How To Improve Sleep Using All
According to a survey conducted by the CDC , an estimated 4 percent of U.S. adults rely on prescription sleep aids to combat insomnia. Ambien, Lunesta, Restoril, Sonata, and Halcion have become household names. Widespread adoption of prescription sleeping pills and habit-forming sleep medicines are not only a global health concern, but theyre temporary solutions to underlying problems.
Chronic sleep deprivation and dangerous medications have led to the rise of many natural sleep aids and over the counter remedies to try to address insomnia. These supplements provide alternative pathways through all-natural and herbal homeopathic treatments aimed at improving sleep in a safer fashion. The goal of this article is to educate on safe non-prescription sleep aids for both children and adults.
How Effective Are Sleeping Pills
Studies show that sleeping pills arent that helpful in promoting a good nights rest. Most people who take sleep aids fall asleep about eight to 20 minutes faster than those without medicine. On average, you might get an additional 35 minutes of shuteye.
Generally, sleep aids should be for short-term use. They may be most helpful if a stressful life event, such as a divorce or death in the family, is keeping you awake.
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Best For Flying: Maxrock Sleeping Headphones
Another option for people who are sensitive to noise are sound-canceling headphones, like this affordable pair from Maxrock. . Made out of soft silicone, these earbuds conform to your ears and are comfortable enough to sleep in. Already a favorite of almost 1,000 reviewers, they’re small enough to take on planes and even feature a built-in microphone.
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Benzodiazepine Sedative Hypnotic Sleeping Pills
Benzodiazepines are the oldest class of sleep medications still commonly in use. Benzodiazepines as a group are thought to have a higher risk of dependence than other insomnia sedative hypnotics and are classified as controlled substances. Primarily used to treat anxiety disorders, benzodiazepines that have been approved to treat insomnia include estazolam , flurazepam , quazepam , temazepam , and triazolam .
Drawbacks to benzodiazepine sleeping pills
You can become both physically and psychologically dependent on benzodiazepines. When youre on the pills for a period of time, you may believe that you cant sleep without them, and once you stop taking them, you may actually experience physical withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and rebound insomnia.
Sleeping pills can lose their effectiveness if used on a nightly basis, because the brain receptors become less sensitive to their effects. In as little as three to four weeks, benzodiazepines can become no more effective than a sugar pill.
The overall quality of your sleep can be reduced, with less restorative deep sleep and REM sleep.
You may experience next day cognitive slowing and drowsiness , which may be even worse than the sluggishness you feel from actual sleep deprivation.
Insomnia returns once you stop, even if the medication is effective while taking it. As with the use of all sleeping pills, rather than dealing with your insomnia, youre merely postponing the problem.
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Using Sunlight To Promote Healthy Melatonin Production
The sun might force you awake in the morning, but its also essential for helping you achieve restful sleep at night. Thats because your body relies on natural light to figure out what time it is, and determine whether to pump out energizing hormones or ones that leave you feeling relaxed and sleepy, like melatonin.
In other words, daylight helps your bodys natural clockwhich is dictated by the 24-hour cycle of day and nightknow when to feel awake and when to feel tired. When our pineal gland is triggered by light, especially sunlight, it sends signals and releases wake-promoting hormones, says Michele Roberge, RT, RPSGT, a neurodiagnostic lead technologist at Parrish Sleep Disorder Center. A simple walk to the mailbox every morning could really benefit someone who is suffering from insomnia.
When your hypothalamusthe gland responsible for regulating sleep and energy levelssenses a change in light, it tells your body to ramp up or ramp down its production of the sleep hormone melatonin. During the day, you feel energized and alert because you dont produce much melatonin. At night, you produce more, so you feel sleepy.
One way to keep everything on schedule is by flooding your body with light as soon as you get out of bed, which sends a clear message to your body that its time to wake up. Try opening your blinds, exercising outside, or even going sans sunglasses on your way to work.
What Is Considered Severe Insomnia
Periodically having trouble sleeping, also known as acute insomnia, is common. Acute insomnia lasts for a few days or weeks and often occurs during times of stress or life changes. Have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep more than three nights a week for three months or more is considered chronic insomnia.
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Specific Foods That Can Affect Sleep
Researchers, including nutritionists and sleep experts, have conducted different types of studies to try to discover the best foods for sleep. While this research provides important clues, its not conclusive. In general, theres a lack of direct evidence about specific foods that are good for sleep.
In addition, the range of varieties of cultivars of most foods means that their nutrient profile can be inconsistent. For example, some varieties of red grapes have high levels of melatonin while others have virtually none. Climate and growing conditions may further alter the nutrients in any particular food product.
That said, there are indications that certain foods can make you sleepy or promote better sleep. Sometimes this is based on a particular research study and in other cases on the underlying nutritional components of the food or drink.
Dietary choices affect more than just energy and sleepiness; they can play a major role in things like weight, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar levels just to name a few. For that reason, its best to consult with a doctor or dietician before making significant changes to your daily diet. Doing so helps ensure that your food choices support not just your sleep but all of your other health priorities as well.
Do Otc Sleep Aids Cause Side Effects
While the side effects of OTC sleep aids depend on certain factors such as dose and the person taking them, these medications are associated with the following:
|OTC Sleep Medication|
|Dizziness, drowsiness, thickening of mucus in nose or throat, and dry mouth, throat, and nose||31 major interactions, including acetaminophen and aspirin|
|Valerian||Headache, upset stomach, cognitive dysfunction, dry mouth, feelings of excitement or unease, strange dreams, and daytime drowsiness||3 major interactions, including sodium oxybate and buprenorphine|
Those with insomnia and other sleep issues can potentially benefit from taking one of these medications. However, as with other medications, you should exercise caution and speak with your doctor before taking any sort of OTC sleep aid. The physician will help you understand the potential side effects and drug interactions, as well as alternative treatment options that may serve you better.
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The Promise Of Cannabinol
Cannabinol is one of the cannabinoid compounds unique to cannabis and is a minor constituent of practically all Indica strains.
Just like CBD, CBN doesnt produce the potent mind-altering effects of THC, but it offers numerous health benefits including anti-insomnia, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, pain diminishment and also acts as an appetite stimulant.
Cannabinol is found in very minuscule amounts in every strain that contains it , and to my understanding growers havent started experimenting to bring about more CBN in plants, nor are there any CBN extracts or oils yet.
CBN was actually the first isolated cannabinoid , and whats also pretty interesting about this compound is that THC turns into CBN after long exposure to air .
These two cannabinoids are almost identical, except for 4 hydrogen atoms that THC molecule has, which get separated from it after prolonged exposure to air, light and heat.
THC molecules lose their hydrogen atoms over time and become CBN compounds, and because of this badly stored cannabis is far more sedative than when its properly kept because THC transforms into CBN.
I do not advise you to leave your pot for long periods of time in the open, as mold or other fungi cultures can start developing on it , which is definitely not good for you.
Do Natural Sleep Aids Have Side Effects
Some natural sleep aids can have side effects. For example, certain herbs or dietary supplements may cause allergic reactions in some people. Melatonin may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and excessive sleepiness . Drug interactions can also occur, which is why it’s important to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
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Insomnia By The Numbers
Various sleep surveys and studies have yielded mixed results about the prevalence of insomnia among different sleeper groups. Some conservative estimates show that 10% to 30%of adults live with chronic insomnia. For other studies, this figure is closer to 50% to 60%.
Insomnia is more prevalent in certain demographic groups, as well. Studies have shown insomnia affects 30% to 48% of older people. This may be attributed to chronic medical conditions, social isolation, and higher use of prescription medications, as well as factors like unhealthy sleep habits and stress that cause insomnia across all age groups. Other studies have found insomnia may occur in up to 23.8% of teenagers. More than 50% of pregnant women experience sleep issues that may be insomnia symptoms, as well.
Insomnia rates among different racial and ethnic groups are a bit harder to pin down. Some studies show a higher prevalence rate for insomnia among minority groups compared to Whites. Other studies have yielded contrasting results, which suggest Whites struggle with sleep-onset and sleep maintenance more than Blacks and Hispanics.
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How Can I Sleep Better Without Sleeping Pills
You may want to:
- Avoid large meals and alcohol before bed.
- Cut back on caffeine, including coffee, sodas and chocolate, throughout the day and especially before bedtime.
- Relax with soothing music, a good book or meditation.
- Shut off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Stay physically active during the day. Try to get outside, if possible.
- Stick to a sleep schedule even on weekends.
- Turn your bedroom into a dark, quiet and cool sanctuary.
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Best For Staying Sleep: Asutra Silk Eye Pillow
Another aspect of good sleep hygiene is keeping your room dark, according to Dr. W. Chris Winter, MD, the owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and the author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It. Research has shown that as little as 5 lux of lightwhich is about the intensity of candlelightcan affect the quality of people’s sleep. So if you have a skylight that you can’t cover up or sun streams through your windows in the wee hours, a sleep mask is a low-tech way to regulate light. The Asutra Silk Eye Pillow not only blocks out light, but is filled with flaxseed and lavender, an herb that can also encourage sleep.
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The Best Foods To Help You Sleep
Whether its a jolt after a cup of coffee or drowsiness after Thanksgiving dinner, most people have personally experienced how food and drinks can affect their energy and alertness.
With as many as 35% of American adults suffering from symptoms of insomnia, its understandable that theres a strong desire to take advantage of food and drinks for better sleep.
Both diet and sleep are complex, which means theres no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to help with sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a great nights sleep.
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Cbd Oil Dosage For Sleep
Theres no ideal dosage of CBD oil for sleep that will work for everyone. It depends on your body weight, genetics, your precise issue and its severity, and even the type of CBD product youre taking.
Thats why its best to follow the start low and go slow method where you begin with a small dose of CBD, like 10-15 mg, and wait a few hours to assess the effects.;
If you dont notice any change, you can incrementally raise your CBD dose over time, until you settle on the amount that gives you the desired effects.
Best Crystals For Insomnia
Cookeite, another crystal containing lithium, is a powerful aid for sleep. Although a rare stone, cookeite is incredibly effective at combating insomnia. Cookeite can create a peaceful, relaxed and tranquil environment conducive to a great nights rest. To use cookeite, place it under your pillow, on your bedside table or even in a crystal grid around your bed.
Danburite is another crystal great for protecting you against insomnia. This crystal promotes better sleep and relaxation, preventing you from experiencing more sleepless nights. This stone is also useful for lucid dreaming.;
This smooth black stone is an incredibly powerful grounding crystal, which can be useful if you are struggling with insomnia. This stone should help you not only fall asleep, but also stay asleep through the night.;;
This popular and stunning crystal is known for promoting soothing and calming energies which can aid insomnia. Howlite can also reduce stress and anxiety, which might be what is keeping you up in the first place. To use howlite, simply place it under your pillow and let it calm and slow your mind.
Leopardskin Jasper, Red Jasper and Dalmatian Jasper
These types of jasper are great for combating insomnia. Leopardskin jasper, which is named after its leopard-like spots, is a healing and protective stone. It can bring inner strength as well as protect us from negative energies, which can help us sleep more peacefully.;
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Different Forms Of Cbd
There are many ways to take CBD, and each method has its benefits and drawbacks.
- Capsule;– is a good way to take CBD as you know exactly how much you’re taking. It has to pass through your digestive system and get metabolized by your liver, so take capsules an hour or two before bed.
- Tinctures and sprays;– have the fastest absorption rate of all forms of CBD. Spray or place the drops under your tongue, then wait 60-90 seconds. The CBD will be absorbed in about 20 minutes via the mucous membranes in your mouth. The only drawback of these methods is that it’s a little more difficult to get an exact dosage, and sprays and tinctures will sometimes have a taste that people don’t like.
- Gummies;– ;have a similar absorption method to capsules. The only caution is that some brands contain a lot of added sugar, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Creams and lotions –;are generally a better option for localized pain, such as pain in your knee or elbow.
- Vaping;– we don’t recommend vaping due to safety concerns. Though it’s smokeless and fast-acting, manufacturers aren’t regulated, and as of February 2020, there have been 2,807 cases of vaping-related illness and 68 deaths.
What Are Flavonoids
Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients found in almost all fruits and vegetables and are responsible for vivid colors. They’re also found in grains, bark, roots, stems, and flowers.
Some flavonoids are only found in cannabis. These are called cannaflavins.
Three flavonoids found in cannabis are:
- Quercetin: antioxidant and anti-viral, also found in green tea, red wine, and berries.
- Apigenin: anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory, also found in chamomile, parsley, and celery.
- Cannaflavin A: a natural anti-inflammatory; research suggests that it could be a natural replacement for aspirin.
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How Does A High
Aside from giving youa stress-free sleep with a huge hug feels, experts said that quality weightedblankets could also be an aide to ease anxiety, depression, and most especiallyto help those who are having chronic sleep problems.
Itslike having the best hug for a long period of time. a goodalternative to life-long sedative-hypnotic medications atnight, University of Southern CaliforniaClinical Medicine assistant professor Raj Dasgupta, MD said.
Deep touch pressureis the science behind quality weighted blankets way of improving sleep. Deeptouch pressure promotes gentle applying of pressure to the body in order toincrease the production of serotonin a body chemical that helps inrelaxation.
also provides relaxing stimuli in the form of hugging, cuddling, swaddling,firm strokes, and squeezing. When the body feels all of these stimuli, itcreates a calming sensation which will help you to fall asleep and have a deepsleep all throughout the night.
A 2015 study from theshows that quality weighted blankets indeed help those people who have insomniato experience an improved quality of sleep.
back in 2006 reported that 63% of the 32 participants had lower anxiety afterusing weighted blankets. Meanwhile, 78%of them also said they felt more relaxed while using a weighted blanket.