insomnia

  1. Chamomile extract and amber glasses ease insomnia

    Two new tricks to help you sleep like a baby

    When you've tossed and turned all night, getting through the next day can be just plain AWFUL.

    You feel tired and cranky... your brain doesn't fire on all cylinders... and you might get walloped with a pounding headache.

    Hopefully, you'll be sawing logs again the following night.

    But if insomnia dogs you night after night, it can do more than put you in a bad mood. It can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, your gut, AND your gray matter.

    It can even shave YEARS off your life!

    Unfortunately, there's no "silver bullet" for insomnia -- and popping pills just makes you feel doped up.

    But a pair of new studies reveals two simple and natural tricks you can have up your (pajama) sleeve to FALL asleep and STAY asleep more easily.

    In the first study, older folks who were struggling with sleep took an herbal extract from the chamomile plant twice a day. After a month, they woke up fewer times during the night AND felt more rested than members of the placebo group.

    Of course, if you've ever poured yourself a hot cup of chamomile tea before bed, you won't be surprised by these new findings.

    Chamomile has calming effects on your central nervous system (CNS) -- just like some of those powerful sleep aids do, but without the dangerous side effects.

    But here's something that can have the opposite effect as chamomile: The blue light emitted by devices like smartphones or laptops can AROUSE your CNS!

    Not only that, but it can suppress your body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin -- which means that your body can no longer effectively tell you WHEN it's time to sleep, and it will have trouble STAYING asleep!

    But according to another new study -- this one out of Columbia University -- a small group of people with insomnia got about half an hour MORE sleep each night over the course of a week, just by blocking out that blue light for two hours before bed.

    Unlike the control group, they also reported that they slept more deeply and felt more rested -- a sure sign that their melatonin was able to do its job correctly.

    Ideally, you should just limit (or eliminate) your exposure to devices that emit blue light -- including TVs and LED light bulbs, too -- for two hours before you hit the hay.

    Many of the newer smartphones and laptops can also be set on "nighttime" mode to minimize the blue light they emit.

    But at least you know that if you have no other recourse, you can find the same kind of blue-light-blocking, amber-colored lenses used in the study at eyeglass retailers and online.

    Supplementing with melatonin is always a good idea as well, since our natural levels of it wane as we get older.

    And if you're not much of a tea drinker (which I am), you can find chamomile extract in the health food store or online. Participants in the study took 200mg twice a day.

  2. Tart cherry juice eases insomnia

    Sip your way to better sleep with this tart treat

    Now that the days are shorter... and the nights are colder... there's nothing like tucking into a warm bed early and sleeping like a LOG.

    But when you've got insomnia, it feels like you're sleeping more like that pile of leaves on your front lawn: tossing and turning, all night long.

    And if you deal with it night after night, lack of sleep doesn't just leave you exhausted and irritable. It can also wreak havoc on your blood sugar... your gut... and even your brain.

    "Sleep aids" like Ambien can make you dazed and confused the next day and boost your Parkinson's risk, so they're really no solution at all.

    But according to a new study, there's a natural way to ease insomnia without pills... and it just so happens to come from a TREE.

    I'm talking about cherry juice!

    In the study out of Louisiana State University, a group of older adults with chronic insomnia were divided into two groups: Half drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice in the mornings and evenings, while the other half drank the same amount of a placebo drink designed to look and taste like cherry juice.

    After two weeks, the participants completed an overnight sleep study... and those who drank the tart cherry juice slept 84 minutes LONGER than those who drank the placebo.

    That's nearly an hour and a half of extra shuteye!

    What's more, the cherry juice also DECREASED inflammation and INCREASED the availability of the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in foods like turkey and can make you sleepy.

    It could be that the tryptophan boost accounted for the participants' improved sleep. But tart cherry juice is also rich in melatonin -- the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle -- as well as procyanidin, a plant nutrient that may have sleep benefits, too.

    Translation: Tart cherry juice could be a TRIPLE threat for insomnia!

    And the cherry on top is that tart cherry juice can also keep your blood pressure in check... relieve the symptoms of gout... and even slash your risk of dementia.

    The season for fresh tart cherries isn't until summertime (from May to July, depending on where you live), but you can find cherry juice year-round at your local health food store. Just make sure to get the "tart" kind so you're not guzzling added sugar.

    And skip the chocolate-covered cherries or the cherry garnishes for your cocktail -- because these sugar bombs will do zip for your sleep.

    If the tart juice is just a little too... well, tart for your taste, you can find tart cherry as a supplement in capsule form at your local health food store.

  3. Tai chi eases insomnia in breast cancer survivors

    Sleep better with this crazy Asian trick Ladies, when it comes to getting a good night's rest, you sure get the short end of the stick. It's a well-documented fact that women struggle with insomnia more often than men -- for reasons ranging from hormones to depression. This is especially true if you've survived breast cancer. Tossing and turning at...
  4. Ashwagandha eases insomnia

    Sleep like a baby with this exotic leaf You open your eyes expecting to see the morning sun... and instead, you see the dead of night...for the umpteenth time. When you've got chronic insomnia, it can feel like the lyrics to that old Simon & Garfunkel song: "Hello darkness, my old friend... I've come to talk with you again." If...
  5. Insomnia may be helped by new podcast

    For years, we’ve told you to turn off your electronic devices at night if you’ve got insomnia. But a new podcast might give you a reason to actually keep it on.
  6. Melatonin slashes aggressive prostate cancer risk 75%

    When Dr. Mehmet Oz's television show warned patients away from the natural sleep breakthrough melatonin, it may have put them on the yellow brick road to cancer. Harvard researchers say melatonin reduces deadly prostate cancer risk by three-fourths.
  7. Blame the moon for bad sleep

    Could the moon be keeping you up at night? Probably not -- but a new study says it might.
  8. Sleep disorders boost deadly prostate risk

    Men with severe sleep disorders have between double and triple the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, according to new research.
  9. The deadly toll of insomnia

    Insomnia won't just leave you groggy -- it can kill you, increasing your risk of heart failure by nearly 500 percent, according to new research.
  10. Why sleeping pills don't work

    Sleeping pills aren't just dangerous -- they're ineffective, too. Find out why they don't work and what you can do instead.

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