Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sweet dreams

So how are you sleeping these days. The media will let us know that a very large portion of society does not sleep. Their opinion is that we are owning and sleeping on the incorrect mattress, and to be honest that can play a major role.

Old time mattresses have springs and as we are more shapely and larger than we were years past, we have a lot more weight pressing on those springs which definitely can make us move around at night and cause us to be awoken out of our deep sleep, and for many we can find it hard to get back into a constructive sleep pattern. Other things can also cause night restlessness that causes us to either fall asleep and then wake in an hour or so, or just play count the ceiling tiles all night long.

What is so crazy, have you ever noticed that you are so tired and then you get home and you have every intention to go to bed early as your eyes are closing on the way home. You get home and all of a sudden you are not tired anymore? This happens to more people than care to admit, and I feel this is the reason so many people are so stressed and tired every morning. We start the day with the batteries only one third charged, and then through the use of energy filled coffee drinks and sodas, we are able to get over the morning hump. Then we usually make the mistake of eating too large of a lunch meal which causes us to be bloated, and tired, so we once again reach for the sugar and caffeine to get the second jolt of the day. We have to face it, if we do not get to the cause, it is like trying to work a remote control without the batteries, you push and push the buttons but it does not work.

So what are some tips to help us get into a deep semi unconscious state and allow us to chill out and shut our brain down so we can recharge our batteries?

First of all try not eating late at night, a full stomach can cause gastric disturbances as well as cause a hiatel hernia to flare up which will have you elevated on pillows all night, and this is no way to sleep. Watch your nighttime caffeine and sugar consumption. Many people just plain eat too much at night. So many people are so busy during the day that they do not eat, and in the evening they eat from the time they get home until the time the go to bed. If this is you set a parameter, do not eat after a set time, so you can go to bed with an emptier stomach, you will sleep better.

Some people find a cocktail or a glass of wine in the evening helps to relax them, not a problem it actually has medicinal benefits. The number one cause of sleeplessness is stress, go figure. We all deal or do not deal with stress every day. Many of us handle it by suppressing our feelings and then all night long we are rethinking and reliving and resorting the day, no wonder we can not sleep. If you are one of those individuals try going for a walk about one hour before retiring time. This does many things on many levels. First of all the cardiovascular benefits are obvious, but also it gives you time to think in a more coherent mind set. Take a friend, a child or a spouse with you. Make a deal that one night you will discuss your day the next night you switch. This does so much for you it gets things off your mind and out of your over dwelling brain and it allows things and feedback to come at you, and it also allows you to make sure you can move on and not think about these things all night long. Do you really want to have a front row seat to all of the paid television half hour programming?

The next thing is look towards natural remedies before getting on the drugs. Believe me , your Doctor will be more than happy to get out the pad to write you a med that will help, but lets use that as a last resort.

Natural alternatives first. Did you know that taking your calcium, or multiple minerals at night not only heal better and help with leg cramps, that can also keep you awake, but they can actually help you sleep? It is amazing and a must for all of you that are thirty nine and holding for your bones and for the hormonal changes that so many of you will not admit you are going through! All of us around you know different. And also when you are not getting sleep how in the world can you make intelligent and decisive and complex decisions when you are exhausted and brain dead, you cannot, and should not.

The next alternative choice would be Valarian root. Valarian is an anti spasmodic for the muscles and will help you relax naturally with no groggy overhang the next day and can be used nightly with no side effects. There are also wonderful blends of nutrients for the more severe sleep problems and they may include valarian root, melatonin, chamomile, passion flower, hops, and sometimes some B vitamins can be added as well. Lately 5HTP is being used at night and the feedback is very strong and positive as it also has many people using it as a mild anti depressant.

So where do you start? Go to a very knowledgeable individual that knows nutrition and tell them exactly what you are experiencing. They should know other medications you are on to make sure there are no crossover side effects as well as if this is a new problem or if it has been going on for some time. Give the natural nutrients a try and do not be surprised if the first is not quite correct, sometimes you have to find the correct combination that works for your specific problems. Some people are so tied up in mental knots it can take some hitting and missing to find the right fit. I personally would rather have you doing trial and error with the good stuff than the pharmaceutical side. It will always be there if we eventually decide the heavy guns are needed.

One last thing, try to write down and make a list of all the things that you mentally feel are so urgent in your life that they are keeping you running around in circles. I guarantee that once you have this list you will be able to see that although you really felt urgency with all of these things, most are long term projects , some would be great to get done soon, and very few are now at the moment tasks to complete now. You will immediately feel a sigh of relief and most likely sleep better than you have in weeks. But do me and yourself a favor, if the problem persists for a long period of time and there is also a strong depression and emotional situation going on with no relief, go in for a physical, there may be more that what you think going on, and you may need to take a different route.

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