Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Is a good night’s sleep eluding you?
Tossing and turning the whole night through,
Drowsiness, fatigue, a lack of sleep,
There is more help than just counting sheep.
There are many factors that can cause sleep problems, and even more potential solutions. The steps you take to improve your sleeping patterns will be individual, based on the cause of your insomnia and the treatment plan laid out by your health care provider. In addition to the many lifestyle changes that can help you sleep better, the following nutrition tips and supplements may also help improve the quality and quantity of your shut-eye:
Stop eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime. If your body is trying to digest food, you won't be able to fully relax, fall asleep or stay asleep.
Limit: fried and fatty foods, refined carbohydrates (such as white rice, breads, pasta, and sugars), and spicy foods (especially if you are prone to heartburn), especially before bedtime. The effects of these foods can interfere with your ability to get a good night's sleep.
Enjoy a light snack approximately two hours before bedtime, as falling and staying asleep can be difficult if you are hungry. A healthy snack can help take the edge off of your hunger and help you sleep through the night. Your snack should contain mostly carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. This combination may help increase the availability of tryptophan (an amino acid that helps induce sleep) to your brain. A few pre-bedtime snack ideas include:
A small bowl of oatmeal
Cereal with low-fat milk
Yogurt with granola sprinkled on top
Half of a bagel topped with peanut butter
A piece of whole wheat bread with one slice of deli turkey
Six whole-grain crackers with one ounce cheese
Sliced apple with one ounce cheese or peanut butter
Avoid alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep quickly, but it can disrupt your normal sleep patterns and leave you feeling un-rested the next morning. Continued ›
Avoid caffeinated drinks and foods during the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate that can delay your sleep or cause you to wake up during the night. You may want to avoid caffeine entirely and see if your sleep improves.
Limit the consumption of liquids in the evening, to decrease the urge to go to the bathroom during the night.
Along with these lifestyle measures, you may wish to consider a natural sleep aid supplement. Supplements should NEVER be taken together or with other sedative drugs. Discuss the appropriateness of these supplements with your doctor first, as well as dosage and the risk of physical and psychological dependency. The two best-researched, most effective supplemental sleep aids are valerian root and melatonin.
Valerian root (valeriana officinalis) is a sedative herb that has been used for centuries. Several small studies have suggested that valerian helps people fall asleep and stay asleep. It may take up to four weeks (or more) of usage to notice improvements in sleep, and this herb can leave some people feeling "fuzzy" the next morning. A typical dosage of valerian root is 300-600 milligrams of valerian extract in tablet or capsule form, 30 minutes before bedtime. Always discuss valerian root with your doctor before trying it.
Melatonin is a hormone (made in the brain of humans but also produced by animals and plants) that appears to play a critical role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. So far, the effects of melatonin are complex and poorly-understood, but research shows that it is "possibly effective" in decreasing sleep disturbances caused by jetlag, as well as "likely effective" in easing sleep disorders in blind children and adults, and people with mental retardation, autism, or other central nervous system disorders. There is not enough research to conclude anything about melatonin's effectiveness for other sleep disturbances. Melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter, but always discuss melatonin use with your doctor before trying it.
When it comes to treating insomnia, there is insufficient evidence or limited research to support the following supplements:
While nutritional changes and supplements alone are possibilities for curing your insomnia, it's best to take a comprehensive approach. Work with your doctor to find potential underlying causes to your sleeping problems, and create a treatment plan that encompasses lifestyle, diet and exercise changes to help you sleep better.
Friday, August 22, 2014
SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS:
When you fail to accomplish what you set out to do, refuse to see yourself as a failure. Rather, see failure as an opportunity to make a course correction instead of sinking in the mire of condemnation. You are Mine; you belong to Me. I am with you to show you the way to victory, says the Lord. Be strong and courageous.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Monday, July 07, 2014
* Take a 10 - 30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile.
It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
* Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life.
* When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, "My purpose is to_____today. I am thankful for ____."
* Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
* Drink tea and plenty of water. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
* Try to make at least three people smile each day.
* Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
* Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
* Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
* Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
* Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
* You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
* Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
* Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
* No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
* Frame every so called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this really matter?"
* Forgive everyone for everything.
* What other people think of you in unimportant. Truth is, they're probably not thinking of you at all.
* GOD heals everything -- but you have to ask Him first.
* However good or bad a situation is, it will change. Change is the ONLY constant in the universe.
* Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch!
* Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
* Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: "I am thankful for _____. Today, I accomplished ____."
* Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
* When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it!
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