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.
To Sleep Perchance to Dream Crash Course Psychology 9
Comedian Mike Birbiglia was having troublewith sleep. Though not with the actual sleeping part onenight, while staying in a hotel, he dreamed that a guided missile was on its way to hisbed, and in his dream, he jumped out the window to escape it. Unfortunately, he also did this not in hisdream. From the second floor. And the window wasnot open. This little episode cost him 33 stitches anda trip to a sleep specialist. Mike now sleeps in zippedup mummy bags forhis own safety.
The lesson hereé Sleep is not some break timewhen your brain, or your body, just goes dormant. Far from it. In truth, sleep is just anotherstate of consciousness. And only in the past few decades have we begun to really plumbits depths from why we sleep in the first place, to what goes on in our brains whenwe do, to what happens when we can't sleep. And there is a lot that science has to sayabout your dreams! Talk about weird! It's like Sigmund Freudmeets Neil Gaiman. So, even though it may seem like you'redead to the world, when you sleep, your perceptual window remains slightly open.
And kinda like Mike Birbiglia's hotel roomwindow, a trip through it can make for a pretty wild ride. But for your safety and enjoyment, I'm hereto guide you through this state of consciousness, where you'll learn more than a few thingsabout human mind, including your own. And here's hoping you won't need any stitcheswhen we're through. INTRO Technically speaking, sleep is a periodic,natural, reversible and near total loss of consciousness, meaning it's different thanhibernation, being in a coma, or in say, an
anesthetic oblivion. Although we spend about a third of our livessleeping, and we know that it's essential to our health and survival, there still isn'ta scientific consensus for why we do it. Part of it probably has to do with simplerecuperation, allowing our neurons and other cells to rest and repair themselves. Sleepalso supports growth, because that's when our pituitary glands release growth hormones,which is why babies sleep all the time. Plus, sleep has all kinds of benefits for mentalfunction, like improving memory, giving our brains time to process the events of the day,and boosting our creativity.
But even if we're not quite sure of allthe reasons why we sleep, technology has given us great insight into how we sleep. And for that we can thank little Armond Aserinsky.One night in early 1950s Chicago, eightyearold Armond was tucked into his bed by his father.But this night, instead of getting a kiss on the forehead, little Armond got some electrodestaped to his face. Armond's dad was Eugene Aserinsky, a gradstudent looking to test out a new electroencephalograph, or EEG machine, that measures the brain'selectrical activity. That night, as his son slept peacefully, hewatched the machine go bonkers with brain
wave patterns, and after making sure thathis machine wasn't somehow broken discovered that the brain doesn't just quot;power downquot;during sleep, as most scientists thought. Instead, he had discovered the sleep stagewe now call REM or rapid eye movement, a perplexing period when the sleeping brain is buzzingwith activity, even though the body is in a deep slumber. Aserinsky and his colleague Nathaniel Kleitmanwent on to become pioneers of sleep research. Since then, sleep specialists armed with similartechnology have shown that we experience four distinct stages of sleep, each defined byunique brainwave patterns.
At one time or another you've probably hadto force yourself to stay awake, maybe while driving or when you're in a looong lecture. In these situations, you were exerting controlover your sleepwake cycles. Narcolepsy is a disorder in which individualslose the ability to regulate these sleepwake cycles, so the normal boundary between sleepingand being awake is blurred, and that leads to characteristics of sleeping happening whilea person is awake. In the brain, there are a special group ofneurons that help increase the state of wakefulness, and they extend from the lateral hypothalamusto various parts of the brain like the reticular
activating system (or RAS). In individuals with narcolepsy, there arefewer of these excitatory neurons, and each neuron carries less of the neuropeptides orexinA and B (also called hypocretin 1 and hypocretin 2). These orexins increasing the activity of wakepromotingregions of the brain, thereby tipping the scales in favor of wakefulness and preventinginappropriate transitions into a sleeping state. with narcolepsy, it's thought that an autoimmuneprocess might damage the neurons delivering
orexin or that there may be some other directinjury to those neurons. Either way, when that happens, less orexinis sent out and sleeprelated symptoms begin to intrude into wakefulness. The onset of narcolepsy often happens duringadolescence and young adulthood, and is classically associated with four key symptoms. The first is daytime sleepiness, where peoplechronically feel sleepy. They can get sleep attacks where they dozeoff with little warning, sometimes inappropriately, but they generally don't sleep more thanhealthy people in a given 24 hour period.
Most individuals with narcolepsy find thata short, 15minute nap substantially improves their alertness for a few hours, which suggeststhat the sleepiness of narcolepsy is caused by a problem with the brain circuits thatnormally promote full alertness, rather than poor quality or insufficient sleep. Normally when a healthy person goes to bed,they go through a sleep cycle lasting an hour or more before they reach REM sleep, whichis the stage of sleep that is characterized by dreaming. People with narcolepsy fall asleep very quickly,in as little as five minutes, and they often
go directly into REM sleep. This results in their having very vivid dreams,even when they fall asleep for brief periods of time. Alright the second symptom that often developsover time is cataplexy which is when some strong emotion, which can be a positive onelike laughter or a negative one like anger, triggers a transient muscle weakness. That muscle weakness is often partial, affectingthe face, neck, and knees, but severe episodes can cause total body weakness or paralysis,causing the person to collapse.
These people are usually conscious duringcataplexy, and the weakness they feel usually resolves within minutes. Understandably, this symptom can have a severeimpact on the lives of people with narcolepsy, both from a physical (since they could gethurt when they collapse) as well as a psychological perspective. The fear of cataplexy and having an episodein public can lead to extreme anxiety, and will often lead to these people to avoid situationsthat they believe might elicit an episode. The third symptom is having hypnagogic hallucinationswhich are vivid, often frightening visual,