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insomnia

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Most sleep experts agree that approximately one-third to one-half of all people experience some type of sleep problems at some point in their life. When you are suffering with insomnia or other sleep issues, the lack of sleep can begin to take its toll on the quality of your day-to-day life. However, finding a safe and effective solution that can help you get the sleep you need without causing additional problems is often more complicated than many people realize.

Over the counter sleep aids-Benefits, side effects and more

There are, of course, a wide variety of over-the-counter sleep medications to help you get your sleep. These medications can generally help you relax so that you can fall asleep naturally. However, there are also more powerful prescription medications that your doctor can prescribe for those who suffer with chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders. Unfortunately, many of these medications can have some very serious consequences, especially if taken on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are also some very effective all-natural herbal sleep aids that can be used to help you relax so that you can fall asleep and enjoy the benefits of sleep. The good thing with these natural herbal sleep aids is that they allow you to wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy and in a fog.

While there are certainly many over-the-counter and prescription sleep products available, they tend to fall into the same type of category. You typically need to take these medications when you know you will be able to sleep for several hours. Trying to wake up can be difficult if you wait too long to take these medications. Additionally, many can have very unpleasant side-effects. One concern many people have when taking any type of sleep medication is that they do not want to make a short-term solution to their sleep problems turn into an even bigger problem with potentially addictive sleep aids. Fortunately, there are some newer medications that can produce drowsiness and are considered to not be habit forming. However, many of these products still come with unpleasant side-effects such as burning or tingling in your legs, arms, feet or hands, appetite changes, dizziness, heartburn, stomach pain, gas, headache, diarrhea, constipation and a host of other possible problems.

The side-effects of taking these prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications can range from mild to quite severe and you never know if you will be one of those individuals who will have problems with a particular sleeping pill. In fact, people with lung problems such as asthma and COPD may be at increased risk when taking some of these medications because they tend to create slow shallow breathing which can exacerbate an already precarious breathing problem.

Herbal Sleep Aids

Rather than rely on these harsh and unpredictable sleep aids, many people are turning to more natural and gentler methods to help them get the rest they need. Many herbal sleep aids have been used for years and have been shown to be extremely beneficial in helping people relax so that they can drift off to sleep naturally. Some of the most popular herbal sleep remedies include the following:

Herbal Sleep Aids-Chamomile

Chamomile – Chamomile is a soothing and relaxing herbal sleep aid that has been used for centuries for its ability to help induce a good night’s sleep. In addition to helping you relax, this herb is also effective for relieving a variety of stomach problems as well as skin inflammation. Chamomile is typically brewed in a tea and can be sipped shortly before bedtime to help you relax and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

Valerian – this root has a long history as a natural sleep aid and can be used for occasional sleep problems, but it is especially beneficial when taken regularly. Many patients who use valerian as a sleep inducing herb report that it not only helps them fall asleep, but they feel less nervous and actually sleep more restfully. Valerian is an excellent herbal sleep product, for anyone who suffers with chronic insomnia or occasional bouts of sleeplessness.

Passionflower – Passionflower has been used for treating both insomnia and anxiety for many years. It is believed that passionflower increases the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid present in the brain. This chemical subdues cell activity to produce a calming and relaxing effect. This herb is often used in conjunction with chamomile to make a soothing tea that can naturally and effectively help you relax and drift off to sleep.

Melatonin – Melatonin is often called the “sleep hormone”. It is a naturally occurring hormone that our bodies produce at night to help induce sleep. When your body does not produce enough melatonin you will suffer with sleep problems. Fortunately, melatonin supplements are an easy way to help establish natural sleep/wake cycles and encourage your body’s natural ability to sleep. Melatonin can also be very beneficial if you are trying to wean yourself off other sleep medications. While Melatonin is not an herbal sleep product, it can be used in conjunction with these sleep aids to help promote a good night’s sleep and encourage a more restful sleep pattern.

Go natural and sleep better

While there are certainly other natural herbs that can be used either on their own or in conjunction with other herbs to help overcome sleeplessness, it is important that you understand the potential benefits and side-effects of any product you take. This includes natural sleep remedies as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications. However, natural herbal remedies and sleep aids have been used for centuries and many of them have been proven to provide a wonderful alternative to the expensive and often harsh over the counter sleep products and medications now on the market.

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what is insomnia (trouble falling asleep) and sleep disorders

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders that people around the world suffer from, and it isn’t limited to any age, gender, race, or demographic. If you are suffering from insomnia, the good news is that you can get over it. It will be a challenge, but it is possible if you understand more about insomnia, the types of insomnia, what causes it, and how to deal with it. Below you will find everything you need to know…

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Symptoms

Everyone experiences insomnia in different ways, and the symptoms of this sleep disorder range from mild to fairly serious, depending on how long it lasts. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Waking up often in the middle of the night
  • Waking up earlier than you should or before you feel rested
  • Having a hard time getting to sleep at night
  • Feeling tired or not well-rested when you wake up in the morning
  • Being anxious, depressed, or irritable
  • Feeling sleepy or fatigued during the day
  • Getting headaches as a result of tension
  • Making more mistakes and having more accidents than normal
  • Having a hard time concentrating and paying attention
  • Worrying about your lack of sleep
  • Feeling problems in your stomach and intestines

All of these things are symptoms of insomnia, but did you know that there are different kinds of insomnia?

Types of Insomnia

General insomnia is the name given to the simple form of insomnia, but there are actually 10 types of insomnia overall:

  1. General
  2. Idiopathic, a sleep disorder that lasts from childhood into adulthood
  3. Adjustment or acute, usually the result of a new source of stress
  4. Insomnia as a result of caffeine or drug use
  5. Behavioral, when children stay awake all night due to a lack of a set bedtime
  6. Insomnia related to some medical condition, such as a mental disorder or thyroid problem
  7. Organic, unspecified, which is when there is a physical cause, but it hasn’t yet been determined what the cause is
  8. Nonorganic, unspecified, which is when all physical causes of the sleep disorder has been ruled out but the real cause hasn’t been found
  9. Psychophysiological, often the result of over-anxiety or worry
  10. Paradoxical, a form of the sleep disorder that causes the person to hardly sleep but with very little daytime fatigue or sleepiness as a result

So What Causes Sleep Disorders Like This?

There are a number of things that are responsible for causing the various types of insomnia, such as:

  • Substances – Caffeine, alcohol, and drugs are just a few substances that can cause the sleep disorders, but they are all stimulants that either prevent you from sleeping well during the night or prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Anxiety and Stress – Both of these emotional causes are probably the most common causes of sleep disorders, and the anxiety and stress can range from mild worry or pressure to full blown depression and burnout.
  • Medications – There are a number of medications that can affect sleep patterns, such as cortico-steroids, stimulants, allergy meds, hypertension meds, heart medications, and more. Even some OTC medications contain stimulants like caffeine and taurine, or even antihistamines that can cause urinary problems that cause you to be restless in the night.
  • Poor sleep habits – If you are used to getting up in the middle of the night, you follow an irregular sleep schedule, or you sleep in an uncomfortable environment, a sleep disorder may be the result.
  • Medical disorders – There are a number of disorders that can cause insomnia, such as GERD, cancer, heart failure, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, strokes, and an overactive thyroid – among others.
  • Learned insomnia – This occurs when people worry too much about sleeping, and the worry causes them to sleep poorly – at least until they move into a more conducive environment.
  • Late Eating – Those that eat late in the evening often experience discomfort or pain as their food is digesting while they are laying down, and late eating can cause acid reflux, heartburn, and other problems that can be painful or disrupting.
  • Age – As people age, they tend to sleep less and less. Changes in health, activities, sleep patterns, environments, and medications can often lead to insomnia.

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