If you suffer from insomnia there are a lot of things you can do to improve the situation.
Do you struggle often to get to sleep or to stay asleep? If you suffer from insomnia you are not alone. Occasional sleeping problems affect 48% of the population while 22% report they suffer from insomnia almost every night. What are the causes of insomnia? There are a wide range of possible causes for insomnia. The most common ones are stress, anxiety and depression. To make things worse, not getting enough sleep can exacerbate these disorders for those who suffer from them. Other causes may include medical issues like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. Lifestyle choices and work situations like working night hours and job stress can also play a part in sleeplessness.
One thing is for sure; lack of good sleep can wreak havoc on your overall health. Here are just a few of the shocking statistics.
1) Weight Gain
When you are stressed by life your body’s reaction can be to secrete more of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is associated with weight gain. During stress, cortisol and other hormones are released to mobilize fats and carbohydrate for use in the body’s natural fight-or-flight mechanism. After the stress situation is over, cortisol remains and triggers the body’s appetite to replace the fats and carbs used in the stressful situation and it also tells the body to hold on to fat. In today’s society food is plentiful and stress can be a daily, long term occurance that chronically elevates your cortisol levels. Sleep allows your body to clear out cortisol. Getting enough sleep is one of the best natural ways to reduce stress and cortisol levels. In addition to cortisol, other hormones are affected by sleep. With lack of sleep, the bad hormone ghrelin goes up causing a large increase in appetite. The good hormone, leptin goes down and this hormone controls appetite. Without that control you are more likely to crave high fat, high carb foods.
2) Lapses of Attention and Increased Reaction Times
It is well known that sleep deprivation can severely impair reaction time and decision making. It is known that a person who has been awake for 18 hours has the same level of impaired driving as a person with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. Driving, operating heavy machinery or if your job requires you to make quick decisions that require attention, then if you’re not getting enough sleep you could be putting yourself and others in danger.
3) Heart Disease, Diabetes
Many of the previously discussed stress hormones that cause weight gain can also have sever detrimental effects on your heart and arteries. Damage to the blood vessels can lead to high blood pressure and eventually heart disease. Not getting enough sleep can affect your body’s ability to hand a “glucose load”. Add to that cravings for foods that skyrocket your glucose levels and you have a recipe for diabetes. It’s a complex issue with a simple fix which is to make sleep a priority in your life.
So What Can You Do? Here are five tips that have proven to work:
1) Establish Your Sleep Environment – Healthy sleep comes from a healthy enviornment. Make sure your bedding is comfortable and clean. Make sure you use your bedroom only for sleep and not for reading, texting or other activities that can stimulate your brain and have you associate the bedroom with activity. Make sure you can completely darken your room and keep it quiet and cool. You may want to keep a sleep journal, or if your mind races about life problems, write them down so you can let go of them until the next day.
2) Establish Good Sleep Habits – Go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends. Limit caffeine alcohol intake many hours before bed. Use meditation or relaxation techniques before bed. Take a warm bath or drink something warm before bed.
3) Turn Off The Lights – Our brains are wired to react to light. Prior to bed try to keep the house lights low and by all means avoid backlit devices like ipads, phones or computers which will tell your brain to stay awake. This is a must.
4) See Your Health Care Professional – If you think it’s serious enough, get checked out by your doctor. They may be able to provide you with a prescription for some short term relief. Although this should be seen as a last resort, if you make the effort to establish a healthy sleep environment and can take something to help get your into the right pattern this may be a good option.
5) Use A Natural Sleep Aid Supplement – Today, there are many over the counter (OTC) supplements and herbs that can aid in relaxing you prior to bed and to help you sleep. Some of these include melatonin, valerian root and even magnesium supplements. These can be safely taken over a longer term than prescription medications. One popular product called Serene Dream Sleep Aid has all of these ingredients and more in a dietary capsule forumula and it won’t leave you with that groggy hangover feeling that other prescription or OTC formulas can give you.
More about Serene Dream Sleep Aid
Serene Dream is a safe, all natural sleep aid that helps relax you before bed and then get to sleep. In addition, it can help you stay asleep all night which is good for those who can get to sleep but find themselves waking up during the night. It contains melatonin which the body produces naturally to help get to sleep, plus other natural ingredients like magnesium, valerian, calcium, chamomile, Passion Flower, Hops Flower, Skullcap root, L-Taurine, and GABA. If taken as part of a plan to structure your sleep environment and lifestyle for better sleep it’s a great addition to your program.
Check Out These Reviews…
“I suffer from chronic insomnia and jumped at the chance to review this when I was offered to be sent this for my review. I usually need to take a prescription sleep aid before going to bed just so I can get a few hours rest (if one can call tossing and turning rest). When I was offered this to try in exchange for my review, I jumped at the chance. I was eager to ditch the prescription that I was taking that left me with a coppery taste in my mouth every morning. I’ve had no aftertastes nor unforeseen side effects from taking these. I don’t fall asleep as quickly as I did with my prescription, but I am able to fall asleep – which is a vast improvement over not taking anything. I hope that with continued use that will continue to improve. I love that this is made of naturally occurring ingredients and feel much better about taking it. It’s de nitely worth a try if you have troubles sleeping.”
–Lifestilted (Amazon review)
“Admittedly, I only take this product on occasion when I really need that good night’s sleep. And it actually has proven to be effective without the need to commit to it long-term or risking of developing a habitual attachment to this product. It is an all natural product that you can choose to take when you feel the need for it and it doesn’t make you feel groggy in the morning either. Simple to take and no side effects if taken accordingly. I will continue to take this product as needed and highly recommend to anyone looking for a good night’s sleep without any side effects.”
–Victoria (Amazon review)
“I AM a sucker for anything natural that can help you sleep. I normally use melatonin. This works just as good if not better. My mind doesn’t wander, I can relax, i can REST! It has also helped with my depression and anxiety. If I rest well, I am in a much better mood and happier in general. A must have for anyone suffering from insomnia, anxiety, and other things that you need a little extra help falling asleep for.”
–Sarah M (Amazon review)