Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sleep Problems- Natural Remedies

It is important that we get between seven and nine hours of good quality sleep every night. This is because when we sleep, a number of essential physiological changes occur. Join the club (duvet). You are not alone in your state of sleep deprivation - there are millions of other zombies out there that also get less than seven hours of shut-eye a night.
But sleep and getting enough of it needn't become a nightmare; just a few small natural lifestyle adjustments will teach you how to undo the effects of missed sleep. Soon you could be having hours of deep, refreshing sleep every night.
These restorative processes repair and replenish the body systems, so if you're not sleeping properly, your body will be not be functioning at its full, healthy capacity. It is vital that you have a sound sleep so that you can wake up refreshed and bursting with energy to help you face the day.
Natural steps to healthy sleep (check the evidence rating)
*** Good evidence of a health benefit
** Some evidence of a health benefit
* Traditionally used with only anecdotal evidence
Change your sleep time habits ***
Make sure that what you eat or drink before bed does not interfere with sleep ***
  • Don't consume any alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before bedtime
  • Don't go to sleep on an empty or a full stomach
Vitamins and minerals
These nutrients have been shown to help sleep:
  • 5HTP**
  • Magnesium**
Sleep-inducing herbs include the following:
  • Valerian ***
  • Lavender *
  • German Chamomile *
  • Passion Flower *
  • Oats *
  • Ginseng *
Homeopathic remedies to induce sleep:
  • Belladonna will help with general insomnia *
  • Cocculus takes the yawn out of jet lag and interrupted sleep patterns *
Alternative/complementary therapy
The most commonly used complementary approaches to sleep problems include:
  • Meditation***
  • Yoga**
  • Acupuncture**
  • Aromatherapy*
Serious sleep problems
Chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate age-related ailments, like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and memory loss. Consult your doctor straight away if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • If you haven't slept properly for more than three weeks, you may be suffering from chronic insomnia. You might need to go to a sleep clinic.
  • Send a snoring partner to a GP because it is your sleep pattern that is disrupted and ultimately you that suffers.
  • If you grind or clench your teeth in your sleep, you might have sleep bruxism. This is not such a serious condition, but it could impact negatively on your teeth. A doctor might be able to recommend relaxation techniques and other ways to stop the grinding.
  • Hyperinsomnia is a condition in which you are excessively sleepy over about a six-month period. A doctor can prescribe behavioural changes to help you.
Less severe symptoms of sleeplessness include things like headaches, blurred vision, weepiness, mood swings and irritability.
Natural remedies
Doctors will always recommend that finding the cause of your insomnia, before they treat the symptoms, but while they are searching there are some natural remedies that can promote peaceful sleep.
Change your sleep time habits ***
  • Get into bed only when you feel sleepy.
  • Take the TV out of your room.
  • Get into a specific pre-bedtime routine, whereby every night, you might meditate, drink a cup of herbal tea or listen to soothing music. These will all act as cues to your body that it is time to sleep.
  • Try not to nap, but if you can't resist an afternoon snooze, don't sleep for more than an hour and if you do, make sure it's before 3 p.m.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same times every day to try and correct your body clock and get a sleep pattern going.
  • Exercise at least four hours before your head hits the pillow.
  • Instead of relying on an alarm clock that puts you in a bad mood the minute you open your eyes, use the sun to wake you up and set your biological clock. As soon as you get out of bed go outside and turn your face towards the sun for about 15 minutes. If it's too cold to do this, or there is no direct sunlight, leave your curtains ajar so that you allow natural sunshine to gently wake you up.
  • Never sleep with all the windows tightly shut, even in winter. Your bedroom should always be cool because a drop in temperature will ensure a deep sleep.
Make sure what you eat or drink before bed does not interfere with sleep ***
  • Don't drink consume any alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before bedtime.
  • Don't go to sleep on an empty or a full stomach
  • Why not try a cup of delicious herbal tea? Correctly called tisanes, herbal teas are made from flowering plants without woody stems. Herbal infusions can include flowers, herbs, fruit and spices. These infusions are caffeine-free unlike all other types of tea. Examples of sleep-promoting herbal teas include chamomile, hops, limeflower, passionflower or valerian.


1 comment:

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