How the Quality of Your Sleep Can Impact the Health of Your Heart

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Sleep is essential for many things. If you regularly have poor quality sleep, you’re likely to experience low levels of overall health and wellbeing for various reasons. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your concentration levels, your memory, your mood, and your energy levels. But for now, let’s focus on how a lack of sleep can negatively affect one of the most important organs in your body – your heart. While it isn’t immediately clear why sleep is so pivotal for the health of your heart, studies have shown that it is. So, it’s definitely a subject worth looking into!

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to regularly awake through the night. The condition is characterised by a lack of breathing or extremely shallow breathing for extended periods of time throughout the night. These pauses in breathing can last anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes, and can cause individuals to awake in a panic or with a jolt, as their bodies struggle to function without air and suddenly awake them to encourage a return to regular breathing patterns. Various factors and conditions can contribute towards sleep apnea, including obesity, allergies, sinus problems, and age. However, studies have found that individuals who suffer from sleep apnea and generally experience low quality sleep tend to have notably compromised heart health. Women suffering from sleep apnea are more likely to suffer women signs of heart attack. It is believed that a lack of long periods of rest causes our bodies to avoid lowering their heart rate and blood pressure. This means that these individuals’ hearts are essentially working overtime every single night.

Tackling Sleep Problems

While sleep apnea is just one example of how poor quality sleep affects heart health, logic would follow that any condition that causes a lack of proper, deep sleep could have a negative impact on your overall heart health. So, what can you do to tackle these problems and get your heart back on track? Well, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor with any concerns that you may have. They will be able to diagnose any sleep issues and tell you whether they are linked to cardiovascular problems. Once issues have been highlighted, you can then take active steps towards tackling them.

  • Sleep clinics – if your doctor cannot directly tell you what is causing issues with your sleeping patterns, sleep clinics can monitor your sleep patterns and diagnose you properly.
  • Medicationthe go to treatment for many sleep based issues tends to be medication. This can offer a quick, temporary fix and help you to start getting a good night’s sleep as soon as possible.
  • Therapy – remember that some sleep issues have psychological roots. If this is the case, therapy could help you to get a decent night’s sleep down the line.

While you might not have previously associated quality of sleep with heart health, it is extremely important to understand how the two factors are inextricably linked!

Relinquish Your Membership To Insomniacs Anonymous With These Smart Tactics

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Eyelids propped up by matchsticks? Walking through life like the living dead, because you just don’t get enough sleep? Well, you have come to the right place! In fact, even the most dedicated members of insomniacs anonymous can get more and a better quality of sleep by following the detailed advice below. Read on for more.

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Sadly, not everyone gets a peaceful, refreshing sleep every night!

Yoga Nidra & meditation

Now, you may not have tried meditation for sleep, and you may even think its a load of mumbo jumbo. However, it can really work. It’s not about stopping your thoughts though. Instead, the types of mediation that work best to encourage sleep are actually ones give your brain and body something to do and so distract your consciousness enough to relax and drift off.

This is where Yoga Nidra or the Sleep of the Gods comes in. It’s a form of meditation that is done lying down while you are in bed. It works by directing your consciousness to each part of your body separately, and you can even get a recorded version to guide you along the process.

Be aware though, that there are different types of Yoga Nidra, and some are designed as a meditation break rather than as a way of getting you off to sleep for the night. These will have a part at the end where they bring you back out of the meditation, so you are awake, and are for obvious reasons best avoided if you want a nice long sleep!

An alternative to Yoga Nidra that works in a very similar way that you may also wish to try is a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This is an entirely agnostic practice that take you through flexing and then relaxing the main muscles in your body as you are lying down. Something that helps your body to recognize when it is relaxed, and so can make it much easier to de-stress and go to sleep.

White noise

Another helpful tactic that many people use to get off to sleep is white noise. This is noise that operates at a particular frequency, and it can actually be used to drown out other sounds. Sane people even find it calm their minds and help them to drown out anxious thoughts as well.

 

Luckily, white noise is easily accessible to all either through free videos online, a white noise machine, or even by placing a fan near to the bed.

Bedtime stories

You may think that bedtime stories are just for kids, but there is a reason why this habit has been established in our society for such a long time. It’s that listening to a story being read in a calm way is reassuring and relaxing and can even as adults help us drift off to sleep.

You have several choices to pick from here as well. One being downloading an audiobook app and then placing a story on a sleep timer. Something that means it will continue for so long, and then cut out once you are asleep. Many online radio apps have similar functions as well.

Alternatively, there are even sleep stories that are being designed primarily for adults now, and that can be accessed through apps and online. In fact, many of the people reading them are famous actors and celebrities, and the narratives are even written to be as relaxing as possible. Something that can help you drift claiming off to the land of Nod.

Change your bed

Changing your bed can help you get off to sleep and stay asleep easier in two ways. The first is the most straightforward, and it’s about changing the sheets and lines on your bed. After all, that delicious feeling when you slide into a freshly made bed is one that is hard to beat and can help you drift naturally off to sleep easily.

Of course, this will be harder to do if your current mattress has loose springs that stick in your back and groan, every time you turn over. That is where we come to the second way of changing your bed, as in changing it entirely and getting something new to sleep on!

Now, this can be problematic for many people as beds are particularly expensive. However, a bed is an investment in the quality of your life, and the value isn’t in the total cost, but the number of times it allows you to get a good night rest. That means, with most bed lasting around 8 years, even a bed that cots $1000 would equate to less than $0.40 a night. Not much for a good sleep, is it?

Use natural supplements to help you sleep

Another option that is available if sleep is elusive it to use natural supplements to help calm and relax your mind and body. There are plenty to choose from as well, from specifically made all natural sleep aids, to drinking milk or eating proteinous foods, and even things like a Valerian route.

 

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Some folks have even found that using products like White Tiger CBD oil can help to calm their body and mind enough to make sleep much more accessible. Something that can particularly come as a welcome relief if other avenues have not worked. After all, sleep isn’t optional, in fact, it the fuel that we need to power our daily lives, and over a more extended period, without it, we can suffer a great deal.

Set yourself a bedtime

Finally, just like stories you may think that having a bedtime is for kids and that you grew out of needing that a long time ago. However, having a regular set time when you start to wind down from the day and get ready for bed can be hugely beneficial for adults as well.

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The reason being that it allows your body to get into a rhythm of having a certain amount of sleep each night, and recognize better when it’s tired. The advantage of this being that as you feel more naturally sleepy, it should be easier to drift off into the land of Nod and relinquish your membership to insomniacs anonymous with some refreshing and much-needed sleep!

5 Tips for Sleeping When You’re Unwell

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Being unwell is hard enough as it is, but if you’re unable to get your rest too, you may become downright miserable. The Catch 22 is, the more rest you can get, the more likely your body is to heal. So, if you’re unable to sleep when you’re unwell it could take you longer to recover. If you need help sleeping, here are a few tips to try.

Invest in a Humidifier

If you’re suffering from a cold, you may not be able to sleep because you’re having difficulty breathing. Using a humidifier during the night could make all the difference. A humidifier will release moisture into the air while you sleep, helping you to breathe easier. Of course, it’s not only for during the night. A humidifier can help when you’re having trouble breathing at any time of day and if you’ve invested in one, you can bring it out whenever a member of the family is struggling with a cold.

 

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Hot Shower Before Bed

A hot shower can do you the world of good. Not only is it very relaxing when you’re feeling unwell, it will also help to loosen the nasal passages when you’re blocked up. It will act in the same way a humidifier does but loosening any mucus before you go to bed is a great way to make sure you get some decent rest. A warm bath will have the same effect. If you do choose to have a bath, add some lavender essential oil to the water. It’s a natural way of helping your mind and body to relax before going to sleep.

Your Sleeping Position

There are some illnesses that won’t allow you to rest properly because of the position you normally sleep in. For instance, if you have an ear infection, it may be painful to sleep on your side. The condition tinnitus may affect you in that way. You can learn more about it online. Try changing your sleeping position or using a travel pillow to prop yourself up so you aren’t lying on either side.

 

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Honey and Lemon

A sore throat can make you feel terrible. Of course, there are lots of over the counter drugs you can get when it comes to a sore throat but sometimes you need something to soothe the pain in between. When you take pain killers you often have to wait a few hours before you can take your next dose. In the interim, try adding some honey and a slice of lemon to hot water and sipping on it. The honey will help to soothe the pain and the lemon helps to kill the bacteria in your throat.

Always Check Medication

If you’re taking medication and you can’t sleep, you may want to check the ingredients. Some medications make you feel drowsy, but some have the opposite effect. There are many ingredients that can cause insomnia, so it’s always wise to check with the pharmacist or a medical professional before beginning to take it.

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

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If you’re having trouble sleeping it can be a seemingly temporary and tedious problem that can have massively negative effects on your life, as sleep is akin to recharging a phone battery – if you don’t allow it to fully charge, it will not be as functional as you need it to be the next day, and we all know how frustrating it can be to run out of phone battery when you’re on the go… particularly if you’re depending on it for directions.

In this sense, sleep is incredibly important yet there are a number of things that can prevent us getting the slumber we need.  For instance, it could be that something is keeping you up as it’s playing on your mind – this could be something small such as the need to compare renters insurance the next day, or something major, such as how to rescue your relationship.

The best thing you can do, if you have a busy mind, like this is to go to sleep with a notepad and pen on your nightstand.  Before you go to sleep, write down all the things that are troubling you and that will need to be addressed.

This does two things; firstly, it stops you ruminating and tossing the same thoughts around your mind –  meaning, it takes it off your mind and puts it down on paper. This means you can stop worrying about it so much, as often, the other concern people have is forgetting the thought and not taking action the next day.

The other thing this does, is it allows your subconscious mind to mull the thought over and come up with some creative solutions whilst you sleep.  

When you consider the fact your conscious mind is merely the tip of the iceberg, you’ll understand the potency and effectiveness of your subconscious mind to solve problems even more effectively than your conscious mind which tends to bounce things around endlessly without much progress… it’s often your subconscious mind that pumps out the creative solutions to complex problems – so write down your challenges and hand the reins over to your subconscious.

In addition, there are some practical things  you can do to ensure you have a full night’s sleep and get the rest you require to operate at your optimum.

  1. SLEEP IN A COMFORTABLE BED

It can be as simple as replacing your mattress to one that supports your body better, and upgrading your sheets to more luxurious and comforting fabrics to ensure you have a more comfortable place in which you can rest your weary head.

  1. ENSURE AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF FRESH AIR

Sleeping in a stuffy room causes headaches and can often wake you up due to a feeling of foggy-headedness, whilst sleeping with air conditioning on can dehydrate your skin and throat to the point that you will wake up in the night desperate for a drink.  Sleeping with a gentle supply of fresh air can work wonders on your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

  1. SLEEP IN THE DARK

Perhaps an obvious point, but if you live on a main street you might want to invest in some blackout blinds as there’s evidence to suggest that the darker the room the deeper the sleep.

3 Things That Could Be Ruining Your Sleep

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There is nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep, but not everybody manages to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Yet the average person spends 25 years asleep, so why not make sure that you’re sleeping well, too? You could be having problems that are easy to solve; below we’ve gone through a few of them, so that you can make the changes required to feel healthier, and you can look forward to waking up feeling refreshed. So get ready to have some coffee-free days (well, we can’t promise that).

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Is your bedroom the sanctuary it should be?

There are many ways to make your bedroom more relaxing, and subsequently a better environment for sleeping. You can do this by making sure you have some good blinds or curtains, preferably the blackout kind, so that it’s dark enough to relax. Tidying your room could also have better impact than you think; a decluttered room will help to create a decluttered mind, which will help you to chill out, stress-free. Another mistake to make is treating your bedroom as a dining room; don’t eat in bed, and try not to spend excessive amounts of time in there either!

Are you drinking alcohol before you go to sleep?

You may think that alcohol helps you to fall asleep quicker, but the quality of sleep simply isn’t as good. This could mean that if you drink a lot (or even a little) before you go to sleep, you’ll be more likely to be tired the next day, and you won’t be concentrating as well as you usually would. It can also lead to sleepwalking – and sleep talking – which will likely disturb the sleep of your family, and lead all of you to be feeling the effects in the morning. There are many programs out there explaining how to quit drinking, if you’re finding it difficult to resist a nightcap.

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Is your mattress the wrong one for you?

You may not realise it, but your mattress could be the thing disturbing your sleep. If you’ve developed a health problems over the last few years, such as arthritis, you could find a mattress that is more suited to your needs than the one that you currently have. Instead of waking up in the morning with a great deal of pain, you could purchase something that really allows you to relax, and wake up feeling ready for the day. Even if your health is fine, your mattress could simply be old and uncomfortable, and getting a new one may be a good investment.

The above ideas are only a few of the many options that you could consider to try and improve your sleep, and it’s worth testing out everything that you can if you feel like counting sheep just isn’t cutting it. So put down the alcohol, start decluttering and cleaning your bedroom, and consider whether your mattress is the thing that’s really coming between you and your eight hours. Get ready to feel relaxed in 3… 2… 1.