5 Tips To Deal With Seasonal Sleep Disorder

If the transitions from summers to winters or winters to spring leave you tossing at night, you are not alone. The National Sleep Foundation shows that on an average 50 to 70 million people are affected by sleep-related problems and the changing weather is particularly disruptive to the peaceful sleep time. Wondering what is the reason behind it? It is because the bodies need a set amount of sleep to feel fresh and with ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’ our body fails to adjust the bedtime. This results in the compromise with the ability to maintain the needed hours of rejuvenation. To deal with the seasonal sleep disorder here are 10 tips to deal with it:

  1. Breath affects the sleep: The onset of spring also marks the allergy season. Therefore, it is pretty important to sleep well during the allergy season by maintaining good nasal hygiene. The best way is to use nasal drops. Pollens and other allergens impact our breathing during the night, which can wreak havoc on sleep.
  2. Prepare yourself for the time change: With ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’ it is recommended to count backward from the time you need to wake up by eight hours. This should be your daily bedtime. Keep forwarding 15 minutes daily before a week of the time change. On the day of the change you will be well-rested and back on the schedule.
  3. Limit the stimulants: It is very important to stimulate the activities too close the bedtime to produce a surge of endorphins that hinders good sleep. Some things that you must totally avoid are paying bills, discussing financial stress and intake of caffeine. Cut down on the intake of liquid at least two hours before your bedtime as the full bladder acts a stimulant that prevents you from staying asleep throughout the night.
  4. Get unplugged: Experts recommend turning off of our TV, computers, phone or iPad at least thirty minutes before you hit the bed. This is because these can excite your nervous system, both psychologically from the content and biologically from the lights. Let the mind relax and not excite it by bringing distractions to it.
  5. Eat for sleep: Did you know that your evening snacks can promote high quality sleep. It is advisable to focus on foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. The combination of nutrient increases the melatonin and serotonin level in the body. For the nighttime snack it is recommended to take a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, strawberries and bananas that is topped with almonds to stabilize the nerve and muscle fibers. In case you suffer from hot flashes, eat a bowl of whole grain cereals or fruit smoothie. These food items help in easing out the hormonal fluctuations at night and ensure a good night’s sleep.

These 5 tips will help you combat the seasonal sleep disorder and live a healthy, happy and satisfied life.


Top 7 Snoring Aids That Can Help To Improve Your Sleep Quality

Your partner has complained about your snoring and you have tried a number of snoring home remedies. But still there is no relief? Now is the time to try the snoring aids. Yes, you read it right, the snoring aids. There are many sleep aids out there in the market, but most people are unaware of the options. This is because they don’t know about these and unsure which solution will yield results.

The solution that works best for you is highly individual and must be explored with the help of a medical professional. The following are some tried and tested snoring solutions that you can choose from:

  1. Mouthpieces: These are some of the most useful and have the least negative side effects. They are the most developed snoring aids, only because they have been around for so long. Some of them look like denture fittings and others look like mouth guards. Most of the mouthpieces slightly reposition the lower jaw when you sleep to open the airway and ensure a quieter sleep.
  2. Chin Straps: These have also been around for a long time and are similar to jaw-retaining devices. This simple device has a strap that is placed under the chin, while an attached elastic strap is stretched and placed over the head. The goals of this device to keep your mouth closed while sleeping and encourage breathing through the nose. Some individuals may experience discomfort with the strap around the head and chin.
  3. Pillows: The anti-snoring pillow works by positioning your body and head so that the airway is kept open and free from obstructions. This pillow tries to position you into a perfect sleeping posture. You need to test out the pillow to see what suits you best.
  4. Nasal devices: There are a variety of nasal devices in the market from insert-able nasal cones to adhesive strips. Snorers who have nasal obstructions can benefit from these devices. If your snoring is not a result of a nasal block, then this device may not be suitable for you.
  5. Continuous Positive Air Pressure or CPAP: This treatment is ideal for individuals suffering from sleep apnea. It is a mask-like device that is worn over the head and face, usually in a controlled lab condition. This treatment is usually explored in a sleep disorders clinic.
  6. Pills and Sprays: These are over the counter medications that may be effective in combating snoring. Most of these are homeopathic remedies that thin the mucus or reduce inflammation. However, they do not address the main cause of snoring and are therefore not an effective long term solution.
  7. Tongue-Retaining Mouthpiece or TRD: These devices work by keeping your tongue forward while you are sleeping. No force is applied to your jaw. As a result, there is no safety risk with this type of mouthpiece. This device works because it combats the impact of gravity on the tongue. During sleep, gravity may cause your tongue to drop back into the throat. This constricts the airways and results in snoring. A TRD prevents this obstruction.

When it comes to choosing an anti-snoring aid, the choice is highly individual and determined by the cause of snoring.


How Sleep Affects Your Mood

Do your loved ones frequently tell you that you are in a bad mood? Even though it may hurt your feelings, do you realize it is a fact? Many people may wonder why they feel irritable and in a grouchy mood throughout the day. Usually this leads to cups of coffee and blaming it on stress or other factors. But did you know your bad mood can be related to the quantity and quality of sleep you experience? Studies have shown that there is a link between sleep and mood.

The Link Between Sleep and Mood

University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a study on several subjects and discovered that people who are sleep deprived and only have about four hours of sleep per night are increasingly sad, angry and stressed. Once the subjects returned to sleeping at least 7 hours per night or more, their mood improved and the negative feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety disappeared.

Sleep Problems

While stress and anxiety from living in today’s busy world is a common cause for restless nights and insomnia, there are physical symptoms that may affect your quality and quantity of sleep as well. Prescription medications may have side effects that interfere with sleep. In addition, there are sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy that can also affect your ability to have a good night sleep. Symptoms that a sleep disorder might be present include, deep snoring, holding your breath during sleep, waking up out of your sleep gasping for air, choking or frequent sore throats. If you experience any of these symptoms it is recommended that you see your physician.

How to Improve Your Quality of Sleep

These tips relate to those who suffer from acute to mild insomnia and it can help those who have serious sleep disorders as well.

  • Create a comfortable, serene environment to sleep in – Your mattress should provide stability as well as comfort. The décor in your bedroom should be in colors such as beige, tan, ivory, taupe and brown. Green plants either fake or real will help provide color therapy and encourage relaxation. Aroma therapy with scents such as vanilla and lavender will help calm your senses.
  • Avoid Caffeine Before Bed – Your body can feel the effects from your morning coffee up to 12 hours afterwards. Imagine the effects you will feel when you drink a cup of coffee right before bed.
  • Establish a Sleep Schedule – Go to sleep at the same time every night. This will set your body clock and soon you will naturally feel the need to sleep at that time every night. In addition it will cause you to wake up every morning at the same time. Eventually you won’t need to wake up to your alarm clock.
  • Eat Two Hours Prior – Eating a snack or meal right before you go to bed can cause symptoms such as snoring, heartburn and acid reflux. These symptoms cause discomfort and provoke you to wake up during the night.

Insomnia and Your Mood

According to Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Medical Director of Sleep Health Centers, people who have anxiety and are depressed frequently have trouble with sleep. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety will usually experience difficulty sleeping and may suffer from insomnia on a regular basis. On the other hand, people who experience chronic insomnia have an increased risk of developing anxiety and depression. As you can see the lack of sleep in insomnia sufferers is linked to the development of mood disorders. This is actually good news for many of those who suffer from mood disorders, because improved quantity and quality of sleep can help relieve depression and sadness.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, it is wise that you visit your doctor to determine the cause. During your consultation with your doctor you will want to discuss your sleep habits to see if it is attributing to your mood disorder. One of the best ways to provide your doctor with your sleep habit information is to keep a sleep journal for about two weeks. Precisely note your sleep habits before bed, your before bed routine, the time you go to bed and wake up, physical symptoms such as snoring and gasping for air, plus the amount of times you wake up during the night. Provide this journal to your doctor and discuss ways to improve your sleep habits. Everyone deserves a good night sleep, make it happen for you today and improve your mood too.

How To Deal With Night Terror In Children

As a parent are you aware of the difference between a nightmare and night terror. Yes these two are different terms. Night terror is a fear that is inconsolable, no matter what you try. The night terror is a sleep disruption that is similar to nightmare, but with an exaggerated dramatic presentations. Night terrors typically occur in children aged between three to twelve years of age.

Night terrors occur during the Stage 4 Deep Sleep or during the transition from Stage to REM Sleep. Scientists believe that night terrors are caused by over-arousal of the central nervous system that regulates the brain activity. The night terrors are marked with symptoms like bolt upright in bed, moan, scream, cry, thrash and mumble.

Most children outgrow the night terror as with time the brain matures and the problem disappears. But, if you are worried for your child and looking for some tips to handle the night terrors, read below:

  1. Keep calm: It is possible that your child does not remember the incidents that traumatized him. On seeing your child in pain and inconsolable, don’t lose your calm. Only reassuring voices and words of love can calm the kid. If possible, hug the kid to make them feel secured in the first place.
  2. Minimize stress: If your child is going through night terror, don’t try and bring developmental changes. Try not exposing the kid to parental loud voices and other emotional stressors. Instead of yelling, spankings and timeouts use positive discipline. Also, minimize the scheduled changes and nights away from home.
  3. Restrict watching television: Kids should not be allowed to watch TV because it negatively impacts the development of the brain. Also, study shows that TV is stressful for the little ones as they might believe that the dramatized world is the real one.
  4. Don’t let the child over exert: Don’t let the child over exert or get over-tired as it can aggravate the problem and make the child susceptible to night terrors. Ensure that the child has a regular bedtime routine and gets enough sleep. If the child stays up for longer than usual the hormones and adrenaline needs to keep it together. Moving to an earlier bedtime, help the kids fall asleep more easily at night and lessen the possibility of the over-arousal.

These four tips will help you deal with the crankiness and uneasiness of the child when they experience night terror.

3 Rapid Home Remedies for Snoring

Snoring often is unnoticed as a disease and seen as an unwanted habit that poses a serious threat to your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Thus, it is not taken seriously. But snoring is a serious issue and must be dealt seriously. 75% of people who snore generally suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. That is, their breathing is disrupted for short durations while sleeping. This increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. Therefore, it is essential to treat this condition.

If your partner also snores and it is affecting your intimacy and relationship, try these effective home remedies and save your relationship:

  1. Homemade saline nasal spray: Sometimes, snoring is caused because of nasal congestion, which is the result of allergies, sinus problem and infection causes swelling in the inner lining of the nose. The swelling makes the soft palate vibrate, which creates the snoring sound. The saline spray reduces the inflammation and stops snoring. To make saline nasal spray, add ¼ tablespoon of canning salt in ½ cup of distilled water and pour 2-3 drops into each nostril at bedtime. The preparation must be replenished after 5 days.
  2. Peppermint oil: The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil, reduce the inflammation of the inner lining of the nostrils to stop snoring if caused by nasal congestion. Pour few drops of peppermint oil on the fingers and rub onto the lower portions of the side of the nose. You can even use it as a steam inhalation.
  3. Olive oil: At times the snoring is caused because of the excessive tissues at the end of the throat or nose. These tissues partially block the airway that causes the sound of snoring. It is recommended to take a sip of olive oil as the moistened tissues cause less friction due to the contact with each other. This makes the air move smoothly and reduces the chances of snoring.

If advocated properly, self-treatment can do wonders. These simple practices can make a huge difference in reducing snoring and sleep apnea. So in order to deal with the rumblings of your partner and to maintain a fulcrum in life, try these remedies to put your snoring to rest before trying those pills and over the counter sprays.