Do Sleeping Pills Really Help You Sleep
This episode of DNews is proudly brought toyou by Subaru. More than six million adults in the UnitedStates take a sleeping pill at least once a month before they go to bed at night, andthat number is increasing. But do we even know what they're doing to our brainsé! Hey there friends, Trace here for DNews. Sleepingpills, or more accurately, sleep aids are growing in popularity, but are they helpingéA study from the CDC called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey foundsleep aid use increased in the first decade of this century significantly, with more womenthan men using sleep aids.
Sleep aids come in a variety of types, butmost common are quot;sedative hypnoticsquot; which means it's a pill which mimics being knockedout for a surgical procedure. Benzodiazepines and Nonbenzodiazepines are in this type,they are sometimes called Zdrugs, because they all have Z's in them. Other than these,some people are prescribed antidepressants, or powerful antihistamines. Some of these aids succeed in knocking youout by depressing the central nervous system function, others, like the antihistamine increasedrowsiness. There's a newer drug class of quot;Orexin receptor antagonistsquot; which blocka brain chemical which keeps you aware and
wakeful. Each of these drugs are great forknocking a human out, but bing unconscious isn't SLEEP. Professor Matthew Walker from University ofCalifornia Berkeley told Probably Science if you want to quot;lose consciousness,quot; thesedrugs are fine, but it's not natural sleep; it's simulated sleep. Drugs alter the quot;sleepstructurequot; or natural patterns and rhythms of sleep. When you're sleeping, your brainis active, organizing your day, making dreams and cleaning itself. Most of the newest drugswill allow the brain into REM sleep, but they DON'T allow the brain to go through the fullnatural sleep process, which means the brain
doesn't have a chance to clean up and processmemories from the day before; cementing them for future reference. According to the National Institutes of Health,you should never take sleep aids more than three times in a week, and make sure you addressany other mental health issues like anxiety or depression before taking a sleep aid. Theproblem is many sleep aids are habit forming and accidental overdoses are possible thoughthey're usually not lethal. A popular alternative to drugs is melatonin;a natural hormone which resets your circadian clock. Everyone produces melatonin from thepineal (pihkneeuhl) gland in the middle
of the brain. When the sun drops, melatoninproduction ramps up for 12 hours helping you feel less aware and awake usually startingaround 9 PM. The problem with melatonin PILLS is they're not regulated by the FDA sothe amount of the hormone in the pill isn't standardized. If you take too much, your bodymay get used to higher levels than you naturally produce. This isn't a drug to take willynilly,because it won't MAKE you sleep, it only HELPS you sleep. Scientific tests done with placebosand melatonin found no difference between the two. For people who don't like pills, psychologicalor behavioral training can help encourage
sleep, and has the added benefit of encouragingNATURAL sleep rather than sedation. The training starts with things as simple as cutting caffeinesix hours before bed, and turning off screens three hours before, as well as using redshiftsoftware like Flux to simulate evening sun on your computer screen. Have you ever taken a sleeping pillé Do youhave a bedtime routineé I find simply SAYING the word sleepy makes me more sleepy. isthat weirdé Yeah. I guess it kind of is. One place where you DON'T want to sleep isbehind the wheel, so why not make your car even MORE awesome! Check out Tekzilla's PatrickNorton who teamed up with Subaru to customize
Sleep Better with These 5 Natural Sleep Remedies
Is falling asleep a struggleé Can't sleepat nighté It needn't be. Find out how you could sleep better naturallywith these 5 subtle changes to your bedtime routine.Stay tuned. Many of the bedtime rituals habits thatwe've established for ourselves are not conducive to getting a good night's rest.How you feel the next day during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep.By learning how to avoid common sleep enemies trying out a variety of healthy sleeppromotingtechniques, you'll eventually develop your personal routine to a good night's sleep.Let's take a look at how we can accomplish
this by creating your magical hour beforelights out. The solution to falling asleep quickly gettinga restful sleep does not boil down to just one thing or strategy.I wish it were that simple. It's a combination of factors or positivehabits that you gradually introduce into your current sleep routine over time thatsend you into lala land faster. In essence you're layering several strategieson top of each other in order to augment accelerate the positive sleep effect.With the goal of getting a restful sleep that recharges the body, clears the mind decreasesyour morning fatigue, let's take a look at
those 5 natural sleep remedies.But before I do that allow me to take a moment to explain the role of melatonin productionin establishing your body's natural sleepwake cycle.Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure.Your brain secretes more of it in the evening when it's dark to make you sleepy.And less during the day when it's light out you'd like to stay awake alert.So let's see how you could naturally increase your melatonin levels by making a few subtlechanges to your sleep routine. Here are those 5 strategies to incorporateinto your magical hour before lights out:
Strategy 1 is to turn off all light emittingelectronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.This includes your TV, computer, tablet smart phone.Many of us watch TV or work on the computer to relax at the end of the day.This is a big mistake right before bedtime. Not only does the light suppress your naturalmelatonin production, but these devices actually electrically stimulate the mind rather thanrelaxing it. If your favorite TV show is late at night,consider recording it then viewing it earlier the next day.Strategy 2.
As an alternative to TV watching, try listeningto some soft music or a fiction audio book instead.The soft music helps to set a calming mood. And listening to an audio book can be relaxing.Just ensure that it's a fiction story that requires little cognitive analysis as opposedto a recording that may require excessive processing.Which brings us to strategy 3 Piggy backing off of the previous tip, readingprior to lights out is yet another sleep remedy to consider trying.Spending 15 to 30 minutes losing yourself in a good book can take your mind off theday's stressful events.
I love to unwind at the end of my day withmy Kindle reader. As a side note, avoid reading from a backlitdevice at night such as an iPad. Tablets emit light which suppresses your naturalproduction of melatonin. Using an eReader such as a Kindle which isnot backlit is a better choice. Not into readingéHow about spending some time doing some relaxation exercises or meditation to help calm the mindéOr how journaling in your personal diary jotting down either what you were grateful for thatday or a personal success story that brings about a sense of peace contentmentéStrategy 4.