Insomnia Video Help - The Power of Blue Light

Insomnia meditation image10 Things you need to know about Sleep –Light Therapy.

Have you experience difficulty falling asleep? Then light therapy is probably a good solution for you. The blue light therapy is a great non-drug method for natural insomnia treatment. It works to reduce stress and alleviate restlessness, anxiety, tension, seasonal affective disorder and even depression. Another good thing is that this form of therapy can be done in the comfort of your own home.

The light therapy helps correct the body's circadian rhythms and slow down the body's release of melatonin. These changes can then help the body deal with insomnia and other biochemical issues.

Sunlight regulates our circadian rhythm or body clock. Sleep experts say we need at least 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight every day, preferably in the morning or shortly after waking up, to keep us in natural sleep and wake cycle.

As we age, the lens in the eye thickens and the pupil shrinks. This reduces the amount of light that passes through to the retina - the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that transmits information to the brain about whether it is night or day. As a result, the signals which the brain relies on to keep the circadian rhythm properly synchronised fail to get through. This disrupts the sleep and wake cycle, which is why we can become drowsy during the day and, consequently, unable to sleep well at night.

In the late Nineties, researchers discovered that blue light appeared to combat this daytime drowsiness by tricking the brain into thinking it is a natural sunlight and sending signals to keep the body alert. When the blue light fades or is switched off, the brain interprets this as the onset of night. Brain then commands to increase production of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps regulate our sleep.

The blue light therapy  is safe for all ages. It is also great for travelers that change time zones often. When time zones are crossed, the blue light encourages the adjustment of the circadian rhythm, which is the body's biological clock.

An intriguing finding was recently reported that the implementation of blue-colored streetlights has reduced both crime and suicides:
- Glasgow, Scotland, introduced blue street lighting to improve the city’s landscape in 2000. Afterward, the number of crimes in areas illuminated in blue noticeably decreased.
- The Nara, Japan, prefectural police set up blue street lights in 2005, and found the number of crimes decreased by about 9 percent in blue-illuminated neighborhoods. Many other areas nationwide have followed it.

Insomnia Help Video – Sleep Cycle.

Sleep cycle image10 Things you need to know about Sleep – Don't mess with your sleep cycle.

Our sleep is regulated by an internal body clock (circadian clock). When we fall asleep, our sleep circles in cycles throughout the night, moving between deep restorative sleep, more alert stages and dreaming. As the night passes, we spend more time in dream sleep and lighter sleep.
There are two main types of sleep. REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is when you do most active dreaming. Your eyes actually move back and forth during this stage, which is why it is called REM sleep. Non-REM (NREM) sleep consists of four stages of deeper and deeper sleep. Each sleep stage is important for quality sleep, but deep sleep and REM sleep are especially vital.

Stage 1 (Drowsiness) – Lasts just five or ten minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, muscle activity slows down, and we are easily awakened.
Stage 2 (Light Sleep) - Eye movements stop, heart rate slows, and body temperature decreases.
Stages 3 and 4 (Deep Sleep) – We are difficult to wake up, and if awakened, do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes. Blood flow decreases to the brain in this stage, and redirects itself towards the muscles, restoring physical energy. Research also shows that immune functions increase during deep sleep.
REM sleep (Dream Sleep) –We usually have three to five REM episodes per night. This stage is associated with processing emotions, retaining memories and relieving stress. Breathing is rapid, irregular and shallow, the heart rate increases.

Sleep Cycle and Coffee
You might be surprised that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! There is new evidence that coffee can really interfere in your attempts to get good sleep when you need it most. According to a recent study led by a Canadian researcher in Montreal, caffeine intervenes with sleep and this effect increases with age. This is probably anything too shocking and new. We all know caffeine is a stimulant that can disrupt sleep and cause insomnia when taken too close to bedtime. But this study pointed out the fact that caffeine can have hidden threat.
Many people who enjoy coffee affirm that they can sleep like a baby after drinking coffee before bedtime, and that it does not affect them as significantly as others. That is not completely true. If you put them into sleep labs, you will find that their sleep fragmented. They do not get quality sleep even though they think they do. While it is true that everyone's tolerance and metabolism for caffeine may be slightly different, that does not mean some of us get a free pass on its negative lack of REM sleep.

Sleep Cycle and Alcohol
Many people think that a drink or two before bed will help them sleep. While it may help you fall asleep faster, alcohol reduces the sleep quality, waking you up later in the night. Many people usually associate alcohol with sleep and sleepiness. However, the effects of alcohol on sleep are mostly negative. A recent study revealed that 13% had used alcohol specifically as a sleep aid. The effects for those who drink themselves to sleep are exactly what they are trying to avoid.
Alcohol causes the lack of REM sleep and metabolism that clears it from your body causes a withdrawal syndrome. This withdrawal causes awakenings and is often associated with nightmares and sweats. Night drinkers have more difficulty getting up in the morning, particularly because of hangover. But what happens when you try to fall asleep the next night? You will have trouble doing so without having another drink, thus starting a vicious cycle. Over time, the body becomes dependent upon alcohol in order to fall asleep.

Insomnia Help Video – How to stop snoring.

Snoring image10 Things you need to know about Sleep – Snoring Facts.

Everyone snores occasionally. Even a baby or a beloved pet may snore! But heavy snoring can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. Sleep deprivation has significant consequences: excessive sleepiness, irritability, and lack of productivity during the day, as well as negative health reflection. And, if your snoring is so loud that your bed partner can't sleep, you may end up banished from the bedroom. Sleep partners of people who snore heavily often awaken over twenty times per hour.
Sleeping in separate bedrooms does not have to be the remedy for snoring. Discovering the cause of snoring and finding the right cure will improve your health, your relationships, and, of course, your sleep.

Reasons for Snoring
People who snore usually have too much throat and nasal tissue, or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of the tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing. Evaluating how and when you snore will help you pinpoint whether the cause of your snoring is within your control or not. Keeping a sleep diary will help you determine the possible cause of your snoring.

The most typical health problem snoring causes is loss of sleep for both the person who is snoring and his (or her) sleep partner. The snoring noise combined with tossing and turning often keeps both people from sleeping soundly. People who snore chronically are often middle-aged and overweight, and snoring may indicate a more serious underlying medical problem.

Dangers of Snoring
Snoring is not just a nuisance for your bed partner (or, in extreme cases, for your neighbor). The sound of snoring can be highly disruptive to the whole family, and can be a warning sign that something is not quite right. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition. While snoring is caused by narrow airways, sleep apnea is a true breathing obstruction. A person with sleep apnea wakes up many times a night to regain breathing, but usually remembers nothing at all about the awakenings.

Many people are desperate to learn how to stop snoring but just a few have found an effective solution. It turns out snoring problem is much more challenging to overcome than it might seem at the first sight.

Here are some snoring tips:
1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Overweight, smoking, alcohol and drugs all exacerbate snoring.
2. Use a single low pillow. Sleeping on too many pillows can narrow the nasal passage. You can buy anti-snoring pillows designed to keep snorers on their side while asleep.
3. Try to sleep on your stomach, as snoring is less likely to occur in this position.
4. Review your medications. Sleeping pills, antihistamines and some other medications can increase snoring.
5. Consult with your doctor if you suspect that allergies and nasal congestion may be causing the snoring. Make sure your allergy medication is antihistamine free.
6. Try an over-the-counter nasal strip. These strips may widen the nasal passages and decrease congestion to reduce snoring.
7. Ask your dentist about using an oral appliance designed to reduce snoring.
8. Discuss the treatments for sleep apnea with a sleep-disorder specialist. These include surgery, radio-frequency treatment and a sleeping mask that aids breathing.

Insomnia Help Video – When to Nap.

10 Things you need to know about Sleep – Nap or Not to Nap?

For years, napping has been derided as a sign of laziness and weakness. But lately nap has been garnered new respect; thanks to scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health. Recent studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood, and productivity in the later hours of the day.

Napping can be a great way to catch up on sleep, increase productivity and become more creative. Napping puts the body in a relaxed state, which neutralize the effects of daily stress. Studies have shown that napping can actually decrease the risk of dying from heart disease.

There is some controversy in the best way to take a nap because different people might have different nap styles. You can experiment with some of the napping techniques and see what works for you. The best nap is the one in which you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for the shortest amount of time, while still waking refreshed. Napping too long may actually leave you feeling more tired.

Your "chronotype" can help to determine the best time to nap. If you are a lark, wake up as early as 6am and go to sleep around 9pm or 10pm, you are probably going to feel like napping around 1pm or 1.30 pm. If you're an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1am, and to wake around 8am or 9am, your afternoon "sleep gate" will open later, closer to 2.30pm or 3pm.

A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes provides mostly Stage 2 sleep, which increases alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills. Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which enhances creative thinking and boosts sensory processing. A nap of 45 minutes improves alertness for up to 10 hours. Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less, if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in grogginess and disorientation that can lasts for half an hour or more.

Nap Time: Prime nap time is from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., when your energy level dips due to a rise in the hormone melatonin at that time of day.
Not Too Late: Napping within three hours of bedtime may interfere with night time sleep and cause insomnia.
45-Minute Maximum: When taking a nap longer than 45 minutes, you run the risk of heading into deep sleep, which will leave you feeling tired and groggy.

One Harvard study published last year showed that a 45-minute nap improves learning and memory. Napping reduces stress and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, and excessive weight gain.

Insomnia Help Video - Bath Before Bedtime

Insomnia help image10 Things you need to know about Sleep - Insomnia Home Remedies

Why does a warm bath before bedtime help you sleep better? The warm bath theory suggests that normal body temperatures play off the body's circadian rhythm. The body temperature is low during sleep and has highest point during the day. In the hours leading up to bedtime, our bodies start to drop in temperature. This is one of the hints for our natural sleep cycle to begin. It is thought that the person begins to get drowsy as the body temperature drops.

When you take a warm bath, your body temperature rises, your tense muscles relax and you can use this time to wind down from your busy day. It is a good idea to take a bath 1-2 hours before bedtime to get the full effect of the rise and drop of the body temperature. As you come out of the bath, your body temperature begins to fall, you feel tired and it makes you easier to fall asleep.

The optimal temperature for most people is between 36 to 38 degrees Celsius (97 to 101 Fahrenheit). Time - 15 to 20 minutes.
To get the full effect of both relaxation and body temperature change from your bath, you can enhance your luxury bath with:
• Deep relaxation music;
• Bath oils that are conducive to sleep like chamomile or lavender essential oils;
• Bath salts like Epsom salt.

If you cannot remember the last time you took a warm bath, or have never done so as an adult – give it a try – you may be pleasantly surprised.