might not be easy to wake up in the morning. This is when you are in the middle of the deeper stages of sleep. If you want to wake up easier set your alarm clock in multiples of 90 minutes which is the average length of a sleep cycle. For example if you go to bed at 10pm set your alarm for 5:30am instead of 6am. You will feel more refreshed at 5:30am than you will if you wake up 30 minutes later, because your brain and body are closer to wakefulness. Sleep deprivation is caused from inadequate deep sleep as it is in this cycle when the body repairs and stores energy for the next day. Deep sleep helps maintain your health, stimulate growth, repair muscles and tissues and boosts your immune system. Factors that lead to poor deep sleep are; external noise, shift or late work hours and heavy smoking or drinking before bedtime.

As deep sleep regenerates our body, REM sleep plays a key role in our learning a memory. REM sleep processes and consolidates the information we have learned during the day, replenishes its supply of neurotransmitters, including feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that are mood boosters. If you aren’t getting enough deep sleep your body will make it up first robbing you of REM sleep. Remember as you schedule your time for your work and family you need to schedule enough time for sleep. Here are 10 common sleep stealers:

1. You don’t shut down.

The kitchen is finally cleaned up and the kids are in bed, now it’s time to surf the internet and see what your friends are doing on Facebook. Computers are one of the biggest sleep stealers as their light triggers the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny receptor in the brain that regulates our circadian rhythms or our body’s natural clock including the sleep-wake cycle. Exposing our eyes to this light can make our brain think it is time to get up. Shut down the laptop at least 1-2 hours before retiring.

2. Your bedroom is your office.

Sleep studies have shown that people can fall asleep faster in test rooms or meetings than in their own bed. That’s because most people do more than sleep in bed. They’re also busy working, eating, playing video games and watching TV. Keep your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep and sex only. You fall asleep best when your room is quiet, dark, cool and free from distractions…this includes the family pet.

3. Your mind is filled with worries.

You have been let go from your job and you don’t know how you’re going to pay the rent this month. More than 30% of 1,000 households polled in 2009 by the National Sleep study reported that stress over the economy had disrupted their sleep at least a few nights a week. And 12% said they worried about money every night. With all this worry, it is important not to stress over sleep too. Too decrease stress, avoid watching the news before bed. Television really isn’t relaxing according to Sandra Horowitz M.D., the regional medical director of Boston’s Sleep Health Center and clinical instructor at Harvard University’s Division of Sleep Medicine. “It is geared to keep you watching it” Distraction is the best anti-stress medicine, try soothing sounds such as an audio book, soothing music or white noise.

“If you have noise in your bedroom, it leads to relaxation, because part of your brain pays attention to the sound in a good way,” Shives says.

Medication, mind/body relaxation techniques and self-hypnotic tapes can combat stress. Before you fall asleep focus on deep breathing exercises, or picture a peaceful place. Mentally work your way from head to toe relaxing your body one part at a time.

There are also de-stressing supplements on the market today. GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is an important chemical that is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates the firing of neurons which maintain the balance between the body and the state of excitation. GABA supplements can increase this valuable resource in your body and increase the level of HGH or Human Growth Hormones, help you to relax and sleep, reduce muscle tension along with stress, anxiety and depression to promote an overall well being.

4. You end the evening with a nightcap.

True, a scotch just before you head to bed is relaxing and will help you fall asleep. But in the long run, it’s actually a sleep stealer. That initial drowsiness doesn’t last.

“You metabolize the alcohol and that sedating effect wears off, generally in four hours,” Shives says. “You then wake up – more awake than ever.”

Why? Alcohol disrupts production of serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters that regulate sleep stages, especially later in the night.

Alcohol also can make snoring louder and exacerbate obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that disrupts breathing, says Gregg D. Jacobs, M.D., an insomnia specialist at the University of Massachusetts' Sleep Disorders Center and author of Say Goodnight to Insomnia (Holt Paperbacks). Never drink alcohol if you are taking sleep medication. Taking one with a few glasses of wine for example, can lead to blackouts, memory loss and erratic behavior. A healthier option is a glass of warm milk, cup of chamomile tea or another warm, non-caffeinated beverage. Why a hot liquid? It first raises the body’s core temperature, which in turn will drop rapidly. A cool body helps you to sleep better. Plus the ritual having the drink every night can be added as part of your nightly routine which prepares your mind and body that bedtime is near.

5. You like a toasty room.

During the cold months you may turn up the heat but be warned you may be in for a long, sleepless night. Insomnia is associated with higher core body temperatures, according to a 2008 Australian study. Lowering the room temperature helps the brain cool the body while you are sleeping. Your thermostat should be around 60-65 degrees. Also taking a hot bath or shower 2-4 hours before bed can help as it too raises the core temperature then when the body cools (just like drinking a hot beverage) you can fall asleep easier. Remember not to take a hot bath right before bed as it takes time for your body to cool down and you’ll lay there tossing and turning until you do.

6. You’re eating late, heavy meals.

You have a business dinner and don’t get served until after nine at night. A hearty steak dinner, complete with a thick piece of chocolate cake is a great way to end a day. But hold off on the foodfest. Digesting a heavy meal only stimulates your gastric system when the body should be slowing down. Plus eating too close to bedtime can cause indigestion, heartburn or acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus. This condition can lead to Barrett’s esophagus a precursor to esophageal cancer. On the other hand, don’t go to bed hungry. Hunger trumps sleep when it comes to your body’s basic needs. Eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime, so your body is done with most of its digesting. Still want a bedtime snack? Stick to dairy, meat and carbohydrates that contain tryptophan, as tryptophan is an amino acid the body needs to promote sleep hormones. PS. No chocolate, it has caffeine.

7. You love that cup of Joe after dinner.

Speaking of caffeine, coffee is great in the morning but it can keep you awake if you drink it late in the afternoon or at night. Beware of other caffeinated beverages like Coke or Jolt they sometimes contain twice the amount of caffeine per cup of Joe. Limit your coffee to 1-2 cups before noon and avoid high energy drinks if you have trouble sleeping.

8. Your bedtime varies each night.

You like the night life, but you try to make up for lost sleep by going to bed at 8pm the next night or sleeping in until noon on Sunday. You may be trying to catch up on your zzz’s, but this is one sure way to cause insomnia. Varying sleep and waking times throws off your internal clock, making it harder to doze off. You feel as if you have traveled several time zones. You’d sleep better if you establish a regular sleep schedule. That means going to bed and getting up the same time every day.

9. You’re tossing and turning.

If you are just laying there tossing and turning watching the minutes tick by and saying to yourself "I really need to sleep but I can't fall asleep!" only makes it harder for you to fall asleep. The best thing to do is if you are lying there more than 30 minutes to get up and go to another part of the house. Why? Getting out of bed for awhile allows the brain not to think about why you are not falling asleep and can relax. When you do return to bed, turn your alarm clock towards the wall so you won’t be tempted to check it.

10. Your nose is congested.

Allergies or dry forced air making it hard for you to breathe can also keep you from falling and staying asleep. Try a non-medicated saline nasal spray, hot shower or nasal strips to open up nasal passage ways or invest in a humidifier to keep the air in the bedroom moist.

The content in When I need to sleep I cannot When I need to work I can sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

List of Foods that Induce Sleep

There is no perfect list of foods that induce sleep since everyone’s sleep problems are unique. There are foods that are suggested by researchers because they contain tryptophan an amino acid that works with our body to produce hormones that regulate our sleep/wake cycle. Bananas, milk, turkey, Chamomile tea, potatoes, nuts, cereal, whole grain breads and pumpkin seeds are just a few. Bananas not only have been known to help some people sleep it also contain potassium an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body along with other minerals that can smooth muscle contractions that have been associated with the sleep disorder restless leg syndrome (RLS) and leg cramps or “charley-horses” that afflict pregnant and older adults during the night. Ripe bananas can be beneficial to someone that suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation, but make sure the bananas are ripe as green bananas can cause constipation and gas.

Mom had it right when she gave you a glass of warm milk right before bedtime. Milk is rich in tryptophan. If you are lactose intolerable, soy milk works just as well. Turkey along with other high carbohydrate foods take awhile to be digested before tryptophan can be absorbed into the system. Eating before going to sleep raises the metabolic rate and diverts energy towards the digestion of food which can keep us awake longer. Hunger can also deter sleep, but keep it light as to not to over burden your body with extra work at night. Eat sleeper foods full of tryptophan to build relaxing neurotransmitters that will help calm your mind. If you eat waking foods that are high in proteins and sugars make sure you combine them with carbohydrates to deter energizing your mind. Missing out on eating the sleep-inducing effects of tryptophan will set off a roller coaster effect of raising and plummeting blood sugar followed by a release of stress hormones that will definitely keep you from falling asleep easy. Calcium can contribute to the benefit of eating tryptophan foods by producing melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour “clock” that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. This is why dairy products that contain both tryptophan and calcium are at the top of the list of foods that induce sleep.

Related Articles: Magnesium and Sleep Part 2 Foods Rich in Magnesium

Tryptophan Supplements to Sleep Easy

Sleeper foods include: dairy products like cottage cheese, cheese and milk, along with soy products, seafood, meats, poultry, whole grains, beans, rice, hummus, lentils, nuts, eggs and seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin.

The best foods to eat right before bedtime should be high in carbs and calcium, medium to low in protein. The idea is to feel full, but not bloated. Try to avoid fats and sugars. Bedtime snack foods can be; baked potato, mandarin oranges, strawberries, whole wheat, all-air popcorn and cereal. Carbohydrate, calcium combinations can include; apple pie and ice cream, whole grain cereal and milk, hazelnut and tofu, oatmeal/raisin cookies with a glass of warm milk or peanut butter sandwich with sesame seeds. Remember if you’re going to have a high carbohydrate it will take an hour before the tryptophan will be absorbed into the body and reach the brain.

Meals that are high in carbohydrates and medium to low in protein will help you to relax and prepare your mind and body for sleep. Try these sleeper meals; pasta with parmesan cheese, scrambled eggs with cheese, tofu stir fry, hummus on whole wheat pita bread, seafood on pasta with a side of cottage cheese, meat or poultry with veggies, tuna salad sandwich, bean chili (not spicy) and salad with turkey or tuna chunks, sesame seeds and whole wheat crackers.

Lighter meals are better for a restful night’s sleep as large meals overwork your digestive track, cause indigestion, heart burn and acid reflux which will not only keep you awake will also wake you up during the night. Hot and spicy food should be avoided also as they will contribute to heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux. If you are going to have a large meal…don’t dine after nine.

The content in List of Foods that Induce Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for sleep disorders and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
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