Insomnia Video Help - 7 Proven Ways To Beat Jet Lag

Cure Jet Lag10 Things you need to know about Sleep - Beat Jet Lag 

When flying long-haul from the Airport the last thing on your mind is jet-lag, but unfortunately, jet lag and long-haul flying often goes hand in hand. Jet lag occurs when the body’s rhythms are out of sync with your destination time and can cause any or all of the following symptoms:
• Fatigue and lethargy
• Disorientation
• Swollen hands and feet
• Headaches
• Digestive problems
• Irritability or anxiety
• Lack of concentration
• Loss of appetite and nausea
• Dehydration.

The body operates on a 24-hour cycle, and travelling to a different time zone alters the body’s natural rhythm causing jet lag. The more time zones you cross the worse it can be - travelling east has a greater affect on jet lag than travelling west. It is easier on the body’s biorhythms to add a few extra hours to the day, as in travelling west, than reducing the number of hours in a day when travelling east. The speed with which your body can realign itself to your new time zone, adjusting its body rhythm to daylight, darkness, eating and sleeping in the new time zone, affects the length of time you experience jet lag for.

It is often thought that it takes a day to recover for each time zone travelled through – this is great news for travellers on a week’s holiday or a business traveller on a three day conference halfway across the world!

So what can you do to minimise the affects of jet lag? The following tips are designed to help you avoid the worst of jet lag and realign your body clock as soon as possible:

1.Drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Water is best but, if you find drinking large amounts of water difficult or just plain boring, fruit juice and herbal teas will do.
2.If you are due to land in the morning at your destination, try to sleep during the flight. Sleeping on board a plane in cramped conditions isn’t easy but take off your shoes and try to get comfortable. An eye mask and ear plugs with help block out cabin distractions and a blow up neck rest should add to your comfort. Even if you are unable to sleep throughout the flight, just try to rest, close your eyes and try to ‘switch off’.
3.If you are due to land at night, try to stay awake throughout the flight. Read a book, listen to some music but try to resist sleeping as this will mean you will be unable to sleep destination time and take longer for your body clock to adjust.
4.Set your watch to your destination time as soon as you get on the plane and try to live by it straight away. Try to eat at times appropriate to your destination time not departure time.
5.Some people reduce the impact of time zone changes by gradually adapting their routine by an hour or so a few days before they travel. By getting up an hour earlier or staying up later for a few days prior to departure depending on their destination time.
6.If you arrive in the daytime, try to avoid the temptation to sleep, get outside in the sunshine - daylight, or any light, is a major factor in resetting your internal clock. If you are exhausted and have to sleep try to limit a nap to one hour – set an alarm clock or your mobile phone to wake you.
7.If you arrive at night and don’t feel sleepy, try a warm bath and a glass of warm milk – a natural sleep inducer.
8.Resist the urge to party all night for the first couple days and get a couple of good nights’ sleep. This should help you adjust your body clock to your destination time and make for a more enjoyable stay.

There is no miracle cure for jet lag, but by following the above tips you should minimise its effects.

Paula Garrett is a contributor to the Edinburgh airport information website which offers up-to-date travel information, advice and further health tips for air travellers.

Insomnia Video Help – Foods That Help You Sleep

Insomnia Remedies10 Things you need to know about Sleep - Eat to Sleep 

Foods to Sleep By - What Makes You Tired? 
By Robert Owens 
Our bodies are constantly influenced by the foods we eat. The basic hunger pain can always be resolved by a quick sandwich or fruit. However, the foods you choose may manipulate your behavior depending on how sensitive your immune system is to that particular food or protein. 

Can food be used to help your body act or behave a certain way? What kind of meal or basic late night snack can you eat to make it one of the foods to sleep by? Warm milk at bedtime is well known to help make you become more tired when insomnia strikes, but what else is out there that can assist you when the stresses of the day overtake your mind? A leftover turkey sandwich may be a good choice, if you happen to have it in the fridge. Thanksgiving meals are always finished off with a great nap time afterward. Tryptophan is an amino acid that begins to help the body slow down and relax brain cycles (neurotransmitters).

Tryptophan is a predecessor to the sleep activating substances serotonin and melatonin. The more tryptophan is made available to the brain, the more likely the sleep cycle will initiate. Calcium is one of the best foods to help the brain absorb tryptophan for the manufacturing of melatonin. This is one of the reasons dairy foods (warm milk) is a popular candidate to help your late night effort to fall asleep.

One of the keys to a restful sleep is to calm down prior to bedtime. Reading a book, listening to relaxing music and having something light before bedtime (no later than 9:00 PM) will help trigger the sleep cycle.
Some other foods with tryptophan you might consider for a good night sleep might be:
  • Cottage Cheese, Milk, Yogurt or Ice Cream  
  • Tofu or soy milk  
  • Fish, Meats and Poultry  
  • Lentils, Beans and/or Rice  
  • Hummus or chickpeas  
  • Peanuts, Soy nuts  
  • Eggs and Toast (Whole Grain Bread)  
In conclusion, some foods do trigger a behavioral response, in this case sleepiness. If you have ever felt sleepy after a nice Thanksgiving meal, you'll notice that the sensation kicks in about an hour afterward. This is about how long tryptophan takes to be digested and begin to trigger the chemical reaction in the brain. When planning to consume your foods to sleep by, keep in mind that timing of this process. Try and consume the meal or snack at least 60 minutes beforehand, to take full advantage of the chemical process.

Are you searching for information on attaining a restful sleep for a healthier lifestyle?
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Insomnia Help

Name Your Insomnia - Six Different Types of Insomnia

Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep or how long it takes to fall asleep. People vary usually in their need for, and satisfaction with sleep. There are four general types of insomnia:
Insomnia type image
Difficulty falling asleep (sleep-onset insomnia): Commonly, people have difficulty falling asleep when they cannot let their minds relax and continue to worry. Sometimes the body is just not ready for sleep at a usual time for sleep. That is, the body's internal clock is out of synchronization with the earth's cycle of light and dark. This problem (a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder) is common among adolescents.

Difficulty staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia): Older people are more likely to have difficulty staying asleep than are younger people. People with this type of insomnia fall asleep normally but wake up several hours later and cannot fall asleep again easily. Sometimes they drift in and out of a restless, unsatisfactory sleep.

Insufficient amount of sleep: This insomnia type describes inability to catch more than a few hours of sleep at night. Sometimes this severe lack of sleep is temporary; triggered by a traumatic event. In other cases though, it is not directly connected with any specific event and can continue for years.

Early morning awakening: This insomnia type may be a sign of depression in people of any age.

In the sequel, four different types of insomnia are classified according to the duration of the insomnia symptoms and the underlying causes.

Type 1 - Transient (Primary) Insomnia

Transient insomnia is temporary. This is the most common insomnia type and the one suffered by some 58% of adults at some point in our lives. Transient insomnia can last a few nights or a few weeks, but this type of insomnia eventually goes away. This can be triggered by a whole host of factors ranging from jet-lag through to medication or even short-term stresses and worries. While transient insomnia symptoms are uncomfortable, there are many natural treatments for them including relaxation techniques and natural herbal remedies. The key is to ensure that any symptoms do not become permanent after a transient insomnia episode - for example by starting a pattern of napping or using caffeine to keep you awake during the evenings.

Type 2Intermittent (Short-Term) Insomnia

The difference between intermittent and transient insomnia is that intermittent insomnia lingers and recurs. Insomnia symptoms that last between one and three weeks are classified as short-term insomnia. This is usually long enough for the disturbed sleep itself to become a concern - with the associated risk that this can add to the symptoms themselves. Stress and anxiety-induced problems with falling asleep often fall into this category. While the best treatments involve treating the underlying factors there are several more techniques available. These include making a proper assessment of your sleeping environment and evening eating habits and also ensuring that lifestyle factors - including health and exercise are not a cause.

Type 3 - Acute Insomnia

Sleepless photoInability to sleep for three to six months called acute insomnia. The sleep pattern will not be consistent. Most of the time after this period, the person may fall asleep and have regular sleep patterns. The main reason of suffering from acute insomnia is apparent reason like noise, bright light, too much of heat or cold, incoming illness, recovering from illness, uncomfortable bed, and so on. The other causes of acute insomnia are erratic sleeping schedules, i.e. working on night shifts, working late night, watching TV which interferes with the body's normal biological clock. Normally, removing the irritants and natural home remedies would be sufficient to cure this type of insomnia.

Type 4 - Hyper (Chronic) Insomnia

The most debilitating type of insomnia is labelled as chronic insomnia. This type of insomnia is defined as continuous symptoms which last for more than 3 weeks. The hyper insomnia or chronic insomnia is quite difficult to manage or cure. This is usually the result of a serious underlying problem, or a disease triggered by some anxiety or serious health problem (which could be neurological, medical and/or psychiatric). Depression is a major cause of chronic insomnia. While drugs often relieve the symptoms of chronic insomnia temporarily, these do carry the potential twin risks of addiction and building tolerance. But still there are several home-based treatments possible including herbal remedies.

Type 5 - Mental Illness Insomnia

This type of insomnia is a longer lasting category of symptoms which are associated with either depression or changes in brain chemistry related to other mental illnesses. Examples of conditions which are usually accompanied by this type of insomnia are schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder (known as manic-depressive disorder). The treatment of the mental illnesses insomnia needs to be supervised by a medical specialist, especially whan this involves medication which may have a cross-effect on medications for the underlying condition itself.

Type 6 - Fatal Familial Insomnia

This type on insomnia is thankfully extremely rare as well as almost always proven to be fatal within two to three years. Insomnia becomes increasingly marked once this begins, leading to the complete inability to sleep and eventually death. Until now is no known cure for this specific illness. This is the consequence of lack of a gene which controls sleep durations. While there are a 50 / 50 chances that the child of a 'carrier' parent will inherit this condition, it is not until middle-age that most patients show symptoms - with the average onset being around 50. Fortunately, the main gene responsible has only been identified in 28 families worldwide.

For any type of insomnia giving immediate attention may help size the situation as best possible. It is also up to the person to keep a track of sleep patterns, so that he knows where exactly the mistake is. People may also begin depending on the sleeping pills and medications. At this time, care has to be taken not to become too depending on such factors, as natural methods are always the best remedy.

Required Amount of Sleep

How Much Sleep Do You Need? 

An American study linked life spans with sleep amount and found that those who sleep 4 to 7 hours live the longest, with those sleeping less than 4 or more than 9 hours living shorter lives. The National Sleep Foundation however maintains that 8 hours of sleep is optimal, claiming improved performance in tests, reduced risk of accidents and a better immune system. It is important to mention this does not apply to children and adolescents, particularly children who require as much as 13 hours a night.

Sleep Comfort PhotoJust how much sleep you need each day will depend very much on your age and your state of health. But sleep is not simply about the time that you spend sleeping, but is also very much a question of the quality of that sleep. So, if you are getting the right amount of sleep and are still getting up each morning feeling tired and going through your day unable to concentrate fully, and perhaps being a little irritable, then there's a very good chance that you're not getting enough deep sleep and could well be suffering from insomnia.

Infants. Newborn babies clearly need the greatest amount of sleep and will normally sleep in cycles of about four hours waking when it's time to be fed and changed. Infants require about 16 hours a day. From 6 months to about 3 years, children`s sleep requirement decreases to about 14 hours.

Children. Surprisingly enough older children and even teenagers should also be getting a similar amount of sleep and ten hours sleep a day for children is a good figure to aim for.

Teenagers. Teenagers need about 9 hours of sleep a night. For many years it has been thought that teenagers, who were sleeping for more than eight hours a day were simply lazy, but this is in fact far from the truth. Bearing in mind the level of activity that most children are involved in each day, both at school and in their free time, and the fact that their bodies are growing and changing rapidly, there is a genuine need for more than the traditional eight hours of sleep to be given the best conditions for development.

Adults. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of restorative sleep a night, although the amount ranges from 5 to 10 hours of sleep each day depending on the individual. Our biological clocks run on a 25 hour cycle, rather than the 24 hours we have tuned our daily lives around. This is why it is easier for most people to go to bed later, than it is to wake up early.

Sleepless photoPregnant Women. One exception in the case of adults is that of pregnant women. Women in the first trimester of pregnancy, and sometimes throughout pregnancy, need significantly more sleep than usual. Pregnant women should generally increase their sleep during this time by about two or three hours.

Missing the odd few hours of sleep here and there will not do you any harm but if you find that you're regularly falling short on sleep then this can have serious consequences. We all suffer from the occasional insomnia, but insomnia that continues for more than a month or six weeks can have a marked effect on your health and general quality of life.

Sleep Problems

The Reality of Sleep Disorders

According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and sleep problems that can significantly diminish health, alertness and safety. Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and other chronic diseases, implicated with an increased mortality rate.

Sleep photoUntil the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive part of daily lives. Now we know that brains are very active during sleep. Some scientists evidently said that during sleep our brains consolidate and organize memories of what we have seen and done during the day. When these memories are merged and organized, we will able to access the information that is required to solve any particular task.

Sleep problems can take many forms and can involve too little sleep, too much sleep or inadequate quality of sleep. Research has identified over 100 varieties of sleep disorders (sometimes referred to as somnipathy), each with a different cause.

Sleep experts break down sleep disorders into the next three categories:

1. Dysomnias
2. Parasomnias
3. Medical or Psychiatric Conditions

Dysomnia is a category of sleep disorder which includes insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, hypersomnia, recurrent hypersomnia, periodic limb movement disorder, posttraumatic hypersomnia, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, delayed sleep phase syndrome, advanced sleep phase syndrome and non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome.

Parasomnias include Sleep walking, Sleep talking, Sleep terrors/nightmares, toothgrinding and bedwetting. These are not considered to be dangerous unless you are sleeping next to the person! Such disorders may be attributed to any number of mental disorders or may be due to Mood disorders, Anxiety, Panic, Depression or excessive alcohol intake.

Medical or Psychiatric Conditions, the third and final category of sleep disorders that could serve to disrupt regular sleep patterns, includes psychoses (such as schizophrenia), mood disorders, anxiety, depression, alcoholism and panic.

Among the all above most common types are insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.

Insomnia denotes a mix of trouble with falling asleep, an inability to sleep once disturbed, or waking up early in the morning. Causes include improper sleeping arrangements, smoking, anxiety, depression, stress, excessive sleeping during daytime, medical conditions, and so on. All of this results in lower energy level, fatigue, and dark circles around the eyes.

Sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax to the extent of causing breathing to slop. This results in loud snoring and improper breathing. This can lead to heart failure.

Narcolepsy refers to drowsiness in the daytime that causes uncontrollable sleeping. Some persons experience hallucinations during this state.

Restless leg syndrome denotes an itchy, tingling sensation in the legs that causes discomfort. People feel relieved when they move their legs. Continuous leg movements make the person unable to sleep well.

Insomnia Help

By: Dr. Barbara Custer
More than 53 million sleeping pill prescriptions are given per year. That’s a lot of people not sleeping. There are many more people taking the so-called “non addictive” sleeping medications which are sold over the counter. These statistics do not include the number of prescriptions for anxiety. What are the real issues behind insomnia and anxiety, and what can we do to stop “The Midnight Madness”?

Insomnia Cause Cure

The Brain Chemistry of Insomnia - Let’s Put an End to “Midnight Madness” 

By: Dr. Barbara Custer 
More than 53 million sleeping pill prescriptions are given per year. That’s a lot of people not sleeping. There are many more people taking the so-called “non addictive” sleeping medications which are sold over the counter. These statistics do not include the number of prescriptions for anxiety. What are the real issues behind insomnia and anxiety, and what can we do to stop “The Midnight Madness”?

Insomnia Cause Cure ImageOur Body Rhythms and Brain ChemistryThe body has natural rhythms that have evolved over thousands of years. These rhythms are governed by light and the absence of light. When the sun rises and your eyes get exposed to natural light, the optic nerve signals the release of many different brain chemicals. These brain chemicals are called neurotransmitters. Some of the neurotransmitters are exciting, produce vital energy and brain function where others are calming and cause relaxation and sleep.

The neurotransmitters that are calming and relaxing are produced by the absence of light. When these nighttime neurotransmitters become more dominant, the body becomes more relaxed, tired, and falls to sleep.

We are a society of “Stress Junkies” who are over worked and sleep deprived We have a society of people who are working multiple jobs, raising families, and drinking tons of caffeine to push the body into a constant state of sheer exhaustion. The pushing, drive and over use of caffeine is like “trying to whip a little donkey up a hill when he has already carried 50 people up the mountain”.  Eventually this over-pushing, will cause the body to be in a constant state of adrenal fatigue.  It causes chronic exhaustion, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Missing out on deep sleep can be damaging to our health because this is when most of the important repair work for organs and tissues happen.

Come out into the light!  Don’t be a “Cave Dweller” living in the 21st century This is the first time in history that masses of people work in offices, exercise indoors, and rarely see natural light. When we ask someone who works and exercises indoors, and drinks lots of caffeine, how well they sleep, 80% of those people will tell us they have some level of chronic insomnia, anxiety or depression. There are also many serious life situations that cause these problems as well.  The main point is that the body has thousands of years of genetic adaptation to evolve into this level of sophisticated functioning.  Now we are seeing what happens when we push ourselves too hard and live against the body’s natural cycles.

Meditation ImageWhat to do to stop InsomniaThe sleep center at UCSF San Francisco highlights “SLEEP HYGIENE” as one of the most important aspects for curing insomnia. It includes going to bed before 10 pm, which is when certain hormones start elevating causing a “second wind.”  They also recommend lying down, reading and relaxing.  Reading is the best activity to do at this time (no action movies or scary novels).   Reading also helps as it mimics the eye movement produced in REM sleep, which is one of the deepest levels of sleep.

Other tips to stop “The Midnight Madness”
•    Yoga and meditation are quieting exercises that can also be used to relax and calm the body in  the evening.
•    Caffeine has a half-life of 12 hours in the body, so any chocolate, tea, and coffee consumed at noon or after is still affecting you at midnight. This includes decaf coffee (one cup of decaf coffee contains 6% caffeine.)
•    Any strenuous exercise after 4 pm may be over stimulating to your adrenal glands, and turn on the stimulating neurotransmitters that may not allow your body relax enough to fall asleep.
•    If you have been taking sleeping pills for a long time, go off them gradually and take natural products so you don’t have withdrawal symptoms and rebounding insomnia.
•    All alcohol, especially red wine and hard alcohol are heating and inflaming to the body.   It then can cause a histamine reaction that may over stimulate the brain and body tissues and cause insomnia.

Insomniacs of the World!  There is hope for youThe most effective natural products that are used for sleep, anxiety and depression are Gaba, Taurine, Thenine, Valerian, and Melatonin. There are non-addictive and safe Chinese Herbal formulas that have been used for thousands of years.  If these products are accompanied with the important sleep hygiene guidelines, you will notice that your sleep cycles will improve greatly in just a few weeks.

For people who have been taking prescription start increasing natural products, outdoor exercise, and go to bed early.  If you have been taking prescription sleep medication for more than a few weeks, it is recommended that you wean off these medications slowly and gradually with the help of your doctor. For those with more chronic problems we recommend checking for thyroid, adrenal, and neurotransmitter imbalances.

About the Author
Dr. Barbara Custer, L.A.C., O.M.D, works in private practice in Mill Valley, CA. She teaches educational seminars, inspiring people in theareas of optimum health and wellness. She is passionate about educating clients on nutrition, natural supplements, and healthy foodpreparation. All of which can help reverse disease and restore the body to health and wellness. She was acknowledged by San Francisco Focus Magazine as one of the top Alternative Medical Doctors in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was also voted the “Best of Marin for Oriental Medicine” in 2007 by the Pacific Sun.

Dr. Custer received her BFA in fine arts and is a graduate of North American College of Acupuncture, Vancouver Canada. She obtained her Doctorate in Oriental Medicine from Samra University in Santa Barbara, California. She completed a clinical internship with Master Tamura Heiji in Kyoto Japan. While in Japan she also attended graduate classes at the Meiji School of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Custer has done extensive training in Endocrinology with Doctor Thomas Alexander M.D. at the Renton Clinic, Renton Washington. Dr. Custer holds a California State and National license.

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Article Source: - The Brain Chemistry of Insomnia - Let’s Put an End to “midnight Madness”

Foods For Sleep

By: Jonathan Townsend 

The various medical studies about the properties of cherries have shown significant proof that cherries could be one key to curing insomnia. Usually reserved as a pie filling or the topper for an ice cream sundae, cherries offer so much more for insomnia sufferers.

Insomnia Symptoms and Signs

How To Recognize Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is misunderstood by millions. While some people think that by staying awake they will get sleep disorder, others have various myths about this problem.
Insomnia symptoms photoInsomnia symptoms in some people may not be so obvious and vary by individual. Some may not have a hard time falling asleep, but they display insomnia in a different way. Some may wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty going back to sleep. Most of the time, insomniacs have very unsatisfying and poor quality sleep.

There is various causes, ranking from environmental, to psychological, to physical. Any given insomnia symptom can stem from one or more of these factors. However, there are a few easily recognized symptoms and signs that lend themselves to a diagnosis of insomnia.

5 Symptoms of Insomnia you should be looking for:
Symptom #1: Difficulty falling asleep. Insomniacs lie in bed for hours in frustration, tossing and turning. Because of the poor quality of sleep they are tired for most of the day.

Symptom #2: Frequent wake ups. Insomniacs tend to wake up in the middle of the night and they are not able to go back to sleep. If they do manage to go back to sleep, it is often unsatisfying.

Symptom #3: Wake up too early. It is called terminal insomnia. Many people with terminal insomnia have no trouble getting to sleep when they go to bed. They have little trouble staying asleep either. They just wake up too early in the morning.

Symptom #4: Reverse sleeping pattern. Insomniacs have a hard time staying away during the day. They tend to take naps, but they still end up with little or poor quality sleep during the night.

Symptom #5: Feeling Anxious And Depressed. Anxiety and depression is another of the main symptoms of insomnia with nine out of every ten sufferers suffering with one or the other.

5 Signs of Insomnia you should be looking for:

Sign #1: Tiredness. This isn't your normal kind of tired. This is a true feeling of exhaustion and not wanting to do anything but sit on your couch and relax. If this feeling is always present, there is a good chance you have insomnia.

Sign #2: Irritability. You may become irritable because of your insomnia. It's not that some particular person is annoying you; it's just that everyone and everything around is an annoyance.

Sign #3: Poor Memory. You can recall what have happened, but you can't get into any ditails about it. It's as though there are pieces missing from your memory. It's more of a "I remember, but I don't really remember" kind of feeling. This is definitely one of the most annoying signs of insomnia.

Sign #4: Lack of Concentration. You can do necessary tasks and have short conversations with people, but you're only half way "there". In other words, you're not at all focused on the task at hand, whether that be working on your project or having a conversation with a friend. To summarize: the lights are on, but no one is home.

Sign #5: Impaired Reaction Time. Everything you do will be as you are in slow motion. This is probably one of the most severe signs of insomnia, as it not only impairs your physical reaction time, but it also deteriorates your mental reaction as well.

Pure Sleep ImageWhen It May Be Not Insomnia

As we age, our sleep tends to become lighter and last shorter. This is why elderly people often find themselves tossing and turning in bed in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours. As we grow older, our body tend to have a lower physical need for sleep, but most elderly people believe that they must sleep a certain amount of time. Thus, their sleeplessness is not really insomnia, but their body actually telling them it does not need more sleep and rest than it already had.