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Sleep and Insomnia

I have Dry Eye Syndrome and have tried to figure out what is going on and how to help this syndrome, what can I do, what helps.

Insomnia

This is the inability to go to sleep or to stay asleep. It is a sleep disorder and can be long term or short-term, but whatever way it is you need to find out why and what you can do about it.

Main Cause of Insomnia

The number one cause of insomnia is “stress”. Concern about work, health, school, finances, death, divorce or family – all make your mind active at night making it difficult to relax and get those nighttime hours of sleep.

Insomnia is like having reruns of my life over and over.......

Jeanne

Irritation

Yep, sleepless nights can cause ‘irritation,’ but only if you let it. If you have insomnia and you only get 3-4 hours sleep some nights – do not let this affect you the next day. If you let it – it can and will take over your thoughts, feelings causing irritation, being grumpy and feeling tired during the day.


The way I figure if I get 3 hours sleep at night – I don’t need anymore for that night and I’m happy for 3 hours of continuous sleep. But, I will get sleep the next night – with NO naps during the day AND I will not let this cause me irritation or being grumpy. I do things that keep me busy and active – it’s a matter of mind over grumpy and irritation.

Sleep Affects Everyday Life

  1. Sleep impacts all aspects of our lives with a direct effect.
  2. Affects our endurance to daily tasks.
  3. Prevention of diseases and maintenance of our mental health.
  4. I suggest trying Dr. Weil 4-7-8 breathing exercise at end of this article.
 Everyday Life

Everyday Life

What to Do….

If you are tossing and turning after 15 minutes – get up!

I read, watch TV, play games of solitaire, fix a snack, have a hot tub, take a shower, clean the bathroom, write a letter, research on the internet on articles I am writing. Do something, until you feel very tired and ‘know’ you will fall asleep when you go back to bed.

Always – get up at the same time every day – give yourself a 30 minute time frame for getting up – for instance: Rise at 7:30 which could be between 7 am until 8 am. But, never later than the latest time.

Lying in bed on a week-end disrupts our sleep pattern, making sleep more difficult to achieve

Insomnia at its Best

Insomnia at its Best

Sleep Better…. Sleep Patterns

Our bodies respond better to regular sleep patterns.

If you are tired and feel you need more sleep go to bed a bit early – but keep to you wake-up time.

Go to bed and get up at the same time – giving yourself a 30-minute leeway. Example: Bedtime 11 pm – never later than 11:30 or earlier than 10:30. Get up at 7:30 – never later than 8 am.



Sleeping Guidelines

  • Number ONE Rule: DO NOT nap during the day. This ruins your sleep at night.
  • Keep your bedroom cool – less than 65 degrees.
  • Try using soothing sound patterns – night noises, ocean waves, rain patterns, running brooks all sounds that you can purchase for night time rhythm sounds. These are consistent frequency – called ‘pink noise,’ – improves sleep by slowing and regulating brain waves. Pink noise is on the same pattern as our body and brain – that’s why it works.
  • Bed is for sleeping, NO TV, laptop, social media, working or eating.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine for 4 hours before bed, for they disrupt sleep and masks your exhaustion.
  • Avoid alcohol, it can make you fall asleep faster, BUT quickly creates an imbalance, between slow-wave sleep and REM sleep, causing sleeplessness.
  • Only very light activity or exercise ‘before’ bedtime. Do calming exercises like meditation or concentration relaxing exercises for your mind.
  • Try caffeine-free teas: (chamomile, lavender, Ashwagandha, Valerian, peppermint, lemon balm, passion flower or herbal sleep blends) or have a ‘warm’ cup of water or chocolate milk. Tip: Do not drink cool drinks 'this stimulates your body.'
  • Drinks that help sleep: Cherry juice (they have tryptophan, a precursor to the hormone melatonin), warm milk- also contains tryptophan which naturally increases serotonin a neurotransmitter for well-being and a precursor to melatonin.
  • Golden milk – made with 10-20 mg of cur cur cumin extract (from turmeric). When used for 5 consecutive days reduces anxiety. To make Golden milk use 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 small piece of ginger and 1 tsp. honey, bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer 3-5 minutes – do not boil. Caution if you are on blood thinners or drugs to reduce stomach acid and manage diabetes, use caution and see your doctor.
  • Almond milk or eat a handful of almonds, you should see better results after 30 days.
  • Almonds are high in sleep-promoting hormones and minerals, so they help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Have a banana-almond smoothie. Bananas are high in magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin, potassium, which help you unwind. By combining these two in a smoothie, you get a powerful tryptophan and melatonin punch that helps reduce insomnia.

Smoothie: 1 banana, 2 almonds (ground up), 1 cup of almond milk or 1 cup of cherry juice, 1 cup ice. You can also add, chocolate, yogurt, orange juice, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. (with the banana you should not need to add any sugar.)

Breathing Exercise

Breathing Exercise

Dr. Weil 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise and Fall Asleep Fast.

Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth just above your teeth and keep it there throughout this exercise.

1. Exhale completely through your mouth making a ‘whoosh’ sound.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath and count to seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for eight seconds or a count of 8.
5. This is one breath. Repeat this cycle three times.

Remember: All inhaling breaths must be quiet and through your nose, and all exhaling breaths must be loud and through your mouth.


How Does it Help?

  • Taking on more oxygen relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes a state of calm.
  • The science behind the technique is that it allows a person to take in more oxygen on the four-count, which then flows through the bloodstream more easily on the seven-count.
  • The eight-count then slows the heart down and releases more carbon dioxide into the lungs and after four cycles you should be in the land of Nod.
  • The time spent on each phase is not important, the ratio of 4:7:8 is! Speed up if you can’t hold your breath, slow down if you can. Practice and get used to inhaling and exhaling deeply.

Poll for Sleeping Better

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Jeanne Hoback

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