Sunday, March 18, 2012

HELP I cant Sleep

HELP I can’t sleep! What’s it called when you can’t sleep easy or wake up during the night? INSOMNIA! Many people can’t sleep at night and overtime prolonged sleep loss will affect how you function physically and mentally. Are you depressed, irritable, suffer from tremors or slur your speech? These are all symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is also the cause for heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Insomnia can be classified as transient, acute, or chronic, according to

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1. Transient insomnia lasts for less than a week. It can be caused by another disorder, by changes in the sleep environment, by the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences – sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance – are similar to those of sleep deprivation.

2. Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of less than a month. Insomnia is present when there is difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or when the sleep that is obtained is non-refreshing or of poor quality. These problems occur despite adequate opportunity and circumstances for sleep and they must result in problems with daytime function.

3. Chronic insomnia lasts for longer than a month. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. People with high levels of stress hormones or shifts in the levels of cytokines are more likely to have chronic insomnia. Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and/or mental fatigue. Some people that live with this disorder see things as if they are happening in slow motion, wherein moving objects seem to blend together. Chronic insomnia can cause double vision.

If you are tired but can’t sleep scientists have found that counting sheep does work, why? They discovered that counting sheep forces both sides of the brain to work at the same time preventing the form of brain activity that causes insomnia. There are also some natural supplements that can help you to fall asleep easy like L-Tryptophan an essential amino acid that helps you to relax, 5-HTP a supplement that converts into serotonin that is required to produce melatonin a hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle.

There are products like Natural Factors Stress-Relax Natural Sleep that contains 5-HTP, Suntheanine (L-Theanine) and Melatonin. L-Theanine (patented Suntheanine®), from green tea, is a stress reducer that can enhance the tranquility of sleep. Due to lack of scientific findings, if you are pregnant and can’t sleep this product is not recommended.

Some simple lifestyle changes can help you to sleep better at night. Establishing a healthy night time ritual like taking a bath with lavender oils or magnesium flakes that are known as natural relaxants will help prepare your body and mind to fall asleep easy.

Here are some other ideas that you can incorporate into your relaxing night time routine; getting up and going to bed at the same time every day (even on weekends), a massage from your partner, soothing music or sleep sounds (ocean waves, thunderstorm), meditation with a self-hypnotic mp3 or CD, glass of warm milk, decaffeinated herbal tea; like SleepyTime Tea, yoga stretches, take a walk and a small snack that is high in carbohydrates and low in protein such as a slice of turkey, a hard-boiled egg, a handful of nuts or a bowl of cereal. These foods contain the amino acid L-Tryptophan which is necessary for sleep.

What can you avoid at night so you can fall asleep faster and allow you to stay asleep all night? Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but when the affects wear off your likely to wake up. It also prohibits deep sleep so when you wake up you still feel tired. Tobacco acts as a stimulant as well as caffeine and should be avoided close to your bedtime.

If your bedroom is too hot it will wake you up during the night. I often wake up many times during the night if the room is too warm throwing the covers on and off or trying to find a cold spot in the bed. The best temperature is around 65 degrees. My favorite time of year is when the lilac is in bloom. I would open my window on a cool spring night and let the wonderful aroma fill the room. So peaceful and relaxing. If you have a partner that wants a warmer room or you are away from home and have no control over the temperature there are cool memory foam pillows on the market today; like the Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow.

Sleeping on your back is not only the most effective sleep position for letting your body relax it also prevents sleep lines that develop on your face. If you sleep on your side or your stomach with your face pressed into your pillow you can develop lines that will become etched on the surface of your skin and overtime will not disappear during the day. Lack of sleep also creates dark circles, sagging and bags under your eyes. Your internal organs will also thank you if you sleep on your back as sleeping on your stomach and side puts pressure against your heart causing heart palpitations as well as back and neck problems. If you are a side sleeper, sleep on your right side instead of your left to ease pressure off your heart.

A SleepRight Side sleeping pillow has important design features, which distinguish it from all other memory foam pillows. The full facial cradle helps reduce pressure points on the jaw and ear. This means increased blood flow to the facial dermal cells while sleeping, reducing the tendency for facial tissues to crease or sag and the 12-degree shoulder cradle accommodates the acute angle between your head, neck and shoulder while sleeping on your side. You may experience significant improvement in your spinal alignment between the neck and back.

Your bedroom is a haven for sleep and intimacy so keep your work (any electronics) and animals away, you don’t need any distraction when your prime objective is falling asleep. Speaking of distractions I written many times how light, even light from your alarm clock and noise are sleep stealers. If you can’t control the light in your room try blackout curtains/shades or an eye mask. Noise can be reduced by listening to white noise, music, a fan or using ear plugs.

When you know you are tired but can’t sleep should you lay there until you do fall asleep or should you get up and do something until you feel sleepy? If you do get up don’t do anything where you would get involved like reading a good book, watching a movie or checking out what your friends are doing on Facebook. Believe me you will stay up later than planned and you will fight fatigue the next day and need a quick 20 minute “power nap” to feel refreshed. Many advise not to take a nap because you will require less sleep at night. Not being able to sleep over a period of time should be looked into by your physician as you may have another underlying physical or mental problem that is causing your sleeplessness. Your doctor may suggest a sleep study at a sleep clinic where they monitor your sleep pattern, heart rate etc. Many times the major cause is stress and anxiety. If your doctor confirms there is no other medical cause he may suggest other alternative treatments.

The information in this site is for informational purposes only and not meant as a substitute for advice from your healthcare professional. This information should not be used to diagnosis or treat any health problem. Information and statements provided by about supplements that have not been evaluated by the FDA are not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition. Reliance on any information in this article or on this site is solely at your own risk.

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