How to Treat Insomnia

You know that you should be getting that good quality sleep tonight, but insomnia rears its ugly head and things end up out of hand. Not getting enough sleep could affect your waking hours too, your productivity is weakened, you can’t focus on simple things like driving, you feel easily tired and your mood is really sour. A lot of people suffer from insomnia in its many forms too, they can’t fall asleep, or they can’t stay asleep. Either way, a lot of people experience it almost every night. However, before you write it off as one of life’s unsolvable mysteries, it turns out that simple tweaking of your daily routine can help your quality of sleep at night. Here’s what you should know regarding how to treat insomnia.

Comfort is Key

It might be difficult for you to fall asleep in the first place if your bed is too hard or even too soft. In many cases, you might even be repeatedly awakened all throughout the night by loud noises. When you groggily wake up, you might not even realize which sound woke you up.

You might want to try sleeping in a quieter room, or even wear earplugs. An environment which is conducive to sleep is one that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. When you’re in the bedroom, you should limit your activities in there to sleep and sex only – no work, no eating and no television even. Your bedroom should be a simple place for sleep and relaxation; nothing more, nothing less.

Steer Away from Caffeine and Alcohol

Some people think that sleeping problems can be relieved by alcohol – after all, it does make you drowsy after a good dose. However, it also pulls you out of sleep with a headache, a stomachache, or a full bladder. In addition, once that sedative effect wears off, it’ll be difficult for you to fall asleep again and you’re left nursing a hangover.

Caffeine of course, stimulates your brain. If you really need your coffee early in the morning, limit your intake to two cups a day. After lunch, make it a point not to consume any food or beverage that contains any sort of caffeine.

Work It Out

There are a lot of myths out there regarding sleep and exercise. Before, people would advise you to avoid exercising at night since the adrenaline rush would keep you awake. Unfortunately, the studies prove otherwise. Research shows that regular, healthy exercise improves sleep. If you are an insomniac, picking up on a regular exercise routine will allow you to sleep better and give you more energy all day. Of course, it would depend on your schedule. If working out at night inevitably interrupts your sleep, go for a run in the morning instead; it’s that simple.

Keep a Routine

One important rule for people suffering from insomnia is to keep a strict sleep-wake schedule. This means that keeping this schedule even at the weekends. If you have trouble sleeping one night, get up at your usual time the next morning and avoid naps. Taking naps will get you in trouble instead, since you will have difficulty with sleeping the next night and an unhealthy cycle will repeat. In the event that you have trouble sleeping, it will be better to get yourself good and sleepy instead, so that you’ll sleep easy the next night.

At first, it might be difficult for you to find a routine that works for you. You could keep a ‘sleep blog’ wherein you write all the methods you have tried and if that method worked or not. Of course, when you try a new method or routine, remember to give it a good week for you to be able to know if it is effective or not.

Relax after Work

If getting home means facing a mountain of bills and noisy children, then relaxing can be next to impossible. However you should establish a routine, even if it’s just 5 minutes. You can brew yourself a warm cup of tea, take a good soak, or just spend some time alone. It only takes a few minutes for you to unwind and calm yourself down before you prepare for bed.

In fact, you might have already been programmed before by your parents regarding your sleep schedule. When your mom bathed you or read to you a story before bedtime, she was actually reinforcing a signal that it’s time to settle down and get ready for sleep. Establishing a routine would depend again on your schedule and your living conditions, nevertheless, a ritual could help you fall asleep fast.

When you soak up some soap suds, it’s also a good time to meditate. It might sound like a long shot or something uncommon, but meditation works and that’s why we recommend it. Meditation sends signals to your nervous system, disengaging you from the ‘fight or flight’ response you’ve been experiencing all day. You’re basically telling your brain and body that it’s alright to relax now.

Get It on Before Bed

There are a lot of jokes out there about how men fall fast asleep after sex. However, after sex, men’s bodies flood with a relaxing hormone which is also released during sleep. Of course, after all that hard physical exertion the man’s body also needs to relax itself, meaning a deep sleep for men. For women, they also produce and release their own relaxing hormone, in even larger quantities. This is the main reason why getting some action in bed can be very beneficial for you and your partner before you both go to sleep.

Dessert Anyone?

As a general rule, you should have already finished your meal two or three hours before bedtime. However, that comforting snack of milk and cookies could actually help you fall asleep fast. Sweet foods eaten 30 minutes before bedtime can act as a sedative and you feel better when you wake up as compared to using those sleeping pills. You can also use honey and mix it with your warm tea or milk before going to bed.

Keep Your Phone Away

You basically keep your phone with you all day, so you’ve got to take a break from using it. The same also applies to your laptop and tablet. These light-emitting devices engage and can easily stimulate your mind. You might not even be aware of it, but if you place your phone somewhere near you, you can easily pull it out and play games or browse the night away. Bedtime should be a time of relaxation for you so putting your phone out of arm’s reach is definitely a good way to get rid of that simple but effective distraction.

There is no one formula or single trick for getting that perfect sleep. You have to remember that your situation and personality is different so what relaxes you might not even be outlined here. However that’s what we’ve also been suggesting, try to experiment with different methods on treating insomnia to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you nail that perfect sleep regimen, you’ll be kissing those sheep goodbye.

Mental Health Basics

Mental health is something that a lot of people tend to ignore. They don’t think about it until they encounter some problems connected to it, or when their family or friends fall victim to some mental health issue. Mental health is just as important as physical health and this is something that people should recognize.

Mental Health and Mental Illness

In the past mental health actually came to be identified with mental illness and the two terms came to be accepted as referring to the same thing. In recent years, the difference between the two became more identified. Mental health is now understood to be the state of well-being of a person under which he/she can work and give out the best results. A positive mental health is generally seen to be beneficial to physical health as well. Unfortunately, less than a fifth of all adults in the United States are perceived to be in their optimal mental health.

Mental illness on the other hand refers to all disorders and diseases that affect the thinking, behavior and the mood of a person. Depression is by far the most common of all mental disorders and it is estimated that it affects one-fourth of all American adults. There are more serious mental illnesses than depression.

Indicators of Mental Health

What are the things which can be used as a measurement to see if a person has a good mental health? There are several indicators. The first one is emotional well-being. This is the measure of how well-adjusted a person is. If a person is satisfied with his/her life, peaceful, cheerful and generally happy, then it could be said that the person has good mental health. Psychological well-being is the measure of one is able to accept changes and things in life as they come. Social well-being refers to the way that a person interacts with others and how that person finds his/her spot on a social level.

What You Need to Know about Mental Illness

We have mentioned that mental illness is any disease that affects the thinking and the behavior of a person. There is still a great deal that is now known when it comes to these types of illness. The symptoms for the various mental health problems can vary widely. Some are quite mild while others are intense. The usual effect is that an individual is unable to cope with the complications of daily life because of the illness.

Causes of Mental Illness

One of the keys in understanding a disease is to find out what has actually caused it. Once the cause of the disease is known it would be a lot easier to treat it. But that is just of the difficulties that would have to be faced when it comes to mental illnesses. For the most part it is still unclear as to what actually causes these illnesses. Through research it has now been determined that there are several factors which can affect mental diseases . Here are some of those factors:

Genetics

Genetics or heredity is most probably the most prominent factor of mental illness that could be mentioned. If you ask anyone about what they suppose are the major factors that affect mental illness, genetics would likely be at the very top or at least very near it. That’s what people usually think about or associate the most whenever mental illness is mentioned or discussed.

And the fact is that there are plenty of mental illnesses that actually run in families, being passed through generations. It is really passed through the genes, from parents and onto their children, and so forth. This happens because genes possess the set of instructions on how our cells should actually function. It is responsible for the way we act, think, how we look, etc. This does not necessarily mean, though, that because one of the parents of a certain individual has mental illness, then he would also get it. The fact that genetics is a factor in mental illness means that you are more likely to get the condition than if none of your parents had any history of it.

Mental illness is believed to be connected to problems that present in multiple genes. This is a departure from other diseases which usually involve only one. This is also the explanation why even though a person inherits the likelihood of being afflicted with the illness; it does not necessarily mean that he is actually going to develop it. There are other factors involved, which usually interact with those genes – like psychological trauma as well as other stressors. Those would all serve to combine and eventually trigger the outbreak of the illness in an individual.

Psychological Trauma

A person who has suffered severe psychological trauma is likely to develop mental illness as well. The types of psychological trauma that are likely to lead to the development of severe mental illness usually has its roots in the individual’s childhood – his early years and even his teenage years. It could be brought about by severe emotional abuse that was suffered as a child, which could really scar the individual for the rest of his life as well as trigger mental illness later on.

Then there is also the physical kind of abuse that is also likely to have the same kind of effect. Not only would there probably be scars that would linger as serve as a reminder of the abuse, but the chances of developing mental illness is also there because of it. It might not seem like an obvious cause of mental issues, but if a child experiences neglect from his loved ones – particularly the parents – then it can also lead to problems later on in life. If the child also happened to have experienced a painful loss – or several – in his young life then could also be a factor. The loss of a parent or both parents could severely affect the emotional and psychological make-up of any child, leading to mental health issues.

Biology

Biology could never be discounted as a factor when dealing with mental illness. There are mental illnesses that have been traced to the imbalance of brain chemicals that are known as neurotransmitters. Its function is to help the nerve cells found within the brain to communicate. When the balance between these chemicals is disruptive then it can result in changes in behaviour and in the way that a person would act. Another biological cause of mental illnesses are defects and injuries that are sustained by the brain. Inflammation of the brain has also been linked and connected with the development of mental problems.

Environment

The environment within which a person is living in can also be a strong factor when it comes to the development of mental health issues. A dysfunctional family setting has always been identified as one of the causes for a person to develop a disruptive type of behaviour eventually. Criminally insane suspects are often been found to have been found to be products of abnormal family environments. Stressful environmental situations like the death of a loved one or going through a divorce and also become environmental factors for developing mental problems.

Preventing Mental Illness

One question that a lot of people are asking about mental illness is whether it can be prevented. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Because mental illnesses are caused by several factors and not just a single one, it would almost be impossible to actually prevent it. A person can have a tendency to have a mental illness because of genetics, but it might be triggered by environmental factors or biological ones.

Treatment of Mental Illness

There are several ways of treating mental illnesses. The method used would depend on the kind of illness and its severity. There are certain medications that can be used for certain mental problems. There are drugs for example that can be sued for treating depression. Those drugs can be used to try and elevate the feeling of the patient. Each mental illness would require a different type of medication and it is important that these medications should only be used under the guidance of doctors.

Psychotherapy can also be used for treating mental problems. There are two types of psychotherapy that can be used now, these are the individual and the group. In psychotherapy, the patient would try to open up with his issues and the professional would listen and take note of the problems that become evident from what the patient is saying. The same thing is true with group therapy, but this time the one on one setting is abandoned.

Hospital treatment can also be used especially for severe mental disorders. In this case the patient is institutionalized and undergoes a variety of treatment within the hospital setting. There are also other forms of treatment that are more specific and targeted.

Mental health is just as important to use as our physical health. That’s why we should pay as much attention to it and never put it on the side-lines because doing so can cause problems to us in the long run.

Common Health Mistakes

When you think about it nothing should be more important to people than their health. But despite that bit of reality, a lot of people are not paying close attention to it. They only consider it when they get sick or there is something wrong with their bodies already. That’s not how things should be. To help you become healthier, here are some of the more common health mistakes that people are making today:

Too Much Stress

Most young people today are leading very busy lives and the side effect of that is that they are ending up very stressed. That we should feel stress is actually a part natural mechanism of the body. Our ancestors felt stress from certain factors in the environment which affected their lives. The stress prompted the body to release adrenaline which gave them greater strength. The problem now is that our bodies are constantly being bombarded with stress that we have no rest.

Research has revealed that young people of today are more stressed out than any other generation. That’s not a good thing for your health because stress has been linked to several illnesses. It can also weaken the body to the point where it becomes more exposed to certain diseases.

Thinking That You Are Not at Risk of Stroke

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they are not at risk of getting stroke. They believe that they are too young and that only people who are heavily overweight would get it. But it is a mistake to think that way. Researchers have shown that there is an increase in the incidence of stroke in people who are 22 to 50 years old. This increase in the incidence of strokes in younger people is caused by very unhealthy lifestyles.

Having a stroke early in life would mean leading a very poor quality of life later on. The good news for young people is that the things that makes them more vulnerable to stroke can be prevented. Obesity and being overweight are the main culprits and you can work on those.

Believing That Smoking Marijuana Has No Consequences

There is a clamour today for legalizing pot or marijuana. Advocates of pot say that smoking it does not have any ill-effects and that it can only enhance good feelings. They claim that pot can actually bring in benefits. But it is wrong to believe that smoking pot does not have any ill-effects. Studies show that smoking of marijuana can lead to an increase in the risk of getting emphysema and heart problems.

The most alarming issue that has been found in connection smoking pot has something to do with brain development. It has been found that young people who started smoking suffered from loss of IQ. The youngsters lost as much as 8 IQ points and that is not recovered even after the subjects quit smoking. Eight IQ points can translate to a great deal of lost potential.

Not Using Sun Screen

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world today and it is mainly caused by exposure to the sun. There is a great deal of awareness now in connection with the risks connected with too much exposure to the sun, but some people are still choosing to ignore the risks. They are not using sunscreen and yet they go out sunbathing or do outdoor activities. Research has shown that serious sunburn at an earlier age increases the risk of contracting skin cancer later on.

Not Flossing

Tooth loss and gum disease is very common even in adults. The sad part is that this totally preventable. Many adults think that it is enough that they brush their teeth twice a day. That is never enough because food debris could still stay trapped in between your teeth. Simple brushing might not be able to dislodge those stubborn debris. This is the reason why you need to develop the habit of flossing after every meal. You should quit smoking if that is a habit of yours and rinse your mouth with a water and salt solution after every meal and before you sleep.

Drinking Too Much Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are supposed to keep you going when your body is slowing down. This is the reason why this sort of drink is very popular with young people. If you drink a lot of energy drinks then you should realize that this can lead to some serious health issues. You should understand that energy drinks give you a boost because of the high caffeine content and the great deal of sugar that it contains. Recent statistics have shown that hospitalizations connected with energy drinks have shot up. This type of beverage can cause palpitations, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia and even obesity. It is also very dangerous when mixed with alcoholic drinks.

Too Much Diet Drinks

You might have been surprised that the consumption of diet drinks is included in a list of health mistakes. That’s the problem with it. People think that it is a healthy choice so they drink as much of it as they want, thinking that it’s okay. But according to some studies, those who drink diet beverages habitually end up being fatter than those who go for regular drinks. The sweetener used for diet drinks have also been found to be a possible cause for diabetes.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

We always hear that we should be getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, but we don’t think too much of that. After all, not sleeping means you can do more things with your time. But the lack of sleep can have some very serious health implications and if people are only aware of those implications, then they would probably spend more effort in getting enough sleep. Aside from the fact that your body is not getting enough sleep, lack of sleep has also been connected with weight gain and obesity. If you have been wondering why you were gaining weight lately, you should check your sleeping habits.

Not Taking Medications

The health situation in the world has improved vastly because of breakthroughs of medical science. Many diseases have been eradicated and many more are under control. This is mostly to the new drugs that have been discovered and are now in use. But these drugs and medications would only work when the people suffering from diseases take their medications as prescribed by doctors. There are so many cases of sickness where the patients did not get well because they did not take their medications. SO if you are sick, don’t ignore your doctor’s orders when it comes to your medicines.

Not Taking Your Annual Physical Check-up

The body is like a machine. There is bound to be a point when something will go wrong. An annual physical check-up will actually help you to find out if there is anything wrong with you so you can resolve that health problem even before it starts. Ignoring the annual physical check-up can be a problem for women, because they tend to put their family before anything else. But if you really care about your family then you should learn how to care for yourself.

Allowing Fear to Get the Best of You

Some people are worried about certain things about their health but are letting their fear get the best of them. You might be worried about a certain lump, or you might feel something funny inside, but you’re afraid to go to the doctor because you are afraid that they would tell you that you’re very sick. Worrying like that is not going to help you and would not benefit you at all. It is better that you go and see a doctor right away and find out what is actually wrong with you. That way the problem can be resolved as early as possible.

Not Thinking about Prevention

You would probably agree with the saying that prevention is better than cure. But agreeing is different from practicing. Are you doing anything that would prevent you from having some serious illness in the future? Are you taking necessary steps to stay healthy and safe? If you are not doing anything along those lines then you are missing out on a great opportunity to boost your health.

Trusting on Untested Medical Information

Because of the internet, it is extremely easy to get all kinds of information now. You can even get information on medical information online. That’s a good thing when you use that information as a preliminary for understanding a sickness. The problem starts when people start playing doctor and they use the information that they got in order to do self-diagnosis and even attempt to treat themselves. This can be a dangerous practice because not all the information that is available on the internet can be trusted.

These are just some of the common health mistakes that people are making now.