Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Cure Insomnia - Without Pills

One of the most difficult problems these days is what is called a sleep disorder or Insomnia. People have long lasting stress related problems which can present in many cases as a sleep disorder or Insomnia. To cope with Insomnia people tend to opt for more and more pills. But pills have many adverse effects, first and foremost is probably the tendency to addiction. One should look for more natural remedies.

Exercise helps to release pent-up stress. It strengthens the body and at the same time tires and relaxes it. It also helps the body to cope with ongoing stress. Good exercises are walking, swimming or step aerobics.

For your mind to relax fast it is important to learn to relax your body, which many of us probably dont do. Progressive muscle relaxation is good to try. With progressive muscle relaxation, the body systematically releases its tension. Give it a go as you read.Start with your toes and tense and relax each muscle on your way to the top of your head.

Up to 60% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related complaints. Massage has an amazing effect on the bodies nervous system. When a massage activates the bodies parasympathetic nervous system, it counteracts the bodies negative response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing heart rate, blood pressure and circulation to return to normal.Not only that but it's Fun!

Massage not only improves the circulation of the blood, but also increases the circulation of the lymphatic system helping the body to fight off infection and speeding recovery from injuries and illness. It promotes sleep helping to cure insomnia, helping to insulate the mind from day-to-day stress and enhancing the bodies immune system. A good night's sleep cannot only help you to stay alert, bright and focused the next day but also it can also keep you healthy in the long run.

Meditation helps to rest both to the mind and the body. This deep rest helps the body to eliminate deeply rooted stress that sleep or a holiday never seem to touch. This relief of tension on the nervous system and the brain helps you to sleep better. Meditation can be helpful for those in critical occupations, such as the military, police, airline or hospital personnel. Similarly meditation can be helpful for sleep problems arising due to jet lag.

Various researches and studies have showed that mediation can be the ultimate stress reliever and a relaxing natural way for better sleep. Meditation helps the body to and rejuvenates the senses. If practiced regularly mediation helps significantly in the most serious sleep disorders and Insomnia.

A better diet helps your body cope with all types of stress. Avoid too many alcoholic, acidic and sour substances. Eliminate caffeine completely from the diet. "Stimulants are Bad" for sleep disorders and Insomnia.

Good foods mainly refer to foods such tuna, halibut, pumpkin artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, bok choy, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, asparagus, potatoes, buckwheat, and bananas. Absolutely NO visible white fat. Milk is rich in protein and also contains tryptophan which helps in inducing better sleep.

Herbal Tea is a prime example of a Herbal Remedy. A herbal tea, or tisane in English or ptisane in Greek, is an herbal infusion mainly comprising of white, yellow, black, oolong and green tea. Other ingredients of herbal tea may also include fresh or dried flowers, leaves, seeds and roots of natural herbs.

Herbal teas are said to have numerous health benefits and medicinal qualities. Some specific varieties can have a calming effect

Pour boiling water over the herbs and let them steep for a few minutes. Strain and sweeten if required/desired. Other common ingredients that can be found in herbal teas are rose hips often blended with hibiscus, rosemary, sage, sassafras, skullcap, stag horn, sumac, stevia, thyme, tulsi, uncaria and tomentosa. on the nervous system that acting as a sedative offering a healthy, nontoxic alternative to prescription drugs. For insomnia herbal tea works best when taken right at bedtime to help you get to sleep.

According to professional herbalists herbal tea can naturally relieve insomnia and correct the problems within the body that cause these symptoms.

Some common natural herbs like hops and valerian are effective in relaxing the nervous system for a natural and restorative sleep. Herbal tea also makes a pleasant-tasting drink for all occasions that helps to calm the body and relax the mind to promote a deep restful sleep.

Feng Shui Insomnia Remedies for everyday use

Sleep is essential for our body and mind to rejuvenate, recharge and refresh itself in order to be able to function normally everyday. A nightly eight hours sleep is recommended but some people make do with six and others may need a couple more in order to feel fully recharged. When you have trouble sleeping for more then a week, you may be experiencing a disorder known as insomnia, which can occur due to a variety of reasons.

Recognizing insomnia in its early stages and treating it as soon as possible is crucial in order for you to get back to you normal life and/or not develop other disorders from lack of sleep.

The Causes Of Insomnia

Stress is by far the number one reason of insomnia but definitely not the only one. You can experience stress from work, relationship problems, financial difficulties or an existing medical condition. You can experience insomnia as a side effect from administering different types of drugs for an existing medical condition as well.

Whatever the reason of your insomnia, if not treated it can further develop other disorders such as, anxiety and depression along with change in appetite, mood swings and fatigue. Lack of quality sleep can leave you feeling drowsy the whole day and unable to focus on any activity, which can lead to accidents if you are handling hazardous materials at work, driving and/or cooking.

Treating Insomnia With Feng Shui

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that concentrates on combining lifestyles with the placement of items and/or furniture in the house in order to induce harmony of the body and mind. Some easy to follow feng shui insomnia remedies are to change your house and especially bedroom ambiance in order to relax your mind through the power of sight.

It is a well known fact is that visual effects impacts our mind faster and feng shui insomnia remedies helps create those effect to relax your mind into a blissful night’s sleep. Some of the changes required in the feng shui insomnia remedies are changing the wall colors or your bedroom to pastel, soothing types, using comfortable bed sheets, pillows and mattresses as well as ensuring that you don’t have any other disturbances in the bedroom like television or music of any kind.

Other feng shui insomnia remedies may include adequate lighting in the bedroom and/or playing soothing sounds that will help induce sleep. The best part about feng shui insomnia remedies is that it works with your mind and body to gradually retrain it to relax, relieve stress and get back the natural sleeping time you need. Feng shui insomnia remedies do not have any side effects unlike the existing sleeping drugs that are habit forming and often leave you drowsy the next day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sleep apnea can cause depression

Sleep apnea can cause symptoms of apparent clinical depression which may respond quickly to treatment of the sleep disorder. A knowledge of the intellectual and emotional impact of sleep apnea may be important in making a correct differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, many physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists may be unaware of this connection which may lead to apparent symptoms of depression. If there is a possibility that a patient's depression is caused by sleep apnea, they should undergo evaluation and, if necessary, receive treatment for their sleep disorder. In addition, people with sleep apnea may need support in addressing emotional aspects of treatment and recovery. Informed, trained therapists can provide essential therapy and support to the patient and the patient's family in the recovery process.

The invisible epidemic of sleep apnea and snoring

The impact of sleep apnea and snoring on sleep and health in the individual and for the public should not be ignored. According the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research: "Forty million Americans are chronically ill with various sleep disorders...Sleep apnea alone is the cause of excessive daytime sleepiness experienced by almost 20 million Americans... Overwhelming evidence from testimony and specific surveys suggests that the vast majority of Americans with sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated. ... " (Report of the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, Wake up America: A National Sleep Alert, Executive Summary and Report, January 1993.)(hereafter cited as NCSDR)

What is sleep apnea

"Obstructive sleep apnea is an illness characterized by snoring, partial or complete cessation of breathing during sleep, reductions in blood oxygen levels, severe sleep fragmentation, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Researchers and clinicians have recognized sleep apnea as one of the most common sleep disorders and with perhaps the greatest medical and social impact on society in terms of morbidity and mortality. The syndrome strikes both sexes and all races, ages, socioeconomic strata, and ethnic groups, though it is less common in women prior to menopause, and may be more common in blacks than in whites." (NCSDR)

"The potential consequences of obstructive sleep apnea are significant and include hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, pulmonary hypertension, congestive hear failure, stroke, neuropsychiatric problems, cognitive impairment, sexual disfunction, and injury due to accidents. Finally the Commission estimates that cardiovascular deaths attributable to obstructive sleep apnea alone may be as high as 38,000 annually."(NCSDR)

"In the United States, 11,845,000 people between the ages of 30-60 are estimated to have obstructive sleep apnea; nearly one-quarter of them (3,029,000) experience the disorder at a moderate or severe level. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea may be much higher in specific subgroups. ... For the approximately 31 million Americans who are age 65 and older, the best estimate of obstructive sleep apnea is 7,440,000, with 46 percent at the moderate or severe level." (NCSDR)

Recent studies show that among employed people 30 to 60 years old, at least 2 percent of the women and 4 percent of the men may have treatable sleep apnea syndrome, while 24 percent of the men and 9 percent of the women showed disturbed breathing during sleep. (Terry Young et. al. in the New England Journal of Medicine, April 1993). An editorial by Eliot Phillipson, MD in the same issue of NEJM proclaimed sleep apnea as "a major public health problem."

Diagnosis and treatment for apnea and snoring

Diagnosis is made on the basis of the clinical picture, patient and spouse reports, and an overnight polysomonogram done in the laboratory or even at home. Effective treatment eliminates snoring and apnea. The success of treatment is measured by the reduction of respiratory disturbance to normal levels, by the elimination of symptoms like fatigue and depression, and the patient's subjective feeling of well-being. The "gold standard" treatment accepted by physicians and others trained in sleep disorders medicine is the continuous application of positive air pressure through a mask during sleep (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure--CPAP). The additional air pressure keeps the airway from collapsing. Since this permits normal breathing to continue during sleep, normal sleep patterns emerge, sleep becomes restorative, and the patient feels better. The impact is often immediate and dramatic although the patient may need to continue therapy permanently. Weight loss, surgery and other interventions may also have their place in treatment.

The role of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers


Even a basic understanding of sleep apnea can be the basis for awareness and referral. A patient presenting with fatigue, depression, or problems in social relationships might have a primary problem of sleep apnea. If so, treatments appropriate for depression may miss the mark. If snoring, gasps, or pauses in breathing during sleep are reported, referral to an expert in sleep disorders for evaluation may be appropriate. A simple questionnaire may be all that is needed to pinpoint suspicious symptoms.

Role in Treatment

Psychologists and psychiatrists can play an important role in the treatment of sleep apnea. With appropriate training in sleep disorders, they can play a part in the sleep laboratory or in the clinic.

A significant number of patients fail to comply with treatment, sometimes because they may lack appropriate emotional support and are unable to adjust to their new status. Family members and colleagues may not understand or accept the positive changes in the patient's personality. And the patient and those close to him or her must come to grips with the loss of functioning for years before treatment. Finally, if symptoms of depression occur in a patient with known sleep apnea, appropriate treatment may require looking at both the treatment for sleep apnea--is it effective?--and at the possibility of depression. While there are support groups and patient-centered organizations which can be very important to patients and their families, professional intervention and support may also be needed.

The therapeutic skills of the psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or other helping professional can assist the patient and family to succeed in treatment and achieve a full rehabilitation. The patient with sleep apnea faces tremendous social and emotional challenges in accepting therapy.

© 1995 Jerry Halberstadt and New Technology Publishing, Inc.