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Healthy Habits That Encourage Better Sleep

You can try all of the over the counter medications and natural healing techniques you want for helping with your insomnia, but if you don’t have healthy habits in place, you may not reach your goal of restful sleep. There are some healthy habits that you can try to encourage better sleep and to help you reach your goal of reduced or no insomnia. Here are a few of those habits and how to start them in your daily routine.

Turmeric Milk

One of the healthy habits that can encourage better sleep is the addition of turmeric milk, sometimes called turmeric tea, at night. This milk is a simple cook turmeric paste mixed with warm milk and sipped on like a drinking chocolate. The turmeric can help with inflammation and muscle soreness which can wake you at night and cause restless sleeping patterns. The turmeric milk can be taken anywhere from half an hour to an hour before bed to give it enough time to work through your system.

Yoga Practice

For some people, the restless sleep is due to feeling tense or stressed from the day. This stress can rest in the muscles and throughout the body causing tension. That tension can lead to a score of other issues including headaches and muscle aches. Though turmeric milk can help with some of this, it doesn’t go for the root cause if that cause is stress and tension. Consider the healthy habit of yoga as part of your daily practice. The stretching and breathing combination can help remove stress and tension, give you a focus that is not the stress of the day, and help remove tension from your body. Doing this before bed can be incredibly helpful towards a pattern of restful sleep.

Detoxing Bath

A detoxing bath is something that may or may not be considered as a healthy habit, but it is. This habit helps remove stress from your muscles and relax your body as well as your skin. You may not think of skin as a necessary detoxing for better sleep, but consider this. Skin can become dry, tight, and uncomfortable. A detox bath can help with skin issues such as severe dryness and cracking. The bath can soothe the skin and moisturize it. Adding moisturizer to the skin following the bath can seal the benefits of the detox into your skin. Combine this with turmeric milk and yoga practice can be a triad combination that works ideally for your sleep issues.

Keep in mind that any habit takes around a month to put in place and keep in place as part of your daily routine. Give yourself time to adjust to the new healthy habits and give the habits time to work. This will help you reduce stress and give you a goal in mind for each of the habits.

Try Meditation For Insomnia

Insomnia is something that affects a growing number of the world’s population. It seems that no one is immune to it either. Children, adults, and even the elderly may experience insomnia at some point in their lifestyle. If you have insomnia and you have tried multiple methods to help, but nothing seems to work, consider meditation. Here are some ways to incorporate meditation into your daily routine for insomnia.

Meditation Apps

If you have never done meditation before, you may be wondering the best ways to get started. This is especially true if you do not have the ability to join a meditation group, or if you don’t have the time in your routine. One of the methods you can use is to use an app on your phone. Android, Windows, and iPhones all have stores that are full of meditation style apps. These apps range from timed meditations that build overtime, music meditations, guided meditations, and journaling based meditations. You can try them all and see which ones work best for you. You can also do them on your own time and in privacy.

Guided Meditation Videos

If apps don’t work for you, and you are a more visual person, then an option you may want to consider are guided meditation videos. You can find these online, from life coaches, through streaming sites, and on DVD. There are a wide array of guided meditations that can help you create a meditation plan for insomnia treatment. Some of these use simply guidance while others guide you all the way through the meditative process.

Quiet Meditation

Quiet meditation techniques are very popular with most people. This is a meditation that has you sitting in a quiet environment and letting your brain flow. Letting the thoughts go through your brain and out of your thoughts. Just simply sitting in silence can help on various levels. Some people find that this type of meditation helps if they have been around a lot of noise and distractions for the day. That the silence can make the stress go down and can help with sleep. This is particularly effective for those people who are stay at home parents, those who work in intense noise, and those who have sensory issues with noise in general.

Recorded Meditation

Recorded meditation is something that may work for you when other meditations do not. This is fairly simple to do. Grab a recording device and turn it on record. Sit in the meditation area and allow your thoughts to flow. Speak anything that comes to mind and get your thoughts out vocally. Go back and listen to the recording later. The reason you would use this form of meditation is to act as a vocal journaling and to help you point out triggers that may be causing your insomnia.

You can use all, one, or a mixture of these methods to help you try meditation for insomnia. Remember, any treatment plan takes time and meditation is a treatment plan. Give yourself time and try to stay motivated. After some time you will see the meditation working for you and your sleep pattern going back to normal.

The Common Causes of Insomnia

You know you have insomnia, and you have likely tried everything you know of to cure it. The problem is, if you don’t know what is causing it, it will appear again and may be worse than the last time. There are a few common causes of insomnia that you may not have discovered occurring in your day to day life, or that you may not have thought of at all. Here are a few and what you can do to stop them.

Stress and Anxiety

The leading cause of insomnia can be attributed to stress and anxiety. This may come from just day to day issues, an ongoing anxiety issue, or from issues you may be concerned about in your daily life. The major problem with stress and anxiety is that it leads to so many body issues as well. You can experience headaches, backaches, muscle pains and spasms, and also insomnia. One way to deal with the stress and anxiety is to journal. You can also use calming techniques such as breathing or you can simply find the source of the stress and remove yourself from that source.

Digestive Issues

Digestive issues are something that many people do not consider when they thinka about their insomnia issues. The truth is, if your body is having digestive issues you may find yourself experiencing several related problems. These can be muscle pain, stomach cramps and pain, heartburn, and indigestion. In mild forms, these issues can alter your ability to fall asleep. In major cases, you may experience severe heartburn or stomach cramps that keep you awake at night and cause insomnia.

Outside Noises

Outside noises like having the television or radio on can cause insomnia related symptoms. For example, if you have your favorite show playing through a headset or on the television, you may think that it isn’t disturbing your sleep. The truth is, different levels of noises throughout the show can cause a disturbance and keep you from achieving restful or deep REM sleep.

You may notice one or all of these common causes of insomnia in your daily life. Once you make the proper steps to removing them or reducing their effects, you can begin on the path to restful sleep. If you notice the problem occurring again, consider journaling as a way to detect ongoing stressors in your life or issues that coalition with the time the insomnia started. This will help you remove them and move on.

Foods That Can Help with Your Sleeping Problems

When you think about your sleeping problems, you may think of stress or not being tired enough to actually rest. One thing you may not think about is the type of food you are eating and how your diet can create symptoms or issues that lead to lack of sleep. Here are a few of the foods that can help with your sleep, some tips on adding them into your daily routine, and how they may affect your sleep naturally.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an eastern spice that can help greatly with sleeping issues related to soreness, muscle aches, or tension in the body. You can make a drink from the turmeric known as golden milk or turmeric tea. The turmeric is cooked down with water and made into a thick paste. A small amount of the turmeric paste is then added to milk, usually a nut based milk, and mixed until well blended. The milk is sipped on slowly around an hour before bed. This drink helps to remove inflammation in the body that causes soreness and may keep you awake or wake you during the night.

Almonds

Almonds are full of several benefits for your health, but one specific benefit does help with your sleep pattern. Almonds are loaded with magnesium. Magnesium helps your body relax and helps you drift into sleep easily at night. If you find that you have a magnesium deficiency, you may want to increase those levels through food, and that food is almonds. You can choose to mix the almonds with dried fruit, in a granola bar, or simply as a small amount of almonds before bed.

Cherry Juice

Cherry juice has several benefits for the body. It can bring in antioxidants to your body, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Some people drink cherry juice on a daily basis to help with arthritis, tension, and with muscle cramps and spasms. It can also help with women who are experience cramps from their menstrual cycle that may keep them awake at night or lead to restless sleep patterns. If you go with this food, make sure that you are getting an organic cherry juice that is labeled as 100% juice and that is non-GMO.

Chamomile Tea

This list of foods that can help with your sleeping problems would be incomplete without mentioning chamomile. Chamomile tea is a go to method for many people for help with sleeping patterns. In fact, some people have it as part of their nighttime routine alongside almonds or some other calming food before bed. Chamomile can relax the body and mind, and in certain doses, is even suitable for children.
These are only a few of the foods that can help you with ongoing sleeping problems. By adding some, or all of them, to your daily diet routine you may see a noticeable difference in your sleep. You can also speak with a nutritionist to discuss other options that also may help.

Exercise Regularly to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Improving your sleeping habits doesn’t start and stop with foods and natural remedies. It also extends outward to your lifestyle choices. One lifestyle choice that you can make, that will help your sleeping pattern, is to add a regular exercise routine to your life. This exercise routine can be whatever works best for you, but the idea is to work your body in a healthy manner to obtain a good cardio workout and full body workout. Here are some key points to consider about adding an exercise routine to your life to improve your sleeping habits.

Find a Workout that Fits Your Lifestyle

One of the first things you need to do when you start adding a regular exercise routine to your lifestyle is to find a workout that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you have been sedentary you may not want to jump right into something intense like crossfit style workouts. You may want to start with something that is more of an entry level exercise program like traditional yoga or dance cardio classes. Make sure the exercise you choose fits with your current health issues and your lifestyle and not just fits with the need for exercise.

Plan Your Workout to Work with Your Sleep Pattern

Make sure that if you are adding exercise to your routine as part of a treatment option for your sleeping pattern, that you are performing the exercise at the right time. For example, working out first thing in the morning, may not be as much of an advantage as working out closer to bedtime or the end of your day. The exercise is designed to help your body destress and rest, which means it would be better suited at the end of your day and before a detox bath that moves into a sleep routine or restful routine.

Consider Full Body Options for Your Exercise

When you start a regular exercise routine, you should consider doing a full body routine. Yoga is suited for this for beginners. The reason you want something that is a full body option is because you get the most out of the exercise and you get the most benefit for your sleep patterns. If your full body is worked out, your full body will be more relaxed, and your full body will be more restful.

There are many exercise routines that may work for you, though if you have been sedentary, you may want to start off slowly with an option like yoga or brisk walking. You can work your way up to more intense workouts overtime, if you feel the need to in order to help your sleeping habits and patterns.

Avoid These Mistakes if You Have Insomnia

If you have insomnia, you may be trying a treatment plan to reduce the occurrences. This may be a natural treatment plan or it may be one that you have developed with your doctor. Either way, there are some things you may be doing to derail your progress. Here are a few of the mistakes that you may be making on your journey to a restful sleeping pattern and how you should avoid them. These may be just the tip of the iceberg for your mistakes, but they can get you started down a better and more long lasting treatment path to your sleep goals.

Mental Over Stimulation Before Bed

One of the biggest mistakes you may be making if you have insomnia is becoming mentally over stimulated before bed. This can mean a number of things, but ideally it refers to watching movies or television that keeps you thinking or overly interested in that will keep you awake. It also refers to getting involved in things on social media, like political arguments, that can mentally stimulate you and keep you awake through either interest or stress. Ideally, you want to avoid this by having about an hour before sleep that is devoted to quiet and cycling your whole body down from a stimulated state to a restful state in order to help your sleep patterns.

Eating Before Bed

You may have heard that eating before bed can cause weight gain. Another issue with eating before bed is that it can cause you to feel uncomfortable and full. It can also lead to digestion issues at night that lead to indigestion, heartburn, and other digestive issues that can keep you awake. You may even find that if you are eating before bed, you are having to go to the bathroom more at night, which wakes you up and disrupts your sleep. Instead, try not to eat at least an hour before bed to allow your body to settle and your digestive tract to settle down before sleep.

Medication for Sleep

Medication to help you sleep can be a huge mistake for some people. Even if you take a natural option like melatonin, you can find that your body is becoming addicted to it. Eventually you may want to distance yourself from the medication and you may find that you can’t. Your body doesn’t know how to sleep without the medication, even natural options, and you can’t step away. Now you not only have the issue of sleep problems, you have a medication addiction. Avoid this by trying foods and exercise to help your sleep pattern first.

These are just a few of the mistakes you may be making. The ideal way to deal with them is to work through them and start noticing other aspects of your life that may be causing issues with your sleep pattern and sleeping well. As you start discovering more factors that contribute to your insomnia, you can begin removing them and work towards a better sleep pattern and routine.

How to Combat Insomnia as You Get Older

Insomnia is a sleep condition which can affect your health and well-being – especially as you age. Aging causes many hormonal and lifestyle changes which cause you to wake up earlier or not sleep as well as you once did.

Insomnia, however, isn’t a normal part of the aging process and should be addressed as soon as you notice the condition. Sleep is vitally important to seniors to keep healthy, both in body and mental acuity and a lack of it shouldn’t be shrugged off as unimportant.

Ridding your lifestyle of bad habits is one way to combat insomnia and move toward getting the quality sleep you need. One bad habit is to go to bed with thoughts of anxiety or worry. Stress about experiences or happenings in your life can greatly affect your sleep patterns.

You may be taking certain medications that cause lack of sleep and can progress into full blow insomnia. Inform your health care provider if you suspect that medications may be causing your insomnia.

Lack of exercise and a poor diet may exacerbate sleeplessness. Also, eating (or exercising) just before bedtime can keep you awake. Try to finish both exercising and dining from two to four hours before you turn in at night.

Sleeping environment can also be a factor in bouts with insomnia. If you sleep with a pet, a heavy snorer (or someone with sleep apnea) or have a television or gaming device in your bedroom, it may contribute to your lack of sleep.

Improve your daytime activities and habits to promote better sleep at night. Engaging in social activities with family and friends is a relaxing way to spend a day and prepare your body for the sleep it needs.

Also, do things which improve your mood and promote a positive outlook on life. Helping others is always a good way to help you see how fortunate you are compared to others and to boost your self-esteem.

Sunlight is important to regulating melatonin in your body (the chemical which helps you sleep). Keep blinds and shades open during the day and venture outside to promote your dose of sun. If you know you’re not getting enough sun, think about getting a light box to provide the therapy you’re not getting on your own.

Caffeine, smoking and alcohol should be stopped or drastically reduced – especially if you suspect they’re interfering with healthy sleep patterns or the quality of your sleep. Quality of sleep is a good indication of your overall health. Be sure you get enough.

Five Ways You Can Get More Restorative Sleep

Want more energy? Then the very simplest and most effective way to accomplish this is to sleep better and to sleep more. Of course this is somewhat easier said than done however if you’re someone who struggles with their sleep, or if your sleep hasn’t been as deep or as rewarding as it should be.

If you find yourself in that situation, try these five tips that should help you considerably with the quantity and quality of your rest:

1- Go for a Run

Not when you’re about to go to bed but earlier in the day. This will help you to burn more energy, thus making you more tired when you hit the sack. At the same time, if you take your run outdoors, then you should find that the combination of fresh air and daylight also help you to sleep better as well as to regulate your internal body clock.

2- Have the Window Slightly Open

Commonly people make the assumption that they will sleep better if they are warm. While you want your body temperature to be warm though, the ideal surrounds are actually slightly cool. This emulates the way we would have slept in the wild and helps us to better regulate our temperature.

3- Take a Hot Shower

Taking a hot shower right before bed will help you to relax your muscles and at the same time will stimulate the release of sleep hormones like melatonin. It also increases the production of growth hormones, also associated with better sleep and recovery.

4- Have Half an Hour to Relax

Half an hour before bed, take your phone into another room and plug it in. At the same time, turn off the TV and make a conscious effort to relax and to do something that you will enjoy. This will help you to unwind and to let go of the stresses of the day. What’s more, the lack of bright screens will help you to avoid stimulating the production of cortisol.

5- Take ZMA

ZMA is a supplement containing zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. It is used by a lot of bodybuilders as a means to increase their testosterone levels to enhance muscle building and recovery. At the same time though, it also has the added benefit of encouraging deeper and more restful sleep. Take two capsule half an hour before sleep on an empty stomach and you might notice an improvement.

Sometimes you might need a little help by taking a quality supplement like Nature Sleep by Vita Balance which is a special blend of natural ingredients, designed to calm the brain activities and aid in falling and staying asleep


The importance of Sleep

Most of us don’t sleep enough or without problems and aren’t fully aware of the importance of sleep and if that’s your case too than I recommend you read this 3 part series on sleep which just appeared in The New Yorker written by Maria Konnikova.

Here’s the introduction of the first article and below you will find the links for the original articles:

Why Can’t We Fall Asleep?

Here’s what’s supposed to happen when you fall asleep. Your body temperature falls, even as your feet and hands warm up—the temperature changes likely help the circadian clocks throughout your body to synchronize. Melatonin courses through your system—that tells your brain it’s time to quiet down. Your blood pressure falls and your heart rate slows. Your breathing evens out. You drift off to sleep.

That, at least, is the ideal. But going to sleep isn’t always a simple process, and it seems to have grown more problematic in recent years, as I learned through a series of conversations this May, when some of the world’s leading sleep experts met with me to share their ongoing research into the nature of sleeping. (The meetings were facilitated by a Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship.) According to Charles Czeisler, the chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, over the past five decades our average sleep duration on work nights has decreased by an hour and a half, down from eight and a half to just under seven. Thirty-one per cent of us sleep fewer than six hours a night, and sixty-nine per cent report insufficient sleep. When Lisa Matricciani, a sleep researcher at the University of South Australia, looked at available sleep data for children from 1905 to 2008, she found that they’d lost nearly a minute of sleep a year. It’s not just a trend for the adult world. We are, as a population, sleeping less now than we ever have.

 

 

 

 

The problem, on the whole, isn’t that we’re waking up earlier. Much of the change has to do with when we choose to go to bed—and with how we decide to do so. Elizabeth Klerman is the head of the Analytic and Modeling Unit, also in the Sleep and Circadian Disorders division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research tracks how multiple individual differences in our environment affect our circadian rhythms and our ability to fall asleep easily and soundly. “When you go to bed affects how long you can sleep, no matter how tired you are,” she told me..

Click here to read part 1 of the original story

Click here to read part 2 of the original story

Click here to read part 3 of the original story

Top 5 Food Tips That’ll Help You Sleep

Top 5 Food Tips That’ll Help You Sleep

I am a fairly good sleeper myself but my wife has had a huge sleep problem for years and that’s inspite of her using some kind of sleeping pill, needless to say we each have our bedroom for it is simply impossible to sleep in the same bed and not disturb each other.

I think I’m going to recommend her to read this article too:

How did you sleep last night? I hope you effortlessly drifted off to dreamland and clocked around 8 hours. But if you didn’t, you’re certainly not alone. My restless nights creep in when I spend too many long, stressy hours at the computer and not enough time noodling and decompressing. Since I know how frustrating these nights can be and how crucial sleep is to our overall well-being, I wanted to continue the sleep conversation I started here.

There are many approaches we can take to improving our sleep, from creating a cozy snooze nest and reducing caffeine, to blocking out light leaks and exercising at the right time (here’s a refresher on my top ten tips). But today, I want to talk about how food can help our slumber. To start, it’s important to understand how our inner master clock works to help. This internal timepiece wakes us up in the morning and allows us to hit the hay at night.

Here’s the link tot the original article: http://kriscarr.com/blog-video/foods-that-help-you-sleep/