Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nighttime Health

It may not seem like a big deal when we don't get enough sleep or get too much sleep.  Sure we are tired and maybe even irritable but that's life.  Right?  WRONG!  Poor sleep leads to many problems that could have adverse affects on our health.

Lack of sleep can make you more likely to get sick, with a cold or flu; it can cause increased weight gain; cause lack of coordination and slow response.  It's also been linked to higher stress, high blood pressure and heart problems.

Too much sleep isn't any better.  It can disrupt blood sugar levels, which can cause diabetes.  In middle-aged women, too much sleep has been linked to increased risk of stroke. 

Some research also suggests a link between mental health issues and sleep issues.  Bipolar, depression, anxiety are just a few of these possible connections.

So what do you do about it?  First, and I do mean FIRST, see a doctor if you get too little or too much sleep but can't seem to control either.  I can't emphasize how many serious illnesses can cause sleep deprivation or oversleeping.

In my opinion, if there's nothing physical then it's time to re-evaluate your sleep pattern.  So many people don't realize that drinking caffeine in the late afternoon and early evening can make it difficult to fall asleep even if you insist it doesn't make you hyper. 

Another issue is stress.  We run and do and plan and worry and make it impossible for our brain and body to relax before sleeping.  We go, go, go then think jumping into bed just because we are finally tired will work.  We all need to unwind. 

And finally, routine, routine, routine.  Go to bed at the same time.  Make an evening routine of dinnertime, relaxtion, meditation, aromatherapy and so on.  Your body will get in the habit of going to sleep when it's time and getting up (at the same time) when it's time.  We have an internal clock that regulates body functions and once we learn to respect that, our body will thank us with energy and health.

Recommendations for relaxing aromatherapy:
Almond oil massages help improve sleep patterns.
Lavendar, Chamomile, Vanilla and Rose are great relaxants in baths and diffusers.

Special note for those who snore:
Of all the essential oils that are there, marjoram and lavender are the two oils which are widely used for treating snoring.

For more help on how to induce sleep naturally, visit: http://www.ehow.com/how_4765158_induce-sleep-naturally.html

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