Meditation to Help Your Insomnia

Meditation in 6 steps to Help Prevent Insomnia

Newsflash…meditation can help you relax and decrease stress! I know, a little punchy but unless you’ve been spending your days in a bunker it’s pretty common knowledge that meditation can indeed help you get a better night’s sleep. The challenge? Few people put it into practice. Here are some simple tips on how to meditate effectively and get that much needed restful sleep to boost your daily productivity.

Before we get to the tips though, let me provide a refresher course on the four types of brain waves that your mind experiences through the day and into the night;

1. Beta – These are active brainwaves that land between 13 and 60 pulses per second. They occur when you are scared, agitated, tense, stressed, or angry.
2. Alpha – These are fairly relaxed brainwaves at around seven to 13 pulses per second. They occur when we are awake, but calm.
3. Theta – These are slower brainwaves at four to 7 pulses per second. They occur when you are going to sleep.
4. Delta – These brainwaves only emit a pulse of 0.1 to 4 per second and you enter this state when you are in a deep, paralytic sleep.

By understanding these brain waves, you can also understand something about insomnia. If you go to bed when your brain is working in beta waves, there is no way you will be able to go to sleep anytime soon.

The key is to be able transition to theta state so the drowsiness takes hold and you’re well on your way to going to sleep.

Let’s begin, shall we;

Begin by focusing on your breathing. You want to slow down your breaths, but also make sure you are breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly. When you go to bed, try sitting up either in bed itself or in a comfortable chair and start just by thinking about your breathing. Then, follow these steps to get started with meditation.

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Avoid Insomnia with These Fast Tips to a Quick Sleep

Avoid Insomnia With These 8 Fast Tips to Quick Sleep

It’s getting late, you’ve had a long day and the sleepiness is starting to hit. But then the fear sets in…the worry of not being able to fall asleep begins to float through your head like sheep pumped up on caffeine. As with anything sleep related there is likely a deeper root cause that is critical for you to get to the bottom of in order to permanently fix insomnia issues. These fast tips to a quick sleep can definitely provide some short-term solutions while you work towards discovering the long-term solution for best results and optimal health.

1. Sleep Phones
As we have written about in a previous post Mistakes to Avoid Before Bedtime to Avoid Another Night of Insomnia it can be helpful to block out any noise, which can be difficult if you reside in a bustling city or have a partner who snores. If this is the case, think about investing in a pair of sleep headphones specially made to be comfortable when you are sleeping while reducing the noise around you. The key is to find some relaxing sounds or music that flow into your ears…try and avoid any heavy metal or fast beat music.

2. Tai Chi
True, you should not be engaging in a heavy work out right before bed…you may want to consider Tai Chi. It is a meditative form of martial arts and can be very relaxing. If done about an hour or so before bedtime it has been known to relax the body and make you drowsy.

3. Warm Bath
Um…yes please. A warm bath can be very mentally and physically relaxing and will help to raise your skin temperature but not your body temperature which in turn can help you fall asleep more quickly because when your skin begins to cool it triggers your body into a deeper sleep.

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12 Foods that can help you sleep

12 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

Sure, you don’t want to gorge yourself on dinner and snacks before bed time preventing you from your much-needed beauty rest and possibly cause insomnia…but don’t starve yourself either, having the right foods in small quantities before retiring to bed could be just what the doctor ordered…the sleep doctor, that is.

1. Walnuts – They are full of tryptophan that can help your body make more serotonin and melatonin, which tell your brain that it is time to go to sleep. Additionally, one study even found that walnuts have their own separate source of melatonin. All in all, this nutty snack will help you go to sleep quicker and sleep better too.

2. Almonds – These nuts include high amounts of magnesium. People who do not have enough magnesium in their body will have trouble staying asleep. Additionally, this mineral, or a lack of it for that matter, can aggravate restless leg syndrome. Almonds can help ensure you get quality sleep and prevent insomnia.

3. Lettuce – This leafy green contains something in it called lacturcarium. It can actually work as a sedative and studies have shown that it can have a similar effect on the brain as opium (without the dangers or addictive qualities). You can even make a lettuce drink to help you sleep. Just simmer a few lettuce leaves in water for about 15 minutes, add some mint and sip.

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11 Foods and Drinks to Never Have Before Sleeping

11 Foods and Drinks to Never Have Before Sleeping

It’s only natural that you may have a little rumble in the tummy close to bedtime…and as we have mentioned before in our post “Mistakes to Avoid Before Bedtime to Avoid Insomnia”, it is never a good idea to go to bed too hungry nor too full. So, if you absolutely must get a snack in to satisfy your cravings it is best to avoid these eleven foods and drinks right before bedtime…otherwise you could be in for a long night of restless sleep causing insomnia.

Some of these are seriously no-brainers, but others may come to be quite surprising;

1. Milk

Unless you are a baby, which I am guessing you are not as you are able to read this post, you should try and avoid milk for a couple reasons;

  • If you happen to be lactose intolerant and you don’t know it, then a glass of milk before bed could leave your digestive system upset. As a result, you may not get to sleep because you have to run to the bathroom throughout the night.
  • If you are glucose intolerant (and one in three people are), then milk can lead you to have a blood sugar crash in the middle of the night. As a result, you may wake up starving at two in the morning.

Whether you are lactose or glucose intolerant or not, you simply don’t want to take the chance. Just avoid milk before bed and ensure it doesn’t keep you awake so you can avoid insomnia.

2. Chocolate (I know, this one may hurt a bit)

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Mistakes to Avoid Before Bedtime to Avoid Another Night of Insomnia

12 Mistakes to Avoid Before Bedtime to Prevent Another Night of Insomnia

There are certain things, some blatantly obvious things (yes you’ll know what I am talking about as you read on), that you should not be doing before bedtime if you have the slightest issue with insomnia.  Avoid these mistakes and you may find yourself snoozing off sooner than you think.

  1. No caffeine! This one seems all too obvious but yet many people find themselves in the habit of a late afternoon cup of joe or an after-dinner coffee.  What you may not know is that this stimulant stays in your body, on average, up to 5 hours.  I know that for me personally I have a coffee-cut-off-time of around 2pm or I’m liable to be staring up at the ceiling long after the cows have come home.
  2. Avoid Alcohol - This can be a tough one for those night owl party-goers out there but alcohol can actually cause disruptions in your brain’s sleeping patterns and it raises your chances of rousing up throughout the night and not allowing your body to rest peacefully through the proper stages of sleep.
  3. Smoking -  True, many people think of smoking as a relaxation method but the problem is that the nicotine is a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep patterns similar to alcohol.

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Prevent Acid Reflux: Eating, Drinking and Dancing Your Way to Heartburn Relief

Prevent Acid Reflux: Eating, Drinking and Dancing Your Way to Heartburn Relief

We all love to indulge every once in awhile, and for the most part that is ok…sometimes.  For the most part though we all know how important it is to eat right and stay active to not only ensure a long healthy life but to mitigate those nasty heartburn and acid reflux symptoms that lurk just beneath, waiting to pounce whenever we let our guard down.

Here are a few simple heartburn and acid reflux remedies to build in as daily habits that will not only serve you well in keeping that heartburn and acid reflux away but will make you feel good about yourself even if you do let loose on occasion;

Stop Drinking Water!
No, you don’t really have to stop drinking water altogether…(in fact you should be consuming at least 8 8oz. glasses of water a day) but water can cause heartburn while eating so simply stop drinking during meals. Drinking while eating can dilute the digestive juices, which are so crucial for digestion. Instead, drink little doses before and after you eat. Only when consuming rough foods or foods with little or no water should you drink slightly to help it go down smoothly.

Be a Good Host
Being a good host means knowing who should mingle together and who should keep their distance from each other.  You want to stay away from combining foods that aggravate heartburn and acid reflux and be sure you are combining your foods correctly in order to properly digest and prevent that nasty heartburn from rearing its ugly head.

For instance you want to avoid mixing fruits with concentrated foods as it will slow the digestion of the fruit.  You can eat raw veggies with concentrated foods as these foods mingle well together because of the high fiber and low sugar.

Greatest Excuse not to Exercise
Granted, don’t give it up completely! It’s never a good idea to exercise after you’ve finished a meal. Anytime you do physical activity after a meal, the body sends the blood over to hang out with your muscles leaving your digestive system alone in the corner. As a result, your digestive system won’t digest until you stop your activity which can lead not only to hearburn but to all sorts of additional trouble as you can imagine. After a meal, simply chill and give your body enough time to completely digest the food before you rush to the gym.

Don’t be a piggy (this one’s a gimme)
Overeating can cause a lot of harm to your body and not just to the digestive system. It can cause nutritional imbalance and weight gain, tax the liver and the kidneys, and put enormous physical pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will increase the chances of heartburn and acid reflux.

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Diet, Lifestyle and the Right Supplements Can Reduce Symptoms of Lightheadedness

Diet, Lifestyle and the Right Supplements Can Reduce Symptoms of Lightheadedness

Have you had experience of feeling lightheaded?  That strange feeling of trying to stand up, only to fall back down on the chair can be frightening.  When you find yourself knocked back down on your butt, and are startled from the lack of control, it can cause some anxiety.  This is one of the many symptoms of hypoadrenia, which is more commonly known as adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is the result of underperforming adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are actually quite small – the size of a walnut – but they can contribute to some bothersome health issues, which may affect us in our day-to-day lives.

Here’s why. When we experience chronic stress, the adrenal glands react to this stress as a perceived threat and, in essence, initiate the fight-or-flight response. The adrenals – in response to stress – cause a rise in blood pressure, increase the body’s ability to clot blood, suppress the immune system, and transfer blood to your extremities. These processes serve a vital purpose; they enhance our ability to fight or flee during a challenging situation

This fight-or-flight response is meant to be short lived, but this isn’t always the case. Why? Quite simply, the adrenal glands cannot distinguish between perceived danger and real danger, and that’s why they can become compromised when we encounter long-term stressors. When the adrenal glands are compromised over a long period of time, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Irritation and Anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Frequent influenza
  • Reduced concentration
  • Serious injury or illness
  • Reduced memory function
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty losing weight with extensive effort

The good news is that there are ways to assist your adrenal glands in functioning more efficiently, and it’s easier than you may think. Consider changing your diet. In fact, dietary changes can go a long way toward regulating your body’s functions.

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Sleep Apnea And Our Health

Sleep Apnea And Our Health

A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a good state of health.  Our bodies need that uninterrupted six to eight hours of sleep to repair and reset.  While science is still deep in research trying to ascertain exactly what is happening internally while we’re sleeping, it is undeniable that interruption of sleep is a health hazard.  And, one of the primary causes of sleep interruption is sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects the way you breathe while you’re sleeping. In untreated sleep apnea, breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow while you’re sleeping.

These breathing pauses can last anywhere between 10-20 seconds, and they can occur hundreds of times per night – which interrupts your natural sleeping rhythms and consequently can contribute to a number of related symptoms and complications.

When your body is deprived of the deep restorative sleep cycle (known as REM sleep), it will affect your ability to be mentally sharp and productive throughout the day.

Not only that, but chronic sleep deprivation also results in daytime sleepiness, chronic fatigue, poor reflexes and concentration, and an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain!

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Had Your Blood Pressure Checked Recently?

Had Your Blood Pressure Checked Recently?

We often have questions about what those numbers are that we hear when our blood pressure is tested.  There is a lot of misunderstanding as to what the numbers mean, and what is considered normal as compared with high. We want to help you with a basic primer.

Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio such as 120/80.

The top number (higher number) is called the systolic pressure, which measures the pressure in the arteries with each heartbeat (contraction). The bottom (lower) number is the diastolic pressure, which measures the pressure in the arteries between each heartbeat – when the heart muscles are at rest.

In order to get an accurate perspective on these important measurements, it’s necessary to monitor the readings over time.

A single high reading will not be an accurate measurement of your average blood pressure … home monitoring over time is the best way to get a true picture of your blood pressure measurements.

The textbook numbers for a healthy blood pressure have been 120/80. However, these numbers are not age adjusted, sex adjusted, or condition adjusted. Just like other medical parameters, nothing else is taken into consideration except the numbers.

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What’s the Right Amount of Water to Consume?

What’s the Right Amount of Water to Consume?

Drinking enough water for maintaining adequate health is important – make that essential.  You need water to keep your overall metabolism running smoothly.  Water is involved in every type of cellular process, so without adequate water all of the cells in your body begin to perform sluggishly.

You’ve probably heard it many times – drinking enough water throughout the day is essential to your body’s wellness and maintaining a healthy metabolism. But if you’re struggling with health concerns – if your body is waging a battle against degenerative disease or chronic symptoms – you may wonder if you’re getting enough water throughout the day … or if there’s even such a thing as “too much” water in your daily intake.

Although there is such a thing as water intoxication, it’s very rare and usually seen only in cases of infants or athletes that are pushing their body to extremes. Conventional medical wisdom used to be that everyone needed their eight 8-ounce glass of water each day.  But that conventional wisdom has evolved into a more personal approach based on your size.

However, even if you’re simply waking up every morning and turning on the television and sitting on the couch until you go to sleep each night, your body would excrete up to 2.5 quarts of water just through your body’s typical baseline functions.

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Say Goodnight to Insomnia!

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