Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 Tricks To Fall Asleep Faster

By Vivian Giang | Business Insider – Tue, Nov 26, 2013

Not getting enough sleep will take a toll on your health and job performance.

Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, tells Business Insider that a "lack of sleep can manifest itself in erratic behavior, short tempers, and bad decision-making."

Workers who are sleep-deprived are more likely to have difficulty remembering details and have a harder time dealing with high-stress situations. And t hose who regularly skimp on sleep—getting just one to two hours less than the hours you need—increase their risk of infection, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, says Oexman.

To help you get the rest you need, we've compiled five easy tricks to fall asleep faster:

1. Stick to a bedroom routine.

You should participate in the same relaxing activities before heading to bed each night, says Oexman. Some helpful exercises include taking a hot bath or reading a book in low light. Oexman also recommends keeping your room cool (65 to 68 degrees F) and dark.

2. Don't use your phone as an alarm clock.

We know that we should set limits on technology usage before bedtime. You may not know that even having your phone nearby isn't helping you sleep, since you may feel inclined to check it if you can't fall asleep.

"Your bedroom should be reserved for sleep, sex, and nothing else," says Oxeman. "There’s no excuse—if your cell phone is your alarm clock, then buy a $5 alarm clock and solve the problem."

3. Practice deep breathing.

Once you're in bed, if your body is still wired from the day, you will have a difficult time falling asleep. According to an article on WebMD,  when you practice deep breathing, your brain recognizes that you're trying to relax and sends a message to your body to do so. "Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax."

Vikki Stark advises in Psychology Today how to effectively breathe deeply:

"On the inhale, visualize the clean, fresh air coming into your lungs, traveling around your body and cleansing all your cells. On the exhale, imagine all the toxins and negativity being safely expelled into the atmosphere, leaving your body restored. Focus on this steady, calm inhale-exhale, and I guarantee that you will start to feel more peaceful and relaxed. But it's not going to happen the first time you try it. It's an exercise so you need to practice it to get the best effect. Keep going till you feel your body let go."

4. Relax the muscles in your toes.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve anxiety and stress, which often keeps people up at night. This technique requires you to focus on tensing and relaxing a specific muscle group. Catherine Darley, director of the Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine in Seattle, advises focusing this progressive relaxation technique on your toes.

"Curl your toes tightly for a count of seven, and then relax," she says in Health.com. "Repeat through each muscle group, working up from your toes to your neck."

5. Participate in a mindless activity.

Sleep expert  Dr. Vicky Seelall recommends playing a mindless game, such as counting backwards from 100 in multiples of three. This rhythm of counting can put you in a sleepy state and is exactly the reason why people "count sheep" to fall asleep. Counting in multiples of three is more difficult than merely counting backwards and will force your brain to focus just on the counting so that your mind won't wander into other thoughts.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Your Insomnia Relief Is Here.

Have you tried to find a cure for your insomnia and nothing you've tried seems to work for you?

The sad fact is if you go to a medical doctor, a prescription sleep aid is the first thing they will likely recommend.

The biggest problem is using unnatural sleep aids and prescription medication can lead to overuse, dependency, and severe health risks which can result in increased depression, worsening health problems and even increasing your chances of a debilitating stroke!

The good news is that winning your endless battle with insomnia and getting a good night's sleep is easier than you may think!

There's a much easier, healthier and more natural solution.

Picture yourself powering through your workday, feeling sharp and in focus, and getting the day's work done in half the time it used to!

End your insomnia within the week. All you need is a Sleep Deprivation CD.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snooze! 8 Great Health Benefits of Sleep

Ah! The joy of sleeping! Along with being one of the most pleasurable activities known to man, it’s also got a whole bunch of health benefits. Read on for more!

If you’re not of the rare breed that worries about hours wasted while snoozing, you do love your daily dose of slumber. Perhaps you even look forward to it with unnatural enthusiasm. If so, you’re doing it right. Apart from being the most relaxing end to a long day, sleeping also has multiple health benefits.

Top 8 Health Benefits Of Sleep

1. Reduces stress: In the case of sleep deficiency, the body’s functions enter a state of high alert, and cause an increase in blood pressure and production of stress hormones. The stress hormones make it harder to sleep and the higher blood pressure amplifies the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

2. Boosts memory: In the time you’re asleep, the brain processes any new knowledge, organises the skills learned while awake, makes connections between events, feelings and memories, and sensory input. This helps you to process information and perform better.

3. Healthier heart: A lack of sleep is often associated with increased blood pressure and cholesterol – factors directly responsible for heart ailments and strokes. Seven to eight hours of sleep will go a long way in promoting cardiovascular health.

4. Lowers inflammation: One of the most important benefits of sleep is that it helps to keep stress hormone levels in check. This allows the body to alleviate the levels of inflammation, which is known to increase the risk of heart-related diseases, premature aging, arthritis, cancer and diabetes.

5. Allows body repairs: The cells in the body produce more protein while you’re asleep, which aids the body in recovering from damage caused by stress, ultraviolet radiation, and other harmful exposures.

6. Lower risk of depression: Sleep has an impact on several chemicals in the body, including serotonin, which causes depression in people in the event of a deficiency. The right amount of sleep, close to 7 to 8 hours, can prevent the onset of depression by producing enough serotonin.

7. Weight management: Lack of sleep may lead to an imbalance of the ghrelin and leptin hormones, which are crucial in regulating appetite. Additionally, the same part of the brain that controls sleep also increases metabolism. So to maintain or control weight, it is imperative to get adequate sleep.

8. Higher alertness levels: It follows logically that a good night’s sleep leads to more energy and alertness the next morning. This prepares the body for a day’s worth of activity and engagement, and increases the likelihood of another good night’s sleep. It’s a good circle to be caught in.

Tips For Better Sleep

1. No blue light: Switch off the television and computer, and keep away the cellphone an hour before bedtime. The short waves of blue light may interrupt sleep.

2. Avoid naps: Though the occasional 20-minute power nap is a real boost, avoid any shut-eye eight hours prior to bedtime, as that can make falling asleep at night more troublesome.

3. Save the bed for sleeping: Your bedroom should only be limited for rest and relaxation. Keep the money talk, phone conversations and TV viewing out the door.

4. Set a routine: Fix hours for when you sleep and wake up. This puts a healthy sleep cycle in place, and allows you to fall asleep quickly each night and sleep well through the night.

5. No caffeine: Caffeine interferes with deep sleep, so avoid even small amounts found in chocolate and decaf coffee anytime after noon.

6. Eat light: You know what they say about eating like a pauper at night? Follow it. Prepare light, small meals for the night to get high-quality sleep.

7. Stop smoking: If there aren’t enough reasons to kick the habit, here’s another: nicotine acts as a stimulant and can keep from falling asleep and worsen insomnia.

8. Unwind: Though it may seem self-indulgent at first, fix a downtime routine an hour before bed each night. Take a warm bath, read a book, listen to soothing music and lower the lights to give your day the perfect close.

Next time your friends rib on you for being a sleepyhead, bring this list out. A regular habit of seven to eight hours of sleep will help you stay active daily and ahead of the pack by keeping serious ailments at bay.

Extracted from mdhil.com.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Reasons To Sleep More by Anubhav Kapoor

We all know how a good night’s sleep makes us feel energetic, inducing a typically refreshed feeling. However, there is a lot more to a good sleep beyond these very palpable advantages. Unless you are someone who sleeps throughout the day, it is recommended that you try to catch a few hours of extra sleep whenever possible. The following will help you understand why sleeping more is so beneficial for you:

1. Helps to Regulate Weight

Sleep deprivation is major reason of weight gain across people of all ages. Lack of sleep impairs our metabolic functions. It reduces the rate at which we burn calories. It also makes us feel hungrier. This creates a mechanism where our body is more likely to store carbohydrates and fats. Lack of sleep is known to induce hunger pangs. People who feel un-rested are more likely to feel irritated. They often seek solace in beverages with high-sugar content. The sugar spike makes them feel better for a short while and they often become addicted to this pattern.

Insufficient sleep also affects the hormonal functions. It triggers the release of cortisol—this is our basic stress hormone. When stress hormone levels are raised, we tend to suffer from hunger pangs and levels of Leptin hormone tend to decline. This is a natural appetite suppressant. Without sufficient Leptin, the level of Ghrelin hormone rises. This hormone has an appetite-stimulating effect. People suffering from a combination of these factors are prone to snacking throughout the day, drinking more caffeine or tea and binging upon sugary foods. Thus, their propensity to gain weight is a lot more.

2. Raises Your Mental Performance

Our mind needs to process information it has received in the form of visual, auditory and other stimuli. This is done during sleep. This is when the brain recuperates. This ensures that we are able to remember, recall and understand things. Even dreaming patterns are related to the thoughts buried in our sub-conscious. Thus, getting sufficient sleep is vital for our mind to function properly. It is widely acknowledged that people are at their creative best when they have a good sleep. Proper sleep ensures that we are more insightful and can understand things a lot faster.

3. Ensures Better Cardiovascular Health

Apart from the bulging waistline caused by lack of sleep, people suffering from sleep deprivation are known to suffer from hypertension—an established cause of cardiovascular diseases. Greater concentration of stress hormones are the underlying cause of many cardio problems. This includes arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat patterns. Sleep apnea or lack of sufficient oxygen during sleep has been linked with Type 2 Diabetes which is a major cause for heart diseases.

4. Raises Immunity

Quality of sleep and our overall immunity are directly related. This includes our ability to fight-off common infections like flu or common cold. Poor sleeping patterns tend to lower the synthesis of antibodies. Medical research has linked this with the increased risk of developing colon and breast cancer.

5. Improves Our Overall Quality of Life

Healthy sleeping patterns ensure that we are less prone to getting anxious or stressed. It helps us take upon day-to-day activities with more vigor. These are direct contributors towards feeling good throughout the day. With a calmer mind, more physical energy, mental clarity and less chances of falling ill, we feel much better. This helps to raise the libido levels too and impairs the progression of aging-related health issues. (Health, MensXP.com)

Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Easy Motivational Tips To Wake Up Early

For some people, waking up early is as natural as breathing. Lucky them. But for many others, waking up early is virtually an impossible thing to do. Luckily for them, using the motivational tips below can give them a better way to start the day.

1. Wake up to the right environment.

Believe it or not but the way your room looks can help or hinder your ability to wake up early. A messy room will generally make you disinclined to wake up early because cleaning your room will just be one of the many worries you have to tackle for the day.

But when you wake up to a clean room, just the sight of it can be energizing and make you jump out of bed. At least you've got one less worry to think about!

2. Give yourself a good reason to wake up early.

Waking up early come with instant benefits like better health, more time to spend on the things you want to do, and greater productivity. Give yourself ten minutes to think about all the good reasons for waking up early and you might never stop writing. Now, focus on these reasons the first moment your eyes open and you'll be up and about in no time!

3. Get the best sleep you can.

One common reason why people find it difficult to wake up early is simply because they didn't have enough sleep and if they ha*d then it wasn't good enough.

To get the best possible sleep, the first thing you should consider changing about your night routine is your sleeping hours. How about sleeping early for a change? Can't the things you normally like to do at midnight be postponed for the next day?

Sleep as much as you need. This is different from being a professionally idle and sleeping the whole day away just because you want to and not because your body is demanding for rest and relaxation. Motivating yourself to wake up early is easier to do when your body is not clamoring for the opposite.

Sleep effectively. A night's slumber is more restful and peaceful when you haven't procrastinated at work and there weren't any problems at home you chose to sweep under the rug instead of solving them as they come. Definitely, where you sleep also matters. Try to be comfortable as you can. Change your bed, rearrange your room, or have air-conditioning if that's what will make you sleep better.

4. Reward and punish.

Let's focus on the rewards first. Remember how you used to get candies from parents or stars from teachers when you did something good? How about upgrading the reward system to motivate you to wake up early?

A reward system, however, should cut both ways. To make the system more effective, you need to set repercussions for yourself when you wake up late. You also need to be stringent in implementing the penalties. Don't rationalize. Don't justify. The more aware you are about the consequences of waking up late, the more motivated you'll be not to do it again.

5. Get an accountability partner.

Find someone who's also having trouble waking up early and work together to motivate yourselves to change. Don't think of this along the lines of misery loving company, but rather this is more of a case of two hands getting more things done. The two of you will get the results you want more quickly if you help and motivate each other. Be his personal alarm clock and vice versa!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

9 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Having trouble falling asleep at night? ABC News spoke with Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of "The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan," for these suggestions:

1. Count Backwards from 300 by 3s

Breus said the most common reason people have trouble falling asleep is that they cannot turnoff their mind. Breus uses a variety of distraction techniques, one of them is telling people to count backwards from 300 by 3s.

"It's mathematically so complicated you can't do anything else, and it's so doggone boring you are out like a light," Breus said.

He also suggests using a worry journal. A worry journal is where you write down the problems you are thinking about on one side of a piece of paper and a solution to each problem on the other. The solution can be as simple as scheduling a time to think more about the issue.

2. Reduce Caffeine Intake

You should be caffeine-free by about 2 p.m., according to Breus. Most people are not aware that caffeine has a half life of up to eight hours and can affect not only your ability to fall asleep, but also the quality of sleep you are getting.

3. Take a Hot Bath

Take a hot bath 60 to 75 minutes before bed. The bath should be warmer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and you should be in it for longer than 20 minutes.

Breus said the bath will relax your musculature and increase your core body temperature. He explains the increase in body temperature is important because once you leave the bath your body temperature will start to cool which is a signal to your brain to release melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.

4. Stop Exercising Four Hours Before Bed

Exercise is great for sleep, but Breus said that it's hard for the body to wind down after doing it. He advises finding an earlier time in the day to do exercise.

5. Keep the Kids and the Animals Out of Bed

Kids and pets can wake you up in the middle of the night and disrupt your sleep cycle.

6. Have a Comfortable Bed

Often times just buying a new mattress can be the secret to getting a better night's rest.

7. Sleep in a Cool Room

According to Breus, people sleep best when the room is between 65 and 75 degrees fahrenheit and the bed's surface is between 82 and 86 degrees fahrenheit.

8. Eat Your Last Meal Three and a Half to Four Hours Before Bed

Eat your last meal three and a half to four hours before bed. The body was not meant to digest food lying down, it was meant to digest food sitting or standing, Breus told ABC News.

9. Monitor the Amount of Light in Your Room

Breus said that light resets your biological clock and can trick your brain into thinking it's morning. As an example he suggests using a book light to read by rather than a lamp on a bedside table that uses a much stronger bulb.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kids Today Fall Short on Sleep Time

Kids don't get the recommended amount of sleep -- and they never have.

That's the conclusion of Australian researchers who tracked changes in sleep recommendations, and what was known about actual sleep time, over more than a century.

The rate of change varied with age, but recommended sleep consistently fell and the changes were significant for eight ages: Infants as well as children ages 4 to 8, 14 and 15.

At the same time, actual sleep also fell, declining by about 0.73 minutes per year over time.

A systematic review of the literature revealed that, since 1897, sleep recommendations for children of all ages have consistently exceeded what was known about actual sleep time, according to Lisa Anne Matricciani and colleagues at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

In addition, both have also consistently fallen, almost in lockstep, over the years, Matricciani and colleagues reported online and in the March issue of Pediatrics.

The issue has been a matter of concern since the 19th century with observers worried that the stimulation of modern living would overtax children, the researchers noted.

The stimulation itself was usually blamed on whatever new technology was current, from radio and reading to television and the Internet.

On the other hand, those making the recommendations were consistent in admitting they had little or no evidence on which to base their suggestions, Matricciani and colleagues pointed out.

Their literature search turned up 28 studies that made sleep recommendations, and 218 that offered self- and proxy-reported sleep duration for children of various ages.

The analysis showed that, on average, recommended sleep fell about 0.71 minutes per year, or about 70 minutes over the course of the 20th century, Matricciani and colleagues found.

For 173 of some 360 recommended sleep durations, matching data were available on actual sleep. In 144 of those (83 percent) of the comparisons, recommended sleep exceeded actual sleep, with an average difference of 37 minutes.

The researchers found that recommended sleep duration was almost always higher than actual sleep duration "as if children always needed extra sleep, no matter how much they were actually getting."

A limitation of the study was that in this review, sleep duration was based on reports, rather than on objective measures such as actigraphy and polysomnography.

But those approaches have only been developed recently, are expensive and time-consuming, and have usually been applied only at the individual level, the authors noted.

Although lack of sleep has been associated with a range of adverse consequences, Matricciani and colleagues argued, there is still little understanding of dose-response effects or even the mechanisms that might lead to negative outcomes.