Monday, September 17, 2012

Importance of Healthy Sleep and Tips on How to Treat Sleeplessness

Adequate sleep is essential for good health. Research studies have shown that lack of sleep may harm the immune system. This in turn affects the body's ability to fight off diseases making it susceptible to a variety of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological conditions.
According to researchers, chronic sleeplessness increases the levels of cytokine molecules in the body. This causes inflammation, and interferes with the chemical balance in the blood - factors that are believed to be behind conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, allergies, anxiety and depression. To achieve good health, experts recommend a balanced diet, regular exercises and healthy sleep. Ignoring the importance of sleep renders the other two useless.

Aside from interfering with the immune system, lack of healthy sleep has been shown to affect the body's ability to regulate hormones responsible for hunger control. This leads to increased appetite, and preference for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods - two factors that cause affected persons to be at a high risk of obesity. In children, sleep loss in children has been linked to poor academic performance.

How to Overcome Sleeplessness
The obvious treatment that people use to deal with insomnia is sleeping pills. According to experts, sleeping pills should be used only a temporary relief. Their regular use can worsen the insomnia, and alter normal sleep patterns. Sleeping pills are also unsafe, and might cause certain health issues. Before you use sleeping pills, you should consult your doctor to find out if they would be good for you.

The best way of treating chronic sleeplessness is using natural methods. These include:

1. Having a regular sleeping schedule
Keeping a regular sleeping schedule can help you to overcome sleeplessness. Set specific times when you will be going to bed, and waking up. Stick to this schedule until this problem disappears.

2. Avoiding sleep during the day
Sleeping during the day leads to sleep loss during the night. Just keep yourself busy during the day so that you would be tired enough to fall into a deep sleep during the night.

3. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercises
A combination of a balanced diet, regular exercises and healthy sleep promotes overall health and well being. Just make sure you don't exercise a few hours before bedtime. This is because physical activity causes wakefulness.

4. Avoiding alcohol, nicotine and caffeine a few hours before sleep
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine also promote wakefulness. So, avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and smoking a few hours before bedtime. If you really have to take coffee, go for decaf.

5. Taking time to relax before going to bed
Take some time to unwind before going to bed. You could read a book or do anything else that will relax your mind. Do this everyday. This will train your mind to get ready for sleep.

6. Having a comfortable, dark, cool and quiet bedroom
Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. A comfortable, firm mattress and beddings would be essential in this regard. The room should also be cool and quiet.

7. Avoiding overeating just before going to bed
Eating too much just before bedtime causes discomfort. Hunger also interferes with extreme sleep. Just try to find a balance.

8. Meditation
Mediation or any other mind-relaxing technique can be very helpful in treating insomnia. Find out what works for you, and use it to calm your mind while going to bed.

9. Maintaining the right sleeping position
Lastly, maintain a good sleeping position. Never sleep on your stomach, especially when you have a saggy mattress. This can cause discomfort to your neck, and even cause your back to strain. Always make use of a firm, comfy mattress.

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