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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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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Sleep Hygiene: Checklist for Good Sleep – You Can Sleep Like a Baby!

Sleep Hygiene: Checklist for Good Sleep – You Can Sleep Like a Baby!

Most adults need between 7-7.5 hours of sleep per night. This varies from person to person, of course, but it’s a good number to shoot for: let’s call it The Solid Seven.  It’s backed up by research—but you probably know from personal experience the truth of it. When you go consecutive days without a Solid Seven, things tend to go downhill.

Here’s a collection of actions you can take to get the sleep you—and your hormones—need:

General Tips

  • Change the way you think of your bedroom: in your mind, call it the sleeproom. If it helps to call it that when you talk about it, then do that, too. Your family might think you’re silly when you say things like “I left my wallet in the sleeproom,” but then again, it might be fun.
  • Use the sleeproom for sleeping only—and intimacy, of course. Do things like reading, watching TV, working, or playing games in other rooms.
  • At risk of repeating ourselves: avoid reading, writing, working, watching TV, surfing the web on your laptop or tablet, playing games, or talking on the phone while you’re in the sleeproom.
  • Keep the sleeproom quiet and cool. Turn down the heat and keep an extra blanket on hand if you know you’re a cold sleeper.
  • Keep the sleeproom as dark as possible. This will stimulate the release of melatonin so you’re mind tells your body it’s time to sleep. Use blackout shades to keep out ambient light from streetlights, your neighbors outdoor security lights, or light from signage if you live in a big city.
  • Make your bed comfortable. If you sleep with a partner and a queen size bed is not large enough for the two of you, consider investing in a king-sized bed.

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3 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

3 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep. For some of us, it can be painfully elusive.

The problem is that the more we chase sleep, the harder it can be to catch a few ZZZs.

Why?

It’s because lack of sleep stresses our bodies, and stress can interfere with falling asleep or staying asleep.

It’s a frustrating cycle, to say the least.

Regardless of whether you experience frequent bouts of insomnia or an occasional toss-and-turn night, there is hope.

Here are three of our best tips for getting the restorative sleep you need to thrive.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

For most adults, 6-8 hours of sleep is optimal. According to the National Sleep Foundation, so many of us suffer from sleep debt that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be well rested.

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5 Causes of Insomnia You May Not Be Aware Of

5 Causes of Insomnia You May Not Be Aware Of

Did you get enough sleep last night? If you answered no, you are not alone. For those of us who do not get enough rest, the obvious solution is to go to bed earlier each night. For others, however, it is not that simple. Insomnia affects approximately 70 million individuals in the U.S. alone and can last a night or two, or, in chronic cases, for months or years.

Daytime sleepiness can have a variety of effects. According to a conservative estimate by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 100,000 auto accidents each year are caused by drowsiness, resulting in at least 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Lack of mental concentration and the frequency of mistakes made on the job by insomniacs have also proven to be quite costly. U.S. employers estimate that they lose approximately $18 billion each year due to lowered productivity caused by sleep-deprived workers.

Furthermore, chronic drowsiness can contribute to a variety of health conditions:

• High blood pressure
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Mood and psychiatric disorders
• Obesity
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Growth retardation in fetuses and children

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Say Goodnight to Insomnia!

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