Tips to help you get some sleep

Tips to help you get sleep

Insomnia can be caused by many different things. However, thanks to hectic schedules and the demands on us, the average person is tenser than ever, which means some of us are getting less sleep than our body requires for proper functioning.

We know how upsetting it can be to be kept awake by a noisy neighbor, car alarm, phone ringing and even your teen cranking up the music late at night. But when it's things related to you that are interfering with your own Zzz‘s, it can make us severely stressed along with other effects.

The effects

A 2005 study showed that a group of rats which were deprived of REM sleep for five days had no significant effect on their ability to heal wounds, compared to a group of rats not deprived of sleep. Another study at the Gumustekin et al in 2004 showed sleep deprivation hindering the healing of burns on rats.

Impaired ability

Beyond impaired motor skills, people who get too little sleep may have higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and may take unnecessary risks.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 traffic accidents each year in the USA alone are caused by fatigue and drowsiness.

Micro sleeps

Micro sleeps occur when a person has a significant sleep deprivation. The brain automatically shuts down, falling into a sleep state for a period that can last 10 to 60 seconds. The person mentally falls asleep no matter what activity he or she is engaged in. Micro sleeps are similar to blackouts and a person experiencing them is not consciously aware that they are occurring. Great sleep deprivation mimics psychosis: distorted perceptions can lead to inappropriate emotional and behavioral responses.


Several studies using nationally representative samples suggest that the obesity problem in the United States might have as one of its causes, a corresponding decrease in the average number of hours that people are sleeping. The results suggest that this might be happening because sleep deprivation could be disturbing hormones that control glucose metabolism and appetite.

Things to know.


Sleep deprivation can be used as a means of interrogation that some believe will add up to torture when used to excess. Under one interrogation technique, a person might be kept awake for several days and when finally allowed to fall asleep, suddenly awakened and questioned.

Treatment for depression

I was astonished to learn that recent studies show sleep deprivation has some potential in the treatment of depression. About 60% of patients, when sleep-deprived, show immediate recovery, with most relapsing the following night. The effect has been shown to link to increases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor .

The occurrence of relapse in depression can be decreased by combining sleep deprivation with medication.

Mental Health

A potential cause of sleep deprivation is a chemical imbalance in brain activity such as those associated with mania or hypomania. Manic individuals are often capable of long periods without sleep, or with very little sleep.


A National Sleep Foundation survey found that college/university-aged students get an average of 6.8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation is common in college freshmen as they try and get use to the stress and social activities of college life.

Psycho physiologic insomnia,

Some of us are familiar with this form of sleep deprivation, the type where after worrying about how you got no sleep the night before, you get into bed early the next night, worried that it'll happen again. I myself detest these night's. This type of sleep deprivation brings on panic, produces brain activity that makes it even harder to sleep, and the cycle continues for days, even weeks.

This can make us very tired and cranky. Insomnia also decreases your immunity, makes you forgetful, and can even lower your metabolism which can result in weight gain.

Tips for getting a good nights rest. Consistency is key.

Keeping it under control.

Keeping insomnia under control means learning how to reduce your stress levels during the day and practicing healthy routines. Here are a few tips’ that can help guide you through the process and hopefully lead you toward a good night’s sleep.

Limit modern technology. Minimize the use of your cell phone to a large degree; if possible turn it off two, three hours before bedtime. Same rule for your social networking sites and email, etc which can increase anxiety because you're consistently anticipating the next call, text, or message.

Stop the caffeine. You can’t possibly hear this as often as you do for it not to be true. Caffeine keeps you awake, point blank. It stay’s in your body longer than you might think, the effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off. So try to stop any sort of caffeine intake a few hours before bedtime.

Alcohol as a sleep aid? Not a good idea. Alcohol consumption may seem like it helps you fall asleep, but it can cause disturbances in sleep. Alcohol drinks before bedtime may make it more likely that you will wake up during the night.

R and R before bed time. Stresses and worries of the day are frustrating and add total interference on your sleep. 10 to 30 minutes of relaxation, meditating, stretching, taking a hot bath can help you get a better sleep.

Dark, quiet and comfortable. Sometimes, even the slightest noise or light can disturb sleep, like noise from your pet or the light from the street lamp post. Use window blinds or curtains that help block of extra lighting from the outside or a soothing water stream music cd to ward off annoying sounds.

Eat for sleep. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. An over full tummy can keep you up. Some foods can help, Warm milk helps. Other foods that may help promote sleep include tuna, avocados, almonds, eggs, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, and bananas. Also, try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This way you don’t have to get up to use the bathroom during the night.

No big napping. If you’re having an extremely difficult time sleeping and you must nap, make it a 10 to 15 minute nap and it helps if it’s before 3 pm.

Reading. Try reading a book rather than watching television. My experience has been that reading a book helps me get sleepy within twenty minutes of starting.

No upsetting issues. Try not to engage in any heated, emotional discussions before bedtime. They can most likely lead to a no sleep night.

Of course, many of these tips may not bring you fast results, but never the less, they can bring results if you practice consistency and have a " not giving up " frame of mind.

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