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Posts from the ‘How to Get Better Sleep’ Category

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6 Reasons For Snoring

Snoring is possibly one of the most irritating sleep habits and it, oftentimes, disturbs more than just the person snoring. Most snorers tend to suffer from various sleep disorders, however, other environmental factors could contribute. If you find yourself or a family member is sawing logs on a regular basis, be sure to consider some of the potential causes below:

 

Top Six Reasons for Snoring:

  1. Sleep Apnea—Most individuals who find themselves with a chronic snoring problem also suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause other sleep problems and is related to many other snore-inducing issues.
  2. Being Overweight—Packing on extra pounds is more than just bad for your waistline; it can also reap havoc on your sleep cycle. This is most likely caused by bulky throat tissue that obstructs airways. Losing weight can ease many other symptoms caused by other sleep disorders, as well.
  3. Pillow Height—People tend to suffer from snoring if they are using too many or too few pillows with adequate support. The optimal sleep position with the correct pillow support is the key to blissful, snore-free slumber.
  4. Cold and Flu—Restricted airways are a main result of having a runny nose or sore throat. Be cautious as to which night time sleep aids you use and be sure to use a remedy that will open up airways, not throw you into a chemically-induced coma.
  5. Large Tonsils—A good sign children need their tonsils removed is chronic snoring.
  6. Sleep Position—Those who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to experience increased snoring and difficultly sleeping. Try sleeping on your back or side to open airways and relax the throat.

Your snoring could be attributed to any of these issues, if not a combination. Sometimes simple adjustments can be the perfect antidote to a nighttime full of snoring.

“Snoring – Adults: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2014. < http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003207.htm >.

 

5 Tips to a More Restful Vacation

While we go on vacation to get some much needed rest from the stresses of day-to-day life, it’s common to experience difficulty relaxing while away from home. Between the planning process and travel, there are a lot of obstacles to fully enjoying your time off. The biggest of these is difficulty sleeping while on vacation. A new sleep environment or simply too much excitement could be the cause of those sleepless nights in paradise. Follow these simple tips to truly unwind and make the most of your down time.

1. Plan relaxing activities: If a restless night is inevitable, plan some rejuvenating activities for the daytime. A soothing spa day consisting of steam rooms, massages and even an invigorating facial can make even the worse insomniac forget about that night of tossing and turning. If the spa isn’t in your budget, resting by the pool or ocean could be the perfect way to lull you in to an afternoon nap.

2. Maintain your sleep routine: It is tempting to engage in a more lax sleep routine when on vacation. Going to sleep at your normal bedtime and avoiding food and drinks that keep you awake at night can help ease the difficulty some experience when sleeping in a new space. Maintaining your normal routine, as difficult as it may be, is the best way to ensure a good night’s rest away from home.

3. Make your room familiar: Simple adjustments such as bringing your pillow or humidifier from home can make all the difference when sleeping in a new environment. You can also make simple modifications to your environment such as regulating your room temperature and controlling unwanted noise with the use of ear buds. By making your room more familiar, you can easily experience a more restful and fulfilling night’s sleep while on vacation.

4.Prepare yourself for time zone changes: Time zone changes and jet lag are known to reap havoc on tired travelers. Prepare for the change in time in advance by gradually going to bed closer to the time you would while on vacation in the new time zone. This process will ease the transition to a new time zone and leave you with less time yawning and more time enjoying your vacation.

5. Plan a Sleep Vacation: For those with serious sleep disorders, sleep retreats are being offered at many resorts in the United States. These intensive programs range in length but all have the goal of helping you have more fulfilling sleep. This fad is increasing in popularity and causing people to seriously assess and confront their sleep disorders. If you find yourself needing a vacation from your vacation, you should consider a sleep vacation.

Creating a Healthy Sleep Environment

All individuals are different when it comes to what helps them fall asleep. The following aspects of the sleep environment are all important in inducing sleep and being well rested.

Bedding and Comfort

Comfort is a very important aspect to consider when preparing for bed. It is important to have a comfortable mattress, a firm pillow appropriate to your sleep position and comfortable bedding that does not heat up easily. Mattresses come in a variety of fashions such as memory foam, latex and innerspring. Mattress toppers and covers are a cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress. Some have cooling technology to help with heat regulation.  Likewise, pillows come in memory foam, latex and natural-fill such as down, feather or synthetic fiber. Bedding should also be clean, cool, and comfortably soft. 1

Cleanliness

Keeping the room clean and uncluttered is very important when going to sleep. Having paperwork, mail, clothes or dishes everywhere can cause stress and make you too alert to fall asleep. By only using the room for sleep, you will reduce clutter and train your brain to associate the room with sleeping. Decorating with peaceful pictures or photos from an enjoyed vacation may help with relaxation and induce sleep. 1 Painting the room in peaceful colors such as shades of blue, green, or purple have also proven to help individuals relax.

Lighting

In the National Sleep Foundation’s Annual American Sleep Poll in 2011, 95 percent of individuals surveyed between 13 to 63 years old reported going to sleep with the television on. 2 Sleeping with the television on can, not only, keep the brain too alert for sleep but also provide a great deal of light. Light reduces natural melatonin production in the brain, which helps to induce sleep. 2 Even hiding digital clocks may prevent clock watching because of the light output. If you need absolute dark to fall and stay asleep, you may consider buying dark curtains or drapes to block streetlights or sunlight from coming in the windows.

Temperature

The ideal sleeping temperature is around 65 degrees. Sleeping in too warm or too cool environments can force the body to exert energy on sweating or shivering, keeping the body too alert for sleep. Figure out the right mixture of sleep clothes, blankets, and room temperature to make you the most comfortable at night.

Noise

If you have ever incorporated the sound of the television or the alarm clock into a dream, then you understand how noise can affect sleep. Individuals’ noise sensitivity varies. Some may enjoy ambient sound or soft music when falling asleep. Sound should be at a low level and consistent because sudden sounds can spike heart rates and cause waking. You will most likely adjust to certain noises as you cope with them over time such as city traffic or the ticking of a clock. 1

Bed Partners

In the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America Poll, 38 percent of participants reported that they had problems in their relationship due to their sleep partner’s sleep disorder. 2 Even peaceful sleepers can toss and turn 50 to 60 times in one night. 1 If a snoring bed partner is a problem, elevating their head with pillows, or an adjustable bed may be helpful. Using earplugs may also help block out the sound. Another disruptive bed partner could be your pet. Pets can make noise and move all through the night (they don’t need eight hours of sleep because they sleep throughout the day). It is best to train pets to sleep in a pet bed.

Overall, adjusting your sleep environment can make major differences in your quality of sleep. These adjustments are very simple and easily managed. The sleep environment is often overlooked by troubled sleepers and can improve sleep disorder symptoms and overall well-being.

Bibliography:

1. Maas, Dr. James B., Megan L. Wherry, David J Axelrod, Barbara R. Hogan, and Jennifer A. Blumin. Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance. New York : Villard, 1998.

2. National Sleep Foundation—The Sleep Environment; http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment