Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Good Night. Sleep Tight.

sleepAll of us come across an odd night spent tossing on bed due to stress, heartburn or drinking too much caffeine. Sleepless nights on a regular basis qualify for insomnia.

Healthy food, exercise and sound sleep nurture a good health. A good night rest kick starts a great day. Sleep is natural; it beckons us on its own schedule. Life becomes difficult when sleep needs an effort.

Sleep refreshes, recharges and rejuvenates us. Habitual sleeplessness is insomnia. Not getting a good night sleep can mean trouble falling asleep to disturbed sleep through the night. Chronic insomnia is the failure to get an entire night’s sleep on most nights over a one- month period.

Sleeplessness is more than an inconvenience. It compromises our quality of life. People with chronic insomnia are likely to develop psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety disorders. Falling asleep behind the wheels is fatal.

Sleep devastators:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Advanced age
  • Pain
  • Caffeine
  • Rest less leg syndrome afflicts many people. When they are in bed, their legs jerk, twitch involuntarily depriving them of sleep.
  • Women are more likely to spend sleepless nights.
  • Medical conditions like heart, breathing, stomach, digestive, high blood pressure, arthritis and anorexia may manifest in sleeplessness.
  • Together or alone these factors shrink sleep hours and quality.

Self care

Insomnia is treatable.

  • Stick to a schedule.
  • Limit your time in bed.
  • Avoid trying to sleep.
  • Avoid watching television, or surfing net, taking calls in your bedroom.
  • Limit naps.
  • Exercise and stay active through the day
  • Avoid or limit caffeine, nicotine or alcohol.
  • Screen noises
  • Stop fretting about sleeping.
  • Avoid stimulating yourself before bedtime.
  • Take a hot bath not shower.
  • Learn relaxation techniques

Sleep solutions

  • In evening eat bananas, figs, dates, milk, wholegrain crackers or yogurt. These food are high in tryptophan, which induces sleep.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and coffee post lunch.
  • Avoid cheese chocolate, eggplant, potatoes, sugar, spinach, tomatoes for dinner, as they release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.
  • Take food rich in calcium and magnesium for a good night sleep. Sources include dairy food, leafy green vegetables bananas, apples and cantaloupes.
  • Use melatonin for occasional sleeplessness. Human body releases melatonin in increased amounts during dusk and it tapers off around dawn.
  • GNC has melatonin supplements and your friendly pharmacist at Guardian stores them
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Category: Sleep Well
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