5 Reasons You Maybe Losing Quality Sleep

Do you think that you sleep well enough at night? Chances are, if you are reading this right now, you suspect that you aren’t sleeping as well as you would like. But worry not, as there are simple things you can change tonight that will greatly improve your quality of sleep. While overall amount of sleep is important, it is equally important that your time asleep be truly restorative.

Itching to find out some hidden sleep traps that are possibly affecting the quality of yours? Then let’s check them out!

Not Sleeping In The Dark

The number of people sleeping with the lights on has consistently increased, with their reasons ranging from one thing to another. However, what often coincides with this exposure to light is disruption of your body’s natural circadian rhythm. In the dark, the neurotransmitter/hormone melatonin is produced, which promotes deep restful sleep.

However, artificial exposure to light breaks down this chemical, so that you are not truly experiencing the restorative effects of deep sleep. The simple fix to this is to ensure you sleep in a room as dark as possible. You should notice a difference in the way your body feels following a week of good sleep.

Sounds Wake You Often

Let’s say that your room is perfectly dark, but you are still tossing and turning due to the tiniest annoying noise. Let’s just say true silence is deafening. What can be done about that? Obviously sound proofing is a viable option, but there is one thing that is superior to that. Introducing white noise- a controlled, consistent low “hum” that tends to drown out other minor nuisances.

Take for example a fan running in the room. It is not noisy enough to be acutely annoying, but is still soothing with its ever present whirring. There also exist specialized white noise machines, which can mimic sounds such as rain, or waves gently crashing on the shoreline. This can contribute to a truly serene sleep experience.

Eating Too Much Before Bed

Those it might sound straightforward that eating too close to bedtime is a bad plan, a staggeringly large number of people still do so religiously, night after night. This poses a problem for a couple reasons.

Firstly, eating a large meal causes food to rest on your stomach for a longer time, which can cause discomfort and inability to sleep.
Secondly, with food in your stomach, the likelihood of experiencing reflux is much higher when you lay down. Many people experience nocturnal acid reflux, which can be serious if inhaled into the lungs unconsciously.

Consuming Stimulants Too Late Into The Day

Most of us drink some sort of stimulant based beverage during the day, whether that be coffee, tea or something of the sort. These are generally accepted to be safe, but can be troublesome when taken too late in the day. While caffeine is common in many of them, it does take about 4 hours to be completed eliminated by the body. So, if you go to be at 10PM every night, stay clear of 6PM if you must have one last booster.

Your Mattress Is Sub-par

When a bout of sleeplessness ensues, the first thing people seem to turn to is some sort of sleep aid. While there are good and bad sleep aids, other avenues should be explored first. Your mattress is one such avenue. If you’ve had your mattress for more than a few years, chances are it’s less efficient than it was yesterday. Springs go out of place, sponge sinks in and bed bugs accumulate- making sleep less restorative and instead a nightly battle.

The Effects Of Exercise On Body Temperature

If you are having trouble sleeping, and you don’t already have a regular exercise program, you should start one if you want to sleep better. Exercise is beneficial to sleep in several ways. For example, exercise raises the body temperature rhythm and allows your body temperatures to ‘peak’ at a higher level. This, in turn, increases your energy level during the day, so you’ll feel more motivated and alive. And just as body temperature reach its maximum at a higher level through exercise, the body’s temperature will also drop further and more easily. This lets you sleep more deeply without interruption.

A regular exercise routine prevents your body’s temperature rhythm from remaining relatively level throughout the day. With an appropriate body temperature rhythm, you will find that you can get a deep sleep even if you’ve had a stressful day or can’t perform your regular exercise on a certain day. Exercise also delays the drop in the body’s temperature in the evening, and this delay lets you remain awake and alert for a longer time without feeling drowsy or tired. And, as everyone knows, exercise is a great stress reliever, and stress is one of the main reasons for the development of sleep disorders.

If you don’t already have an exercise program, you really should consider starting one right away. The best time to perform exercise is in the morning because it encourages a quick rise in temperature. You should avoid exercise for three hours before you go to sleep, since your body’s temperature will likely still be rising, and you could find falling asleep or sleeping deeply to be more difficult.

You don’t have to run right out and join a gym in order to get regular exercise. It is possible to obtain the benefits that exercise brings through its effects on your body temperature by taking less dramatic actions. Research shows that even moderate exercise during the day has many healthful benefits. If you can’t seem to get motivated to exercise on a regular basis, you should find a less intense, but physical, activity you enjoy several times per week. The activity could include such things as taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or going rollerblading. All of these activities will have a significant effect on your body temperature and encourage its rhythm to function at beneficial levels.

Baby sleep tips

Every parent of a newborn will inevitably deal with many sleepless nights. Babies, of course, have many needs, and when they awake in the night they will cry for their mothers. One of your most important tasks as a parent is to establish good sleeping habits in your child. Every baby must go through a transition where he adjusts from sleeping with his mother to sleeping on his own. This is a natural transition of course, and takes some time, but there are things you can do to expedite the process. Not only will this help your child develop better sleep habits, it will allow you to get some much needed rest.

Many baby sleep tips exist, and every parent would be well advised to research many different baby sleep tips. It is important to keep in mind, however, that no baby sleep tip should be considered hard and fast rules. As a parent, your instincts know best, and when you are in doubt in regards to baby sleep tips remind yourself of this fact. Many first time parents experience insecurity in terms of whether their decisions and strategies are correct, and while you shouldn’t be uninformed, you should always view baby sleep tips through the lens of your own parental instincts.

Now, one thing you should consider when trying to get your newborn to sleep better at night is what his feeding habits are. Oftentimes the child will be active and otherwise busy during the day, and won’t be doing a lot of feeding. The problem with this, of course, is that he will then wake you repeatedly thought the night for feedings. A good technique, then, for getting your baby to sleep better at night is to “tank up” during the day. Try feeding every three hours during the day. This will not only ensure that you child’s appetite is satisfied for the night, but will create an important association: you want your child to associate feeding with the daytime. If your child does wake up in the night for a feeding, try to get him to do one full feeding the first time he wakes up. If you don’t do this, you encourage him to “snack” throughout the night – i.e. wake you up every couple hours.

Again, it is important to understand these baby feeding tips should not be taken as hard and fast rules, but rather as guidance. In a general way, you want to create both daytime and sleep associations for your child. You want him to associate feeding and play with something that happens during the day, and lullabies and baths as something that happens at night, before bed. By doing this you ease the transition between sleep and wakefulness, which is the ultimate goal in terms of putting your child to bed easily. If, however, your child doesn’t want to feed every three hours, don’t force him. Similarly, don’t force a full feeding when you wake him at night. Rather, think of the bigger picture: by creating general habits and associations for your child, you will ensure a hasty and healthy sleep development.

Using Light Therapy to Help You Sleep Better

Did you know that light therapy can actually help you sleep better? It sounds a little weird to say that light can help you sleep and rest more fully. After all, when human beings go to bed, they turn out all the lights in the room in which they are sleeping. But sleep is a programmable state. So you can tell your body when it should and should not be sleeping or wakeful.

That is the premise behind the practice of light therapy for battling insomnia. Sleep cycles differ for everyone. And your particular circadian rhythm probably has a lot to do with your genetic makeup. But because of influences from our jobs, families, friends and hobbies, we can often push ourselves out of our natural sleep rhythm cycle. And that is where light therapy comes in.

Insomnia is often a reflection of habits you have and actions you take which cause you to sleep restlessly. And you may be a morning person stuck on the night shift, or a night owl that has to get up very early in the morning to head off to work. So you end up battling insomnia. Light therapy helps out by “tricking” the sleep monitor in your brain which equates bright light with waking activity.

The longer that you are awake, the more that “sleep pressure” builds up. Basically, your brain has a timer which tracks how long you have been awake. After 16 to 18 hours of non-sleep, your brain tells your body that it is time to rest. The good news is, if you have somehow jumbled up your natural sleep cycle, it can often times be returned effectively with light therapy.

Here is how it works. Since that sleep timer in your brain equates bright light with being awake, you can effectively reprogram it. A special light box or bank of lights is placed close to you for a certain period of time each day. These special lights perfectly mimic sunlight, which naturally programs human beings for sleeping and waking.

The physical, behavioral and mental changes that run through a 24-hour cycle are reset using these bright lights. When working with your doctor or sleep coach, light therapy boxes used consistently, and properly timed, can effectively reduce or even eliminate your insomnia episodes.

This will mean incorporating bright lights into your daily schedule for a set number of weeks or months. But millions of insomniacs have become used to this treatment, and you can too if you want to fall to sleep badly enough.

You first need to become aware of your natural sleep cycle. That is why it is important to talk to a doctor or sleep therapist before you attempt to use light therapy boxes on your own.

Available in stores and online, light therapy treatments might even be covered by your insurance. Speak with your physician today about the possibility of using light therapy to help you fall to sleep faster, and sleep more fitfully.

 

Top 7 Nutrition Tips for Teens

Teenagers go through so many changes, physically and mentally. Your body is changing drastically, and your emotions and feelings seem to spike and fall without a moment’s notice. That is why it is so important to eat right, giving your mind and body the proper nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. Practice the following top 7 nutrition tips for teens, and you will find your important teen years full of health and happiness.

 

1 – Eat Fiber and Protein at Breakfast

High-fiber foods make you feel fuller longer, and help regulate a healthy digestive system. This can keep your body at a healthy weight, and when combined with protein at breakfast every day, provides plenty of daily energy. Studies show that teenagers that eat protein every morning tend to have fewer problems with overweight and obesity. So not only do you have plenty of energy all day long, but you avoid packing on extra fat, and what teenager wants that?

2 – Sleep… A Lot

You have probably heard you need to sleep 8 hours a night to stay healthy. The truth is, your teen body is growing so rapidly that it needs from 8 to 10 hours of rest each and every night. Poor sleep patterns can lead to a host of illnesses and ailments, both physical and mental.

3 – Eat Lots of (Yuck) Fruits and Vegetables

Sure, you may not love all vegetables and fruits. But there are no doubt some that you enjoy eating. When your body grows properly, enjoying good nutrition, you look and feel great, always have plenty of energy, and cut down on the amount of time that you are sick and feeling poorly.

You also give your adult self a better chance at a long, healthy life. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and whole foods, and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

4 – Unplug And Get Moving

You knew this was coming. Proper nutrition is important for energy, healthy weight maintenance and keeping your bodily functions operating properly. That means you need to unplug from all of your electronics from time to time. Put down the MP3 player and smartphone, park your tablet and unpark your rear end. Get up, get outside, socialize with your friends, enjoying some physical activity, and you may find that your electronic addiction is not really that important after all.

 

5 – Get Out in the Sunshine

Today’s processed food diet is one that many teens unfortunately enjoy. That means you could be lacking in a lot of essential nutrients and minerals, like vitamin D. When you do not get enough vitamin D as a teenager, you run the risk of contracting cancer, many different heart diseases, multiple sclerosis and other ailments as an adult. Exposure to natural sunshine for just 10 to 15 minutes provides all of the vitamin D your young body needs to help you stay strong and healthy.

6 – Take a Walk in a Grassy Park

When you kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in a grassy field, park or meadow, a smile almost instantly appears on your face. Why is that? It is because as your feet stir up the natural elements that make up and surround green grass, you benefit from natural electrons which are conducted to your body.

Some studies have shown that just 15 to 30 minutes spent walking barefoot on grass can help lower elevated blood pressure levels, improve your eyesight and help relieve stress that so frequently accompanies your turbulent teen years.

7 – Eat, Don’t Avoid Meals

Your teen years are full of peer pressure. Add the fact that all the advertisements you see and hear expect you to be skinny and trim, and you may start missing meals intentionally in an attempt to keep your weight down. But that actually puts your body in starvation mode.

It begins to store fat, which is just the opposite of what you intend. Eat 5 or 6 times a day, spreading your daily caloric intake across all of those meals. Enjoy 3 main meals and 2 or 3 snacks. Each time that you chew and swallow, your metabolism rate actually increases, giving you a better chance of maintaining a healthy body weight and burning fat.

 

5 Simple ways to boost your energy level

Our increasingly busy lifestyles both in and out of work are placing more demands on us than ever. All of this extra strain can really wear us out, and people are complaining of low energy levels in ever-growing numbers.

If you’re one of the many people who feel affected by low energy levels, then no doubt you’ll be wondering if there’s anything you can do to change this. Although doctors can offer medication to help with some energy level problems, there are actually natural ways of improving your energy levels that don’t require a trip to the doctor or any special drugs.

The following 5 ways of increasing your energy levels are all simple and natural. None of them is a guaranteed method, but there’s a good chance that by using any of these approaches you’ll experience at least some benefit.

1) Sleep: It might seem completely obvious, but getting enough sleep is essential to having good energy levels. What many of us now take for a good sleep is actually inadequate. Although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, for most the optimal amount of sleep is 8 hours. This period of sleep should be as uninterrupted as possible. There are many ways of improving the quality of your sleep which you can easily learn about through searching online.

2) Exercise: You might think that exercise simply tires you out, but getting regular exercise can have a profound effect on your energy levels. By taking regular exercise, you improve your physical fitness, giving you greater stamina which means you can carry out activities for longer without getting tired as quickly.

3) Meal Skipping: One of the worst things you can do for your energy levels is to skip meals. Your body gets its energy from the food you eat, so eating less food means having less energy. And if you really must skip a meal, make sure it’s not breakfast. By the time you wake up in the morning it will already have been a long time since you ate dinner, and skipping out breakfast only increases this. That’s a long time to go without a source of energy for your body!

4) Stress: Another big factor in energy levels is stress. Feeling stressed can drastically decrease your energy levels making it difficult to stay focussed or even awake. Find ways to reduce your stress and you will almost certainly see an improvement in energy. Exercise is one great way to reduce stress levels. Another useful stress-busting tip is to make lists of the things you need to do tomorrow not long before bed. It can help clear your mind of unnecessary thoughts and worries.

5) Eat Small: Although it’s important not to miss meals, in order to keep your energy levels at their peak it’s actually better if you don’t have 3 big meals per day… Instead, you should eat more than three meals of a smaller size throughout the day. This gives your body a steadier energy supply, preventing the yoyo-ing of energy levels that we’re all familiar with.

Tips For A Long And Healthy Life

1. Get Enough Exercise

In the past people had to use their physical bodies in the course of their normal work. But today someone may get up, go to work in a car, then sit down, get up to go home in the car and when arriving at home, sit down again for the rest of the day. In such a life there is no physical labor. This physical inactivity is one of the main reasons for a host of diseases. Sport, running. walking and other things must be added to our life if our normal work does not require us to exert ourselves physically. I

2. Go to sleep when you feel sleepy

This may sound simple, but many people stay up late even when their body is telling them that it is time to sleep. Yoga and Ayurvedic doctors also say that it is better to sleep in the night and be active during the day. However, people such as students will take coffee and stimulants to study late into the night. Others develop the habit of remaining active at night and sleeping during the day. While we can do this, it eventually takes a toll on health. Alternative health doctors say that this kind of unnatural living is one of the contributing factors in the causation of cancer and other diseases

3. Eat when you feel hungry

This is also a simple idea, but once again we often go against the messages of the body. If you eat out of habit or due to social pressure at certain time of the day, even when you have no real appetite, then you will not digest your food properly. Acidity and indigestion begin, and this contributes to the likelihood of other more complex diseases taking root. Having an appetite is actually a sign of good health, but if you have no appetite you should wait a bit and then eat. (If you have no appetite even after awaiting a reasonable amount of time, then you should consult a doctor because something is wrong.)

4.Fast on a Regular, Systematic Basis

If you would ask any person to work 365 days per year without any rest, they would complain and say that they must have some rest or else they will break down. But we have never bothered to ask or to think about our digestive organs which we compel to work day after day without a rest. They cannot protest the way a person would to his boss, but they do give us signals that they cannot work non-stop. When we ignore those signals and still compel them to work, those organs break down. That is why periodic fasting is necessary. Refrain from eating for one complete day. This gives a rest to your digestive organs and also helps in the elimination of wastes from your body. Regular fasting allows a person to gain extra time for intellectual or spiritual pursuits. Fasting is not for hermits in a cave, but is a sensible practice that anyone can practice.

5. Wash with cool water before going to bed

As mentioned above, proper sleep is essential for the maintenance of health. If you wash your important motor and sensory organs (hands, arms, eyes, legs, mouth, genitals) before sleep using cool water, this will relax you and prepare you for deep sleep.

6. Perform meditation on a regular basis

Your body is linked to your mind. Many of the diseases of this era are psychosomatic. Stress and anxiety take their toll on our physical health. Meditation is a mental exercise which, among other things, allows you to detach yourself from the worries of life. Learn a simple technique and do it regularly.

7. Get up early every day

Once again the old proverb, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.” I don’t know if it will make you wealthy, but it will certainly make you healthy. Your body needs just enough sleep, not too much and not too little.