Browse Month by June 2017

4 Reasons You’re Not Sleeping

sleepy cat
cat sleeping

sleepy cat
cat sleeping

Are you not sleeping well?  That depends on how much sleep you need.  Some people require less than others.  The amount of sleep you need is the ability to think clearly through the day, feel consistent energy throughout the day and not have anxiety or depression, or impatience which often accompanies insufficient sleep


Sleep is important to refresh the central nervous system.  Thus, the need for sleep is important for brain function.  Recent research reveals that the brain has a system of its own.  The glymphatic system elears  out international fluids  during sleep.


When you don’t get enough sleep, these fluids accumulate and impair functional ability and memory.  The day after a lack of sleep can feel lack of alertness, impaired memory function, slurred speech, mood swings and fatigue.


Long term sleep loss may lead to irreversible health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular and circulatory illnesses and degenerative problems such as A and Parkinson’s.


So, what’s keeping you awake?


  1. Anxiety, stress, and other mental/ emotional discomforts?
  2. Physical causes such as pain and medical illness?
  3. Environmental factors. Like noise?
  4. Poor sleep habits?


What to do.

1, If it’s anxiety, see a professional and seek to manage stress.


  1. If it’s pain or illness, check with your physician.
  2. If it’s poor sleep habits, make your bedroom like a cave, turning off all              lights, digital devices at least 1 hour before bedtime.   
  3. Stick to a consistent sleep/ wake schedule.
  4. Good sleep is vital to how you look, feel and perform.
  5. Good sleep can improve your relationships, including your sex life,   decreased body pain, and weight control.


Too much sleep could lead to increased risk of obesity.


You are  reading this post looking for 5 ways to improve sleep as the title indicates, so stay with me because those are next.


What you can do to reclaim the sleep you need.


  1. Consuming large amounts of sugar can cause insulin resistance and inflammation.  Adding a soda to a fast-food meal like a burger and fries is a perfect recipe for not sleeping.  Go for the greens, fruits and vegetables.  A recent study recommended lowering salt intake can reduce midnight bathroom calls.
  2. Chronic pain makes it difficult to stay asleep at night.  Insomnia can lower your pain tolerance.  Talk to your doctor about ways to relieve pain without drugs.  You can start by using a heating pad, an ice pack, acupuncture, or drinking tart cherry juice twice a day.
  3. Research says sleep medicines just provide an extra 84 minutes of sleep.  Add that to the fact that you still may not feel refreshed.  Sleep med.s can have dangerous side effects such as addiction,  ,or falling.  The doctor may prescribe them on a short-term basis if the patient is going through a major life crisis.

            You might try Melatonin in small doses.

  1. Certain medications tend to keep you awake, such as beta blockers

            f or hypertension, Propranolol for asthma, Corticosteroids,        SSL antidepressants can cause sleepless nights.


  1.  If you have sleep apnea, which is interfering with your sleep.  You’ll feel especially tired during the day.  Once diagnosed, it is treated using a CPAP machine.  Weight loss can improve the situation..

Insomnia causes nighttime to feel endless and exhausting.  Expert advice is to turn off all digital devices, keep the bedroom dark and cool, avoid alcohol and caffeine.   These - methods are commonly used.

However, insomnia  that does not respond and continues  interrupting,  sleep needs  different types of treatment from  those listed  above.






Are You Suffering From Too Much Stress?

manage your stress
Are you suffering too much stress?

Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

Often people suffering from anxiety want a natural way to reduce stress. They don’t want to use pharmaceutical drugs for treatment due to their considerable side effects.

Here are five natural ways to reduce stress.

  1. Relaxation techniques

-        Deep breathing or breathing exercises. With this method you consciously pay attention to your breathing. Begin by slowing your breathing and focusing on taking regular, deep breaths.

-        Guided imagery method. With this method, you focus on pleasant images in place of the stressful or negative feelings

-        Progressive relaxation or Jacobson’s progressive relaxation method. Here you focus on tightening and relaxing each muscle group.

-        Aromatherapy, is a process where you use essential oils to promote relaxation.

-        Meditation, which is a technique where the mind stops focusing on stress and instead focuses inward towards calmness.

-        Emotional freedom technique. With this form of therapy, you locate and tap pressure points your body.

  1. Stretching and exercising

-        Cardio exercises, helping you release good endorphins to relieve stress.

-        Strength training with weights or body weight.

-        -        Walking. A 2D or 30-minute walk around the block can help you get your emotions in control.

  -        Yoga, an exercise that is also a relaxation technique. It gives you the coping skills you need to combat stress.

 -        Tai chi, which is a form of low-impact, weight-bearing, and aerobic exercise that began as a martial art.

  1. Nutrition changes-        Eat a healthy, balanced diet to help build up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

-        Eliminate processed foods, especially fast food.

-        Choose foods that give you energy like raw foods such as oranges or spinach.

-        Eat Omega 3 fatty acid foods such as fish.

-        Drink soothing herbal teas.

-        Use natural herbs.

-        Don’t skip meals.

-        Eliminate mindless eating.

-        Steer clear of simple carbs like candy and sweets.

         Activities that enrich your daily life

-        Attend comedy shows or watching comic movies. Laughter is a tremendous stress reliever.

-        Listen to your favorite music. Classical music has been shown to soothe emotions. Dance, sing and have fun.

-        Volunteer. Give your time helping others.

           Just don’t fill your calendar to overflowing.

-        Take a day at the spa. Give yourself permission to get a spa treatment to help relax your muscles.

-        Read a good book. Not a book you need to read but one that is purely for enjoyment.

-        Express yourself with art.  

      Find hobbies you enjoy and that keep your hands and mind busy.

-        Take up gardening. Plant flowers or vegetables. Tending plants can be a peaceful way to put your mind at ease.

-        Take a soothing bath. Light candles. Add calming bath beads like lavender or chamomile.

        Put on an eye mask and just relax.

-        Watch the sunset. Or sunrise.

-        Play like a kid or play with your kids. Let go. Run. Giggle. Just be silly.

-        Say “no”. You don’t have to do everything for everyone all the time. Your family can take care of themselves occasionally.

Socialization to get rid of stress

Be around friends (the right friends).

Call or spend time with them when you feel stress overwhelming you-     

Get out of the house if the stress is there. Go to a movie or a new restaurant.

-        Spend time doing things you enjoy like taking a walk in nature or visiting a museum.

Take a break now and then. Spend time alone when you need to. Find other ways that help you relieve stress.

You can fight stress in natural ways without the use of pharmaceutical remedies that may have harmful or unwanted side effects..

Pharmaceutical Remedies and Their Potential Side Effects

Sometimes a natural approach to relieving stress isn’t enough. You’ve tried everything.

The next option is to talk to your doctor about the pharmaceutical remedies available to you and their possible side effects.

There are several different medications available for controlling anxiety and stress.

  • Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam
  • Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria Spirulina)
  • Fragmin
  • Ginseng (Eleutherococcus and Panax sp.)
  • Valium
  • Kava
  • Ativan
  • Paxil
  • Schisandra
  • Zoloft

These pharmaceutical drugs often come with side effects that can be bothersome.

The higher the dosage the more noticeable the side effects become. These side effects can cause problems with work, , or even everyday activities like driving.

Common side effects of anti-anxiety medicines include:

Drowsiness, lack of energy

  • Clumsiness, slow reflexes
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Depression
  • Dizziness, light-headedness
  • Impaired thinking and judgment
  • Memory loss, forgetfulness
  • Nausea, stomach upset
  • Blurred or double vision


Antidepressant side effects can also cause:

  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Weight gain

 This post explored many ways to combat stress.  The final post in this series about managing stress will continue to explore stress related issues and ways to manage it..