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Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category

The balance of the three doshas is very important to leading a healthy and long life.
And one of the most essential pillars of dosha balancing is Sleep – a time when the body rejuvenates, repairs and replenishes.
We’ve all had nights of too much partying and not enough sleep with a 9am meeting to get to!
But without a night of good, undisturbed sleep you’ll feel lackluster, dimwitted and constantly on edge. Not something you would want to bring to an important meeting!
So what North and morning grumpiness have in common?

Anyone who’s had a fitful night of sleep knows the terrible day that awaits come morning. But it’s not just the lack of energy and the constant feeling of drowsiness. Without a solid 7 hours of sleep your body and mind are just not ready to cope with the stress each day holds.

Of course anyone who’s ever overslept can vouch for the dull, wooly feeling in your head when you wake up. This time your brain’s sluggish and your body cold.

Ayurveda suggests that human beings need no less than 7 hours of sleep and no more than 9. There’s always those exceptionally exhausted days when you might need 12 of course!

It also suggests some small changes in sleeping habits for a relaxing, undisturbed sleep. And this is where North and Grumpy come together!

10 Sleep Tips For A Beautiful Night

  1. One should always sleep with your head pointed East or south, East being the best direction. North and West can cause fitful sleep patterns.
  2. The bedroom should be clean and clutter free.
  3. The bed should be laid with a blanket or suitable insulating material like a bed sheet. It should be soft and comfortable.
  4. A suitable pillow should be used to support the neck and should be neither too high nor too low.
  5. The bedroom should be draught free.
  6. One should sleep on sides or on the back.
  7. One should not sleep immediately after food.
  8. The mind must be free from all worries at the time of going to bed. A brief spell of meditation can calm the mind and induce sleep
  9. Sleeping late at night is best avoided and will only promote diseases.
  10. Daytime sleeping is best avoided. In general in summers one can sleep in daytime but not in other seasons.

Thanks to http://www.theayurvedaexperience.com/

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CLOCK

Custodian Ray Keen checks the time on a clock face after changing the time on the 97-year-old clock atop the Clay County Courthouse, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, in Clay Center, Kan. As clocks prepare to spring forward for the start of Daylight Savings Time this weekend, the hour time difference may seem negligible but could have an impact on sleep patterns.

As Canadians prepare to set their clocks ahead an hour this weekend for the start of daylight time, chronically sleep-deprived people could be hit hard by the change.

“If you’re getting five to six hours of sleep regularly as an adult instead of what’s recommended — the seven to eight hours — then you’re going to suffer a bit more when you have one less hour of sleep than you would if someone who has more regular sleep scheduling,” said Dr. Reshma Amin, a pediatric respirologist and sleep physician at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

The timing in the brain is also affected by the transition, said Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary.

“Not only do we lose an hour of sleep on that Saturday-to-Sunday transition, but when you wake up at 7 a.m. if that’s your wake-up time, it is really in your brain 6 a.m., so there are two reasons for your brain to be tired in the morning.

“While we would generally say a one-hour displacement really isn’t a big deal and it’s easy to overcome, it’s that one weekend of the time change and the Monday morning seems to be where the biggest impact is.”

Teens are also often affected by the “spring forward” time change.

Through puberty, some develop what’s described as a delayed sleep phase, meaning they become night owls. Added to that, they have to get up earlier from the brain’s perspective, making them feel really tired, Samuels explained.

It’s more effective for teens to include naps in their routine as opposed to long sleeps which are counterproductive, he said.

For children who are a little more reliant on routine and sleep, Amin recommends a gradual shift in bedtime and wake-up time for a few days ahead of the time change.

So if you typically go to bed at 11 o’clock, roll the clock back in 15-minute intervals each night until you’ve totalled the time equivalent to what will be lost.

“It’s going to be easier for you to make that switch from 11 to 10:45 than it is to go from 11 to 10,” said Amin.

As well as getting more sleep leading up to the time change, Samuels said individuals shouldn’t try to stay up late during the weekend.

“Everybody should just chill out and not party heavily, go to bed at a reasonable time because it’s a cumulative effect. It’s very hard to recover that sleep debt once you add to it.”

Once adjusted to the time change, it’s important to stick to slumber routines, said Jennifer Garden, founder of Sleepdreams, a Vancouver-based company specializing in sleep consultations for children.

Key is good sleep hygiene, which includes creating an environment conducive to shut-eye — like resting in a cool, dark room.

“When you’re falling asleep, there’s a bunch of physiological changes that happen in order to get you off to sleep,” said Garden.

“The first one is your body temperature cools. And so if your room is too hot, it can’t get down to the temperature it needs in order to fall asleep properly.”

Garden said the optimal condition for sleep is from 16 to 19 C. The idea is to stay two to three degrees cooler than what most people consider to be room temperature.

Parents should also limit screen time for kids, and ensure it’s at least two to three hours away from bedtime.

“The bright blue and white light that’s emitted from screens — it can be a small as an iPod — but that light cues your brain (that) it’s not time to sleep.”

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Why 10 P.M. Is The Perfect Bedtime

Here’s why you should consider going to bed before midnight.

I’m going to take a wild guess that you already know that sleep affects how well you function. You’re also probably aware that sleep quality is part of the equation (not just quantity).

But the truth is, the time you go to bed, what you do in the hours before going to bed, and what you do when you wake up ALL have a big impact on your rest, according to wellness expert Shawn Stevenson. Shawn has studied the optimal methods for maximizing the quality of your sleep, and has looked at how everything from the set-up of your bedroom to how much water you drink during the day can affect your ZZs.

And considering Shawn’s wealth of knowledge on sleep, it stands to reason that he knows a thing or two about bedtimes. I asked Shawn if there is a golden bedtime for everyone, and his response was two-fold: One, everyone’s body IS different, so it’s most important to listen to what works best for you. But if you haven’t tried going to bed before midnight, give it a chance. We are biological beings affected by the sun’s patterns, so if we go to bed with the sun and wake up with it, we’re working with our natural circadian rhythm. In fact, the closer we can get to the sun’s patterns, the better our energy is. He recommends a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. sleep schedule (noting that it’s OK to be a little flexible with those times). Give it a try.

He offered some other tips for setting yourself up for a good night’s rest:

  • Stop looking at electronic device screens two hours before you want to fall asleep. (If that’s not going to happen, you can get some cool shades to block the blue light that keeps you up.)
  • Work out early in the day (even if it’s just a 10-minute set of ab exercises when you wake up).
  • Pay attention to what you’re eating in the second half of the day: Avoid caffeine, sugar, and dairy.

If you change your sleep habits (one at a time if need be), you’ll start to see changes in your sleep quality quickly. Better sleep creates better energy to carry you through your day. And who doesn’t need more of that?

Want to know more of Shawn’s tips for optimizing your daily habits and routines? You can listen to my full interview with him here.

For more information and links to the resources Shawn recommends, click here.

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Seven pages = lots of ads

http://www.healthscramble.com/7-foods-that-help-you-sleep/

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A team of researchers working with the US Department of Veterans Affairs found that both insomnia and suicidal ideation were reduced among veterans who participated in up to six sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

Working with 405 participants, 32% were experiencing suicidal ideation at the beginning of the study compared to 21% at the end. There was no control group.

Published in the journal Sleep, one of the authors described the results as “eye-opening” in a press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “In addition to improving insomnia and reducing suicidal thoughts, CBT-I led to improvements in depression and quality of life, which suggests that focusing greater attention on detecting and treating insomnia could produce substantial public health benefits,” stated the press release.

Trockel, Mickey, Bradley E. Karlin, C. Barr Taylor, Gregory K. Brown, and Rachel Manber. “Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia on Suicidal Ideation in Veterans.” SLEEP, February 1, 2015. doi:10.5665/sleep.4410. (Abstract)

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia reduces suicidal thoughts in veterans(American Academy of Sleep Medicine press release on ScienceDaily, February 2, 2015)

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Meditating may help older adults sleep better, a new study suggests.

The study involved about 50 adults in Los Angeles ages 55 and older who had trouble sleeping, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or who felt sleepy during the day. Participants were randomly assigned to complete either a mindfulness meditationprogram — in which people learn to better pay attention to what they are feeling physically and mentally from moment to moment — or a sleep education program that taught the participants how to develop better sleep habits.

The participants also completed a questionnaire to assess how well they were sleeping, and were given a score from 0 to 21, with higher scores indicating worse sleep.

After six weeks, the participants in the mindfulness group showed greater improvements in their sleep scores compared to those in the sleep education group. On average, the meditators improved their sleep score by 2.8 points, compared with 1.1 points for those in the sleep education group.

That level of improvement in sleep scores means that meditation works as well as other sleep treatments, including sleep drugs, the researchers said. [Mind Games: 7 Reasons You Should Meditate]

Compared with the people in the sleep education group, people in the meditation group also saw greater improvements in their symptoms of insomnia, fatigue and depression.

The findings suggest that “mindfulness meditation may be introduced to older adults as a short-term solution to remediate their moderate sleep disturbances,” the researchers, from the University of Southern California, wrote in the Feb. 16 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. However, more work is needed to assess how effective the mindfulness program is in improving sleep over the long term, they noted.

Previous studies had found that other forms of mind-body exercise, such as tai chi, have been linked with improved sleep in older adults. But tai chi requires movement, and the new study is one of the first to examine how a type of meditation that does not require movement affects sleep, the researchers said. Such a treatment might be particularly useful for older adults with mobility limitations, Adam Spira, a researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who was not involved in the research, wrote in an editorial accompanying the study.

What’s more, mindfulness programs are generally accessible within communities and are offered at a low cost, the researchers said. Although some types of psychotherapy have been shown to improve sleep in people with insomnia, such therapies are not as readily available to the general public because they require trained health care professionals to administer them, the researchers said.

Treatment with sleep drugs is also common, but these drugs can have side effects, including daytime sleepiness and a risk of developing drug dependency. In the study, there were no harmful events tied to participating in the meditation group or the sleep education program, the researchers said.

More studies are now needed to replicate the findings, and to see if mindfulness meditation is also useful for older adults who have an official diagnosis of insomnia, the researchers said.

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What if the reason you’re always tired isn’t because of life’s many stresses and demands, but because of an underlying, undiagnosed sleep disorder?

That’s the case for many people with sleep apnea, a condition that causes people to stop breathing while asleep, sometimes as often as hundreds of times a night. These brief pauses in breathing disrupt sleep enough to leave sleep apnea sufferers feeling unrested in the morning, even though they might not notice the interruptions while they’re happening.

A number of sleep apnea patients shared their own experiences with the condition in the National Geographic channel’s documentary “Sleepless in America.” “I was falling asleep driving constantly,” a woman with sleep apnea says in the clip above. “I thought it was because I had a small child and was just running around…But the truth was, there was a sleep disorder behind all of it.”

Experts estimate that at least 18 million Americans live with sleep apnea. It’s more common in men, smokers, older people and people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. Medical professionals urge loud snorers to speak with their doctors about sleep apnea…

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