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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Can;t Get Any Sleep? Dealing With Insomnia

Sleeplessness is a problem suffered by millions of people worldwide. So if you've been tossing and turning night after night, asking yourself why you "can't get no sleep", you are not alone.

Inability to sleep is known is insomnia. It is a very common problem, but only a few people seek proper medical treatment. Generally speaking, most people don't take sleeping disorders very seriously. They believe that not being able to sleep is a problem that they can handle on their own.

They end up trying to tough it out for weeks or months, perhaps trying some over-the-counter remedies from time to time. Their sleep deficit continues to build up and sleep deprivation increases their irritability and anxiety. Finally, when they can't take it any longer, they go to their doctor and practically demand a prescription for sleeping pills.

This predictable behavior provides profits to the pharmaceutical industry the rate of several billion dollars every year. Although people may think that they have fixed the problem, they're actually causing harm to their bodies. The drug themselves to sleep every night and then spend half of the next day struggling to wake up.

Regular, long-term use of sleeping medications can have a negative effect on your sleep cycle. In essence, your body forgets how to fall asleep naturally. You begin to rely upon the pill and truly believe that you can't get to sleep without it. If you try to stop taking sleeping pills, your insomnia will return with full force.

The problem with treating insomnia by taking prescription sleep medications is that it doesn't provide a cure. Insomnia is actually a symptom. It is your body's way of naturally informing you that something is wrong. Either there is a physical problem that needs to be addressed, or you have some lifestyle choices that need to be changed. If you're struggling through a period where you can't get no sleep, your first step is to figure out why?

Once you know why you have insomnia, you should have a good idea how to treat it. If there's a physical problem, then you can deal with that. If there are choices you're making that cause your sleeplessness, then you can start a new bedtime routine. If you still need help falling asleep, there are many natural remedies that work without the harmful side effects of prescription medications.

Wondering why you can't get no sleep? Don't ignore the problem and don't throw sleeping pills at the problem. Instead, find out more about insomnia, what could be causing it and how you can cure it naturally.


Can;t Sleep? 18 Ways to Get Some Sleep Despite Chronic Pain

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 60% of Americans are getting less than eight hours sleep. Millions of these people live with a chronic condition that causes chronic pain and it's estimated that nearly two-thirds of those with chronic pain suffer from a sleep disorder.

Stop accepting, "I can't sleep!" and move the odds in your favor!

[1] Have a bed-time ritual. They aren't just for kids! Anxiety about going to bed can set the stage for a sleepless night. Whether it's a hot shower or a cup of tea, training your mind to know "it's almost time to go to sleep" can help dramatically.

[2] Avoid getting on the computer for at least 1 hour before going to sleep. The light, interaction with others, and activity will keep your brain stimulated. Same with the T.V. Record the shows that are on after 10 pm to watch another time.

[3] Avoid caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol and nicotine.

[4] Despite what your mom told you, wear a fresh pair of socks! According to Nicholas Romansky, a podiatrist that treats the U.S. World Cup and Olympic soccer teams, wearing fresh socks to bed can help stabilize your core body temperature. He suggests acrylic, polyester, polypropylene and cotton-synthetic blends that will keep moisture at bay. Don't use cotton socks.

[5] Listen to some music. Not only will it relax you, but research that studied drug-free methods to reduce postoperative pain, found that the combination of relaxation and music relieved postoperative abdominal pain significantly more than painkillers. (Source: The Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2005)

[6] Is your bed partner keeping you awake with snoring or late-night work on the computer in bed? Have a conversation about changes that need to be made, even separate rooms for awhile is okay.

[7] Use lavender in your bed-time rituals. According to studies at the University of Leicester in England and the Smell and Taste Research Center in Chicago, the aroma of lavender actually worked as well as sleeping pills in alleviating insomnia and tension. Try a linen spray for your sheets, lavender-scented bath oil, or a lavender-filled eye cover.

[8] Jasmine aroma has also been found to help sleep according to researchers who found that rooms infused with a faint jasmine scent seemed to sleep more peacefully and reported being more alert in the afternoon than people who slept in a lavender-scented room, or one with no added aroma. Scented oil sticks can be found at stores everywhere now, and they keep the room smelling fresh for up to six months with no fire hazards.

[9] When do you sleep best? Near the ocean? When it rains? Places like Sharper Image have many sleep aids such as a portable AM/FM radio/alarm clock that features a Sound Soother® and a dual-speaker stereo CD player. It includes "realistic, tranquil sound environments Seaside, Summer Night, Rain, and Brook."

[10] Invest in a comfortable mattress and extra bedding if needed. Personally, I use a Cuddle-Ewe and couldn't live without it. It feels like a feather bed on top of my mattress.

[11] Find pillows that are comfortable. I have one for my head, a different one for my arms that feel like they are filled with sand. One woman I spoke to uses a teddy bear to cushion her sore arm, wrapping the bear's arms around her own arm.

[12] Use a heating pad or a heated blanket. Try sleeping on top of a heated blanket for all over comfort. There are new ones on the market that are very padded.

[13] Wear comfortable clothing to bed. Invest in a pair of pajamas that you love, can turn over easily in bed, and that you will long to put on.

[14] Try the heat or menthol patches available at your local drugstore for pain relief in particular areas. I've found the menthol ones help me sleep because of the scent and are less bulky so stick longer.

[15] Although there is much controversy on the use of magnets for pain relief, some people swear they work. Start with an inexpensive item before investing in a large magnetic mattress. Google "insomnia home remedies" for a ton of other ideas.

[16] Have something relaxing to read or listen to once you get into bed. If you have an MP3 player, take advantage of downloading some relaxing music, inspirational talks or sermons.

[17] If all else fails, get up. If you positively can't sleep, change your surroundings. Read a book on the couch or write a letter to a friend. Soon you may be drifting off.

[18] Talk to your doctor about medications. Even if something helps you sleep for five years, it can suddenly become less effective. Find the right recipe for pain relief and sleep aids. Google "When Aches ... Pains Keep You Awake: Medication Chart" available at WebMD for a good breakdown of the benefits and side-effects of common sleep prescription medications.

If you have a chronic illness and chronic pain is keeping you awake at night, do everything you can to find a way to sleep because insomnia always impacts our bodies, oftentimes causing our illness to become worse. Don't hesitate to contact your doctor to find a remedy.

Do you have a chronic illness? Get the first 40 pages of "Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend" when you sign up for our monthly ezine HopeNotes at Plus find other articles all related to chronic illness and information on National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week at Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill through Christian resources and other programs and support group materials.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Do You Think You May Be Suffering From Insomnia and Want to Know How to Stop it?

Do you have difficulty sleeping or falling asleep? Once you fall asleep are you having trouble staying asleep? Are you waking up several times during the night? If you have answered yes to either of these questions than you are most probably one of the more than 60 million adults who suffer from the sleep disorder known as insomnia.

Insomnia is a symptom not a diagnosis or disease. Wikipedia, defines insomnia as "difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both and may be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep."

Some symptoms of insomnia include:

o Having difficulty falling asleep

o Having difficulty returning to sleep

o Waking up several times during the night

o Having trouble concentrating

o Irritable the following day

o Waking up too early

o Feeling sleepy during the day

There are three types of insomnia which have been identified:

1. Transient - which can last anywhere from a few days to weeks.

2. Acute - characterized as lasting between three weeks to six months.

3. Chronic - has been known to last for years at a time.

The National Institute of Health recommends that adults should get an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. There are many health benefits to getting the proper amount of sleep that your body needs.

Although the recommended amount is 7 to 8 hours it is important that you be in tune to your own body needs and get the proper amount you need to function. I have heard many say that 7 or 8 is too much for them and they function better with 6 or 7 hours of sleep. So, bottom line is listen to your individual body and treat it well and it will respond accordingly.

Sleep is essential for life and the human body. It is important in helping the body function in matters such as concentration, memory formation and also with repairing the damage of body cells during the day. Conversely, chronic lack of sleep increases the body's risk for developing problems such as diabetes, obesity, infections and cardiovascular diseases.

Thus, it is extremely important that insomnia be treated as soon as possible. There are a number of treatments available. For further information on Insomnia and the various treatments available click here!

For further information on Insomnia and the various treatments available Click Here!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sleep Disorder - To Call The Doctor Or Not?

Experiencing difficulty in sleeping for any great length of time may well indicate that you suffer from a common sleep disorder.
Today more than 35 million Americans reportedly suffer from a chronic sleep disorder (sleeping difficulty that lasts for more than one month) and as many as 30 million more suffer from a shorter term or "transient" sleep disorder (sleeping difficulty that lasts for less than four weeks).
Commonly triggered by upcoming events (such as important meetings or interviews), jet lag, or a passing illness (like a cold or the flu), a mild sleep disorder presents relatively little difficulty in terms of its management and, if left to its own devices, will often pass quite quickly. This said, many simple steps can be taken to both reduce the effects of mild insomnia and to speed its passing.
A persistent sleep disorder however will rarely disappear of its own accord and may well require pro-active treatment. Prolonged sleep disorders include conditions such as chronic insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
Difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking through the night (and being unable to get back to sleep), or waking too early in the morning, when experienced for any length of time (and certainly for more than four or five weeks), warrants a diagnosis. You should also begin exploring natural sleep remedies that can help you get a better night's sleep, not to mention assisting you in effectively managing your problem.
The most commonly diagnosed sleep disorder, insomnia, also represents one of the easiest problems to treat. Simple lifestyle adjustments, structured relaxation or meditation, or a variety of herbal and natural sleep remedies will often provide a cure.
Like insomnia, sleep apnea is another sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans each year. The most dangerous of all sleep disorders, sleep apnea occurs when air flow through the windpipe is temporarily obstructed during sleep, often due to the relaxation or collapse of surrounding muscles. Sleep apnea is most commonly associated with snoring, although snoring alone is not necessarily indicative of sleep apnea.
Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder marked by uncontrolled "mini sleeps" during the day (even when the sufferer otherwise appears completely alert), is sometimes confused with sleep apnea; however, these represent two very different conditions.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), another sleep disorder that ranks as one of the most frequently diagnosed, affects more than twelve million people in the US alone each year. Unlike other common sleep disorders, restless legs syndrome combines the physical symptoms of a sleep disorder like insomnia with neural symptoms such as periodically uncontrolled limb movement and a tingling sensation in the legs and feet.
While a serious sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea, chronic narcolepsy or restless legs syndrome requires the intervention of a medical professional, there are still various ways in which you can actively manage your sleep disorder. In fact, numerous natural sleep remedies can help you get a better night's sleep and effectively deal with your sleep disorder, without resorting to sleeping pills or artificial sleep enhancers.
These sleep remedies are too numerous to discuss them in any detail in this short article, but they include melatonin and Valerian root, two natural alternatives to sleeping pills, as well as aromatherapy, color or chroma therapy and guided relaxation and meditation. Chamomile or lavender teas and infusions are also an excellent natural remedy for managing various sleep disorders.
While some persistent sleep disorders do certainly merit investigation by your doctor, chronic insomnia can, more often than not, be cured without the need for medical intervention. Understanding the underlying causes of your insomnia and then making a number of simple changes to your lifestyle or routine can make a dramatic difference to the quality of your sleep. With the added help of one or two natural sleep remedies, you can then soon say farewell to this particular sleep disorder.

Donald Saunders is the author of a number of health related publications including: "Help Me To Sleep - A Guide To Natural Sleep Remedies", "Jet Lag - An Alternative Approach", "Shift Work Insomnia" and "The Art of Meditation - A Guide To Meditation, Breathing and Relaxation Techniques"
For further details please visit

Taking A Sleep Disorder Test - First Step To Better Sleep

Knowing whether you have a sleeping disorder is difficult to find out by yourself. However, it is important to find out if you are suffering from one in order to help yourself get better sleep and become more functional during the day. One sure way to find out is through a sleep disorder test.

Why You Need the Test

Most of us probably do not know what goes on even in our own bodies while we are asleep. A lot of people therefore may end up suffering from a sleep disorder simply because of a lack of awareness of the symptoms and the condition, hence a need for a good sleep disorder test.
There are several types of sleeping disorders but the most common ones are insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea. All these sleeping disorder conditions can be fatal and it is believed that at least 1 out of 3 Americans suffer from a sleep disorder of some sort. At the least, undiagnosed sleep disorders could affect your quality of life, making you less able to interact productively with others and perform even simple tasks. The physical stress and drain of a sleep disorder could also be psychologically damaging, leading to feelings of intense frustration and helplessness. At the worst, a sleep disorder could either be a sign of an underlying medical condition or could lead to more serious medical conditions like stroke and heart ailments.

Taking a Self Test
Although you may not be aware of what goes on as you sleep, you can perform your own sleep disorder test. You simply have to look at your own symptoms as a basic sleep disorder test. You should be worried for example if you wake up and don't feel refreshed, if you have trouble sleeping or if you wake up frequently at night or too early.
Observe changes in your own disposition and behavior during the day. A quick temper, irritability, lack of concentration are only some points to note in your own sleep disorder test. Take note too if you frequently meet accidents and if you feel sleepy during the day.

Products for Self-Testing
Insomnia can be tested with a sleep disorder test pack that can measure your hormone levels. If you are doing a saliva sleep disorder test, look for the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring substance in the body that manages a person's perception of night and day and the cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Some people with insomnia though may have lower levels of melatonin. A sleep disorder test that will check you melatonin levels will help you determine if you need to take added melatonin supplements that are available even without a prescription.

Professional Testing
If you are not sure about the signs and symptoms, a professional opinion may be necessary. There are many kinds of tests but the most common professional sleep disorder test involves a sleep study.
In a sleep disorder test done by a professional, you may be asked to stay in the sleep disorder clinic or hospital for several hours, depending on what sleeping patterns are being checked. The procedure entails wires to be attached to you in order to monitor your heart rate, brainwaves, and breathing. Qualified personnel will then score your results for your doctor to interpret. Your doctor will then provide you with the necessary treatment for your condition. A succeeding sleep test may be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

Do you have any sleep disorder symptom? Read how a sleep disorder test can help as first step to gaining better sleep.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Possibilities on Why You Cant Sleep

It's a pain when you can't sleep well at night. Waking up from a poor night sleep can be depressing especially when it's just the beginning of the week. It's hard getting yourself motivated about life and work when you feel fatigued and drowsy. When you can't sleep for nights in a row it can take a real toll on your physical and emotional health.

Tiredness and lack of concentration are common and obvious symptoms of poor sleep. These symptoms alone can make a dramatic impact on your day affecting your productivity and emotional well-being.
Other symptoms include achy and painful muscles, blurred vision, trembling, tension, headaches and palpitations. When your body is shouting signs at you - take note. If you can't sleep for days or weeks go seek professional medical advice. So often people ignore their health problems and it only gets worse.
Don't ignore the signs, if you can't sleep at night. You might just make it worse by prolonging the condition. Each sleep problem is different. Although most people associate lack of sleep with insomnia, there are other reasons why a person can't sleep properly at night.

This is why it's always a good idea to speak to your doctor, so you can eliminate other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and RLS. In some cases the reason why you can't sleep can be temporary; Jetlag, environmental disruptions such as noise, adjusting such as moving home - these are all possible reasons for temporary sleep disruptions.

Temporary sleep disruptions aren't anything to worry about, especially if you're expecting them. However if sleep problems don't reside and you still can't sleep well it's time to take action. Often sufferers of sleeplessness will go see a doctor only months after their first night of sleeplessness.
Tackling sleep problems when you can't sleep at the early stages will make treating sleeplessness a lot easier. In some cases the cause of sleeplessness can be addressed and treated. Leaving sleep problems lie will make causes of sleeplessness harder to find.

Often there is more than one factor causing sleepless nights and even addressing and treating the causes may not solve your sleep condition. This is because insomnia can develop into a learned habit.
When a person can't sleep for weeks or months, they become conscious of their inability to sleep. They begin worrying about sleep and assuming that they will have a bad night sleep. This negative conditioning can become the new cause for sleep problems.

Can't sleep? Tossing and turning through the night? Get rid of your sleep problems by downloading your guide on how to beat insomnia at