sleep

  1. The REAL reason you can’t sleep (And what to do about it)

    Is there ANYTHING more frustrating?

    You’re exhausted after a long day… you turn off the lights and settle into bed… and NOTHING HAPPENS!

    Every worry in the world starts racing through your mind. You can practically hear the minutes ticking by as you struggle to sleep.

    Well, you’re not alone.

    As many as 40 percent of American adults report having trouble sleeping during the year.

    But here’s what many of these folks are NEVER told – trouble sleeping is usually caused by ONE problem.

    And fixing it could be the key to enjoying the best sleep of your life.

    *****

    The first thing you need to understand is that poor sleep is more than just a nuisance.

    It’s actually been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s!

    There are two primary forms of sleep problems: you have trouble falling asleep, or you can’t stay asleep.

    The good news is both of these have the same cause: disruption of your circadian rhythm.

    Your circadian rhythm is basically your body’s internal clock – it regulates your sleep-wake cycle.

    And when your circadian rhythm is malfunctioning, you’re not going to sleep well – no matter how hard you try.

    When you wake in the morning, you begin accumulating hormones which will eventually make you feel tired at night.

    There are many things that can impact the normal hormonal rhythm of your body.

    Your first stop is to look at your waking hours. Are you anxious or depressed? Those emotions can trigger the production of stress hormones, which can dramatically disrupt your circadian rhythm.

    Medications can also throw your circadian rhythm off its tracks.

    Your best bet for supporting your circadian rhythm is by taking the supplement melatonin.

    Melatonin is actually the natural hormone that helps regulate the function of your circadian rhythm.

    But our levels can fall off as we age – or they can be affected by lots of everyday factors.

    Try to stick to a regular bedtime, and take melatonin about an hour before you’re ready to hit the hay.

    And if you have trouble relaxing – or are dealing with anxiety – herbs such as L-theanine or chamomile can help you relax.

  2. NEVER wake up on the wrong side of the bed again!

    I’m a good sleeper. For this, I’m eternally grateful.

    But sleep problems do hit close to home for me… because my wife is most definitely NOT a good sleeper.

    She might stay up doing a Sudoku puzzle or reading instead of getting the shuteye she needs… while I’m happily snoozing next to her.

    If I ever wake up for a second and catch her eye, her look is somewhere between jealousy and loathing. (Fortunately, except for those brief moments, my wife loves me very much!)

    And so, I’ve constantly got my eye out for safe, unique, and innovative methods for assisting her in getting to sleep… staying asleep… and waking refreshed and ready to face the day.

    As I’ve shared with you in the past, many herbal remedies, nutrients, and other nutritional factors can help with sleep problems.

    But by now, we all KNOW about melatonin. So, why aren’t folks sleeping better?

    It’s because melatonin (or GABA, 5HTP, or any other supplement) just isn’t enough for some people. Your melatonin levels might be just fine. And boosting them might not help at all.

    Here’s a situation where we need to get a little creative. Because pills and potions clearly aren’t the “cure-all” they’re made out to be.

    Fortunately, there are three really interesting products that can keep your night from seeming endless.

    #1 Weighted blankets: These take advantage of a type of stimulation called deep touch pressure (DTP). DTP relaxes you by releasing serotonin and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which works against your “fight or flight” response. You’ll sleep LONGER, and you’ll feel more RESTED when you wake up.

    #2 Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES): A small machine called the Alpha Stim emits a microcurrent that’s so slight, it’s barely perceptible. (Most folks feel nothing at all.) A sense of peacefulness and sleepiness will set in within just 20 minutes.

    #3 Morning light alarm: These are light boxes that slowly start to turn on as early morning comes, gradually filling the room with light. This simulates dawn light from the rising sun – and since that’s how our caveman ancestors woke up, it makes sense that it would help us feel more energetic and alert first thing in the morning.

    I like to file these three sleep aids under: Why not?

    They’re generally inexpensive, one-time purchases (as opposed to the never-ending refills at the pharmacy) – and even if they don’t WORK, they certainly won’t HARM you.

    And if one doesn’t do the trick, pass it along to a friend and try the next one.

  3. The bedtime habit that's wrecking your sleep

    You lay off the caffeine... get plenty of exercise... and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. When you're prone to insomnia -- as HALF of all adults over 60 are -- you know that sticking to a routine that supports sleep is crucial. That's because night after night of lousy sleep can...
  4. Insider’s secret to effortless sleep doesn’t come in a pill

    Cutting-edge technology delivers sleep on demand I'm a good sleeper -- but in the rare times that I've had a poor night's sleep, I've been completely miserable. So, I'm very sensitive to those patients who struggle with their sleep, and I've constantly got my eye out for safe, unique, and innovative methods for getting to sleep... staying asleep... and waking...
  5. Winter road salt may mess with your sleep

    How salt can steal your Zzzzz's If you live in a place where snow falls during the winter (like it does here in the Boston area), you know how beautiful it can be. All of that fresh powder makes everything look so pristine and peaceful -- that is, until you have to dig your way out! And if it weren't...
  6. Sleeping with a window or door open improves sleep

    Open the door to a good night's rest You set the thermostat at the perfect temp... draw the shades as tight as can be... and maybe even pop in some earplugs. When you've got sleep troubles, there's no such thing as TOO prepared -- because even the slightest thing awry in your bedroom environment could keep you up all night...
  7. Insufficient sleep doubles chance of dying

    Insomnia could put you in an early grave You wake up once to use the bathroom... and then again because of your aches and pains... and once more for a glass of water. As we age, there are sure a lot of "stopovers" in what used to be a "direct flight" from bedtime to morning! Waking up more often during...
  8. Not sleeping enough could double your risk of a car crash

    It turns out that if you’re sleeping just an hour or two less than the recommended seven or eight, your risk of getting into a car accident increases by 30 percent
  9. Sleep deprivation wrecks your health, especially in winter

    Getting a good night's sleep -- that is, sleeping long enough and well enough -- is important to your health all year long. But during the cold and flu season, being deprived of sleep can make the healthiest person fall ill! Here's how to maximize your time in dreamland.
  10. Lack of sleep can keep you from making new memories

    New study out of Germany shows that the brain actually wipes the slate clean as it sleeps at night, and missing even one night of sleep can prevent you from taking in new information.

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