This is a subject that is of interest to many. Getting enough sleep is essential to your health and well-being.
Is it a problem for you to fall asleep? Do you have trouble staying asleep, and find you are waking up in the middle of the night? On the following morning do you have fatigue? Feel sleep deprived?
Americans spend an astounding $14 billion per year trying to combat sleeplessness. In fact, many sleep so poorly they feel exhausted during the day. And many say that poor sleep interferes with their daily activities.
Lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems.
Sleep keeps your heart healthy. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol.
Sleep reduces stress. Lack of sleep reduces your ability to deal with stress. When you have sleep problems and lack sleep the body goes into a state of stress. This can increase blood pressure, the product of stress hormones.
Sleep reduces inflammation: The increase in stress raises the level of inflammation in the body. This causes more risk for heart-related problems, cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to be one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age.
Sleep makes you more alert and gives you more energy. It is good for your memory.
Sleep may help your lose weight. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep affects the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.
Let’s look at some of the factors that will cause you sleepless nights.
Causes of Insomnia:
The Hormonal Factor
Sleep problems plague women more often than men and women in mid-life more than younger women. There is no full accounting for the gender and age differences in sleep disturbances, but hormonal fluctuation is one strong factor.
Although the relationship between female reproductive hormones and sleep patterns is little-explored and not well-researched, many women know the strong connection between the two. Many women report lying awake for a night or two before their period begins, the time when progesterone levels drop off sharply. Progesterone is the body’s natural relaxation substance. As women approach mid-life and make the transition from perimenopause to menopause, sleep interruptions can increase. These sleep changes are often presumed to result from hot flashes at night, but that is only part of the picture. Years before a woman reaches menopause and her estrogen production dwindles, her progesterone levels begin declining. This change in the ratio between progesterone and estrogen may be implicated in sleeplessness during perimenopause and menopause. Progesterone is our relaxing, calming hormone, therefore it only makes sense that women deprived of it may experience sleep disturbances.
For more information on sleep and other disturbances during menstruation, go to P.M.S.
Diet and Lifestyle
While hormones seem to play a very important role, they cannot be held as the sole culprit of sleep disturbances. There can be literally hundreds of possible causes of insomnia. In some cases no precise cause of insomnia can be pinpointed. The first thing to do is to review your sleep habits and behavior to establish a pattern. The following is a list of changes that can be made to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Prepare your body for sleep by relaxing before bed.
1) Read a good book.
2) Listen to quiet music.
3) Take a warm shower or bath.
Watch what you eat and drink.
1) Avoid caffeine in the evening, possibly even after 12:00pm.
2) Avoid alcohol as it robs us of our deepest sleep.
3) Try eating foods containing Tryptophan, i.e. warm milk, dark meat (turkey), cottage cheese.
4) Eat a high protein snack at bedtime to maintain your blood sugar level throughout the night.
5) Take a Sleep Aid.
Foods that can help you sleep better
Drugs do not help you sleep. They knock you out.
Some of the herbs used for sleep also work to knock you out.
Using natural ingredients help the body to sleep naturally.
The RHP® Sleep Support Formula combines and uses four different nutritional approaches that will help your body maintain a regular sleep cycle. Vitamins, minerals and two vital botanical extracts shown to safely contribute to helping you relax, allowing for a more natural deep sleep.
See Sleep Aid from RHP® Sleep Support Formula
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