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Thursday, December 31, 2009

REM and Non REM Sleep | Non REM Dreams

Rose knows there are ways to determine the pros and cons of Non REM sleep and REM sleep.  We can examine the research and make an educated guess by looking at the individual results from quality and quantity of sleep.  REM sleep was discovered in 1952 when Aserinsky and Kleitman witnessed rapid-eye-movement in children.  By the 1960’s due to the activities during dreaming by the body’s autonomic nervous system, Wilse Webb characterized this as “Autonomic Storm”.  When REM starts your blood flow increases breathing becomes uneven, heart beats irregular and extremities show involuntary movements.  Your body becomes paralyzed and as a result is at the mercy of the autonomic and peripheral systems. 
A REM dream is filled with vivid, emotional and physical energy and is the most active state of the sleep process.  Life’s experiences are what dreams are made of, but most dreams consist of three types; the learning dream, the flight or fight dream (some may consider this as a nightmare) and the sexual dream.  Personally I have had learning dreams on other planets but that is totally another article.  REM dreams last about two hours of sleep at night which is necessary to restore energy and avoid restlessness and irritability during the waking hours. 
Non REM sleep or NRS is when there isn’t any rapid-eye-movement and lasts 4 to 6 hours each night.  NRS allows for deep sleep between periods of REM sleep.  Researchers have found that REM sleep is often referred to the dream state, however it has been reported that there are more dreams during Non REM sleep.  NRS dreams resemble the thinking dreams and might be where we figure out problems and stress issues in our daily lives.  Also sleep problems such as night terrors, sleepwalking and talking in your sleep occur during Non REM dreams. 
Flight or fight dreams can be categorized as nightmares which occur during REM sleep and are generally shorter than other dreams because they usually wake up the sleeper.  Nightmares could be considered a “wake up call” as they can be associated with the dreamer’s fears.  If a person is afraid of health issues and has a nightmare about having cancer this negative dream could change into a positive lifestyle change such as eating better and exercising.

Not all nightmares are remembered or wake you up, if the issue causing the nightmare cannot be overcome by the conscious.  It is our subconscious worries, fears and phobias that makeup nightmares that are most remembered.  If you are able to control your nightmare as in a lucid dream, which is a conscious dream right before waking, you should try to resolve the dream before you fully wake up.  If someone is chasing you, you should turn and face your suppressor.  Overcoming your fears in your dreams will allow you to better understand yourself and feel more confident to solve problems during the day.

The reason why we dream in REM sleep or Non-REM sleep can be as simple a question as to why we need to sleep, period.  All we know is that all humans dream and even a fetus has been reported to show rapid-eye-movement.  Experiments have proven that over 80% of individuals participating in a sleep study test were dreaming when they were awakened.  Some researchers believe dreaming maintains brains functionality and releases dopamine neurons.  Dopamine has many functions in the brain, including important roles in behavior and cognition, voluntary movement, motivation and reward, sleep, mood, attention, and learning.
Sweet Dreams,
Rose Sheepskill

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sleep Aides for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Rose knows that waking up during the night may be a result from certain vitamin, mineral, amino acid an enzyme deficiencies, while impaired sleep is a lack of calcium, magnesium, B6 and B12 vitamins, folic acid and melatonin.  Here are the reasons why you need these supplements as a sleep aide for a better night’s sleep.

Calcium has a sedative effect on the body especially when you acquire it through food.  Calcium will help restlessness and wakefulness. Calcium is rich in these foods:
Whole Food Sources
Calcium (mg)
3 ounces
Chinese cabbage, cooked
1/2 cup
Spinach, cooked
1/2 cup
Rhubarb, cooked
1/2 cup
Wild salmon, canned with bones
3 ounces
Kale, cooked
1 cup
White beans, cooked
1/2 cup
Bok Choy, cooked
1/2 cup
Broccoli, cooked
1 cup
Pinto beans,
1/2 cup
Red beans, cooked
1/2 cup

Additional healthy food sources of calcium include:
  • Broths made with vegetables and/or organic bones
  • Organic, unpasteurized dairy from healthfully raised goats, cows, or sheep (if you can ingest dairy without experiencing discomfort anywhere in your body)
  • Green food powders that contain a variety of organic green vegetables
  • Sesame leaves and sesame seeds
If you take a calcium supplement the adult dosage is approximately 600 mg of liquid calcium to insure a relaxing effect and 1,500-2,000 mg daily divided into doses after meals and before you go to sleep.

Magnesium is rich in foods such as kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses and brewer’s yeast.  Magnesium will help you to relax and fall asleep and 250 mg is recommended or 1,000 mg daily divided into four doses. If you suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS) a combination of magnesium and calcium has been tested and proven to reduce leg cramps during the night.  Take the combination of 2:1 ratio or 500 mg calcium and 250 mg magnesium at least 45 minutes before you retire. 

B Vitamins are recognized as having a sedative effect on the nerves.  Vitamin B6 is in the following foods:
Whole Foods
Vitamin B6 (mg)
Potato, baked, with skin
1 medium
1 medium
3 ounces
Chicken, light meat without skin
3 ounces
Spinach, cooked
1 cup
1/2 medium
Turkey, without skin
3 ounces
3 ounces
3 ounces
Collard Greens
1/2 cup
Brown Rice
1/2 cup
Green Peas
1/2 cup

If you take a supplement of Vitamin B6 take 50 to 100 mg daily.

Vitamin B12 treats insomnia and when taken with Vitamin B5 it will help relieve stress.  Supplement should consist of 25 mg of Vit B12 and 100 mg of Vit B5.  Foods that contain Vitamin B12 are:

Whole Food Sources
Vitamin B12 (mcg)
Beef Liver, cooked
3 ounces
Wild Salmon, baked
3 ounces
Grass-fed beef, cooked
3 ounces
Raw cow's milk
8 ounces
Organic cheese
1 ounce
Organic egg, hard boiled
1 large
Organic chicken, cooked
3 ounces
Organic turkey, cooked
3 ounces
Signs of Deficiency
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unexplained numbness or tingling of arms or legs
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems like a sore tongue, loss of appetite, and constipation
  • Poor hair

Inositol enhances REM sleep. foods that contain inositol including, dried beans, calves' liver, cantaloupe, citrus fruits (except lemons), garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lecithin granules, lentils, nuts, oats, pork, rice, veal, and whole grain products. Supplement dosage: 100 mg daily, at bedtime.

Chromium helps someone with a blood sugar problem which causes them to stay awake at night. Brewer's yeast is a good source of Chromium. If you prefer supplements, take 250 to 500 micro- grams twice a day.

Tryptophan (L-tryptophan) is an amino acid that is produced by our body naturally and plays a major role in the repair of protein tissues and in creating new protein. Tryptophan converts into serotonin, a natural sleep-inducing chemical. It also increases your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body's natural inner clock.
While turkey and having a piece of pumpkin pie will definitely make you lethargic after your holiday dinner. Here is a list of some healthy foods that are naturally rich in tryptophan:
  • Beans
  • Whole grains, including rice
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Miso (fermented soy beans)
  • Unsweetened soy milk
  • Raw dairy products (if you can tolerate dairy)
If you combine any of the food listed above with a healthy carbohydrate-rich food as an evening snack, you will provide your body with a good opportunity to produce enough serotonin to facilitate a good night's rest.
What follows are some suggestions for healthy meals and snacks that combine a tryptophan-rich food with a carbohydrate-rich food:
  1. Rice with miso soup
  2. Whole grain pita with hummus (add tomato and red onion slices for flavor)
  3. Whole grain crackers with organic peanut butter (add a touch of honey for sweetness, if desired)
  4. Unsweetened whole grain cereal with soy milk
  5. Rice with lentils
  6. Rice, black beans, and guacamole
  7. Hummus with steamed broccoli
  8. Eggs with whole grain toast
Supplements are ban in the United States by the FDA after a Japanese manufacturer was suspected of causing a serious blood disease.  There is no risk in eating foods rich with tryptophan. 

Phosphatidylserine is an amino acid that helps the brain regulates the amount of cortisone produced by the adrenals. It is helpful for those who cannot sleep because of high cortisone levels, usually induced by stress. Cortisone is usually at high levels in the morning, for wakefulness. It is found to be high in people with high stress at night that prevents them from sleeping. There are two major sources for phosphatidylserine: cow brains and soy lecithin. Phosphatidylserine supplements were once made from cow brains, but now are commonly manufactured from cabbage or soy. Researchers changed to vegetables due to the concern that products made from animal sources might cause infections such as mad cow.

Serotonin made from the amino acid tryptophan is an important initiator of sleep. Eating foods rich in tryptophan will raise serotonin levels and promote faster sleep.

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a form of tryptophan that is one step closer to serotonin administration. 5-HTP has also been found to decrease the time required to get to sleep and to decrease the number of times you will wake during the night. To increase the sedative effects of 5-HTP, take it with a food high in carbohydrate such as fruit or fruit juice near bedtime or at least 45 minute prior to retiring.

5-HTP increases the REM sleep by about twenty-five percent while simultaneously increasing deep-sleep Stages 3 and 4, without increasing total sleep time. It is important to maintain adequate levels of vitamin B., niacin, and magnesium when using 5-HTP, as these nutrients serve as essential cofactors in the conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin.

5-HTP supplement is not recommended to take over 100 mg per day.  Large doses may have adverse side effects as excess serotonin can cause cardiovascular disease.  Higher doses may also lead to a greater number of disturbing dreams and nightmares due to abnormally prolonged REM sleep. It can also lead to mild nausea.

Some also suggest that 5 HTP, especially in larger doses should be used with the prescription drug carbidopa. The purpose of this drug is to prevent the 5 HTP from being converted to serotonin in the peripheral circulation.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted naturally by the pineal gland. Melatonin controls our wake/sleep cycle and induces sleep by being produced mainly when the sun goes down. Melatonin is found naturally in plants and in algae. Melatonin supplements help people fall asleep and it is also useful in overcoming jet lag.  Note:  Melatonin is only effective for those that have low melatonin levels.  Therefore it is primarily effective for the elderly as aging is the biggest reason for low melatonin levels.  Side effects have been reported as it may cause depression, fatigue and restriction of coronary arteries (a warning for smokers).

Also you should not take melatonin if you are pregnant and nursing, under the age of 35, if you have cancer of the blood or immune system or if you have a kidney disease.  Melatonin can disrupt normal circadian rhythm or your wake/sleep cycle. It’s not recommended to take animal sources as synthetic melatonin is much safer.  It is also advisable to take melatonin in gradual doses.  Start with 1.5 mg around 2 hours before retiring.  If this is not effective than increase the dosage 5 mg daily until you find a dosage that works for you. 

Below are natural plant sources of melatonin. Melatonin content is in nanogram (ng) per gram of plant sample.
Melatonin source
Melatonin content (ng/g)
St. John’s wort, flower
Fever few, green leaf
Fever few, gold leaf
St. John’s wort, leaf
White mustard seed
Black mustard seed
Wolf berry seed
Fenugreek seed
Sunflower seed
Fennel seed
Alfalfa seed
Green cardamom seed
Tart cherry fruit (Montmorency)
Flax seed
Anise seed
Coriander seed
Celery seed
Poppy seed
Milk thistle seed
Tart cherry fruit (Balaton)
Good Eating...Good Night Sleep
Good Evening,
Rose Sheepskill

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Music Mimics REM Sleep

Rose knows a long time ago a study showed that there is healing power in sound. Babies fall asleep listening to their mother voices as they sing them a lullaby or tell them a store. Now scientists are making new discoveries to use sounds to help with health problems, emotional issues and REM sleep disorders. They are experimenting to determine exactly how sound affects our health, relieve us from stress and put babies to sleep.

Holographic music is a map of the bodies energetic. Researchers found that certain brainwave frequencies relate to physical, emotional, genetic, and nutritional conditions. They found that listening to frequent energy patterns will support the biological system and help individuals heal themselves. Holographic music will rebalance deficiencies in their biological system.

Through music therapy as an application to affect a positive change to our psychological, physical, mental, or social functioning, holographic music mimics REM sleep and improves general health. Holographic music will help you to fall asleep faster by eliminating the stress in your daily life. You will hear a low hum and each speaker will have a different frequency, when your brain combines them you will become drowsy. Some holographic music contains subliminal messages that contain the following words or phrases:

• I am calm, I relax into deep sleep
• I let go and drift to sleep
• The day is over and I am free
• My mind is at rest, I sleep soundly
• My thoughts easily flow into rest and resolution
• My body relaxes into deep sleep
• Each breath leads me into sleep
• I am safe, I trust the future
• Inner peace fills my sleep
• I accept everything as it is
• I surrender for now
• My mind is free, my body is at rest
• Problems resolve while I sleep
• My dreams are healing and rejuvenating
• I am fulfilled
• I get the rest I need
• I rest in peace and comfort
• I drift safely to sleep
• I feel comfortable in my bed
• I surrender to serenity and peace

Brainwave messages will help slow down mental activity and heighten receptivity to the subliminal messages. Just lie down, relax and shortly you will drift into a deep sleep.

Note: We find that ear-bud headphones are the most comfortable for listening while sleeping.
Sweet Dreams
Rose Sheepskill

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sleep Aides: First Day of Wintering Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Symptoms and Treatments

Today is the first day of winter at approximately 12:47pm on December, 21 2009. Some people are celebrating the winter solstice while others are wrestling with the winter blues. As the sun light changes with the seasons, 10% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD cause’s people to experience sleep problems as well as depression and women are far more susceptible these symptoms than men, as they sleep more during the winter months.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website they state the specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. It's likely, as with many mental health conditions, that genetics, age and, perhaps most importantly, your body's natural chemical makeup all play a role in developing the condition. A few specific factors that may come into play include:

• Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt your body's internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption of your circadian rhythm may lead to feelings of depression.
• Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood. Talk to your doctor to see whether taking melatonin supplements is a good option.
• Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in seasonal affective disorder. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin, perhaps leading to depression.

Signs and symptoms of SAD may cause depression and may worsen if not treated. These may include:

• Suicidal thoughts or behavior
• Social withdrawal
• School or work problems
• Substance abuse
In order to help your doctor understand and diagnosis your conditions gather some of the following information to help you to prepare for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do:

• Record your symptoms so that you can tell your doctor or mental health provider exactly what they are (feeling down or lack of energy, for example).
• Write information about your depression patterns, such as when your depression starts and what seems to make it better or worse.
• Make a note of any other mental or physical health problems you have, as both can affect mood.
• Write down any major stressors or life changes you've had recently.
• Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
• Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Seasonal affective disorder is considered a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder. Even with a thorough evaluation, it can sometimes be difficult for your doctor or mental health provider to diagnose seasonal affective disorder because other types of depression or mental health conditions may mimic seasonal affective disorder.

To be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

The following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder:

• You've experienced depression and other symptoms for at least two consecutive years, during the same season every year.
• The periods of depression have been followed by periods without depression.
• There are no other explanations for the changes in your mood or behavior.
Scientists believe that individuals suffering from SAD are more sensitive to light changes. Your doctor can treat SAD as follows:

Light therapy - In light therapy, also called phototherapy, you sit a few feet from a specialized light therapy box so that you're exposed to bright light. Light therapy mimics outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood. This treatment is easy to use and seems to have few side effects.

Although light therapy is widely used and appears to be helpful, it isn't clear how light therapy works and how effective it is in treating seasonal affective disorder. Before you purchase a light therapy box or consider light therapy, talk to your doctor or mental health provider to make sure it's a good idea and to make sure you're getting a high-quality light therapy box.

Medications - Some people with seasonal affective disorder benefit from treatment with antidepressants, especially if symptoms are severe. Medications commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder include:

• Bupropion. An extended-release version of the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) may help prevent depressive episodes in people with a history of seasonal affective disorder.
• Other antidepressants. Antidepressants commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder include paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and venlafaxine (Effexor).

Your doctor may recommend starting treatment with an antidepressant before your symptoms typically begin each year. He or she may also recommend that you continue to take antidepressant medication beyond the time your symptoms normally go away.
Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to notice full benefits from an antidepressant. In addition, you may have to try several different medications before you find one that works well for you and has the fewest side effects.

Psychotherapy - Psychotherapy is another option to treat seasonal affective disorder. Although seasonal affective disorder is thought to be related to biochemical processes, your mood and behavior also can add to symptoms.

Psychotherapy can help you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be making you feel worse. You can also learn healthy ways to cope with seasonal affective disorder and manage stress.

Especially if your seasonal depression symptoms are severe, you may need medications, light therapy or other treatments to manage seasonal affective disorder. However, there are some measures you can do on your own that may help, such as:

• Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, add skylights and trim tree branches that block sunlight. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.

• Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
• Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.

Several herbal remedies, supplements and mind-body techniques are commonly used to relieve depression symptoms. It's not clear how effective these treatments are for seasonal affective disorder, but there are several that may help. Keep in mind, alternative treatments alone may not be enough to relieve your symptoms. Some alternative treatments may not be safe if you have other health conditions or take certain medications.

Nutritional and dietary supplements used to treat depression include:

• St. John's wort. This herb has traditionally been used to treat a variety of problems, including depression. It may be helpful if you have mild or moderate depression.
• SAMe. This is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. SAMe hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression in the United States. However, it's used in Europe as a prescription drug to treat depression.
• Melatonin. This natural hormone helps regulate mood. A change in the season may change the level of melatonin in your body. Some people try taking melatonin supplements, but discuss this with your health care provider first before doing so.
• Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been shown to relieve depression symptoms in some studies. Sources of omega-3s include fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Flaxseed, flax oil and walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and small amounts are found in soybean and canola oils.

SAMe and St. John's wort can interact with medications for other conditions, especially antidepressants. Talk to your doctor before trying either of these remedies to make sure they're safe for you.

Mind-body therapies that may help relieve depression symptoms include:

• Acupuncture
• Yoga
• Meditation
• Guided imagery
• Massage therapy

There's no known way to prevent the development of seasonal affective disorder. However, if you take steps early on to manage symptoms, you may be able to prevent them from getting worse over time. Some people find it helpful to begin treatment before symptoms would normally start in the fall or winter, and then continue treatment past the time symptoms would normally go away. If you can get control of your symptoms before they get worse, you may be able to head off serious changes in mood, appetite and energy levels.

Personally I love the winter because us vamps can stay up longer, it the summer when we experience RSAD or Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. People also suffer from RSAD too, but more on that later. Right now I just want to celebrate the winter solstice...big party tonight...it's the longest night of the year!
Good Evening
Rose Sheepskill

Thursday, December 17, 2009

REM Sleep Music

Rose knows that sleep aides are sometimes necessary to get a good night’s sleep.  Many of us cannot relax enough because our mind is reeling from all of our daily stress and activities.  Even though it’s your daily activities that provide material for our dreams in REM sleep, it’s those same thoughts that keep us awake and prevent us from falling asleep.  We toss and turn thinking about what we have to do tomorrow, whether it is something as simple as going to the grocery or trying to solve a major family problem.  The ability to fall asleep can be as easy as just clearing our mind.  Studies have found if we listen to sleep music it not only relaxes us, but it also deters us from thinking about our to do list.  

When you sleep you are in control of your sleep pattern, which I will discuss later, unlike your sleep cycle.  Your sleep cycle is divided into five states; drowsiness, light sleep, deep sleep that has two stages and REM or rapid eye movement sleep which happens 90 minutes into sleep.

1.  Drowsiness lasts five to ten minutes, this stage prepares the body by decreasing your heart rate, reducing your body temperature and slows down your breathing to make you ready for the deep sleep stages.  

2.  Light sleep the second stage relaxes your muscles.  It’s in this stage when you feel yourself drift off and your body may jerk and twitch.  You might also be aware of your thoughts, but unable to feel your extremities.  REM atonia continues during REM sleep, thus preventing the body from exhibiting movements made in the subject's dreamsREM atonia prevents the sleeper from flailing about if dreaming about running.  

3.  Deep sleep stages 3 and 4 also known as delta sleep and slow-wave sleep.  Slow-wave sleep is more intense than delta sleep.  In this stage you will be difficult to wake up and if you are, more often than not, you will be disoriented for a couple minutes. The deep sleep stage is when your brain redirects some of  its blood flow to the muscles restoring physical energy and builds up your immune system.  

The four stages before you start dreaming or REM sleep are called Non-REM sleep.  These short stages lasts from five to fifteen minutes and have an interesting pattern of repetition.  The stages of a sleep cycle are 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, REM.

4.  REM or rapid eye movement sleep is when we dream.  Not only do our eyes move, our faces, fingers, legs can twitch, respiration speeds up and our heart rate increases. Yet our voluntary muscle groups including our chin and neck become paralyzed or REM  atonia. The first period of REM last around ten minutes and the final REM stage about an hour. 

Sleep Patterns are how we, as individuals, go through the stages of sleep, including how long it takes us to fall asleep and how many times we wake during the night. There are many ways we can try to control our sleep patterns either by establishing a healthy night time routine or taking sleep medication that may cause an addiction.  Insomnia which is a sleep disorder that can cause us to wake up too early, wake up many times during the night, waking up and feel like we haven’t slept and the inability to fall asleep.  Insomnia sleep patterns disrupt our sleep cycles making it difficult to concentrate during the day.  It also can cause other health problems including depression.  One way to treat insomnia is by listening to relaxing music which helps us redevelop good sleep patterns and experience normal stages of sleep all night.  REM sleep music can become a healthy part of your night time routine without the side effects of sleeping pills.  

Sleep studies have reportedly shown proof that music helps those that suffer from insomnia sleep better and longer.  There are many types of music that can distract your mind and help you to relax such as; easy listening, instrumental, classical, Binaural audio or zMusic.  

According to sleepgarden.com zMusic is the gold standard of sleep music therapy, a composition as remarkably effective as it is beautifully entertaining. Now you have drug-free help to let go of stress, quiet a busy mind and create the perfect nighttime ritual for blissful sleep.
  • Safe and effective for parents, restless children, pressured students, ambitious career builders, frequent flyers, menopausal woman, CPAP patients, seniors ... anyone who wants better sleep.
  • Works in harmony with the natural brain waves of sleep, no side-effects.
  • Play softly in the background, at bedtime or in the middle of the night.
  • No hypnotic or subliminal messages.
  • Gives your mind the freedom to sleep.
Unlike other audio sleep aides, zMusic is known to work in harmony with the brains natural wave patterns with no hypnotic or subliminal messaging.  zMusic maybe all you need to regain healthy sleep patterns and begin a lifetime without sleep problems.  For those suffering from insomnia this might be worth trying.  If your insomnia is causing additional health problems it is advisable to consult with your physician as he/she may recommend a specialist for further treatment.
Good Evening,
Rose Sheepskill

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Women and Major Sleep Problems

Rose know that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has reported that 30% of all adults have insomnia, most of them women.  Lack of sleep can cause health issues like not eating a well-balance diet or exercising.  Before going to your doctor and getting a script for Ambiem the popular sleep aide used by Michael Jackson and now Tiger Woods, let’s find out if you really need a sleeping pill or a glass of alcohol to get to sleep. Here are some common questions asked about women and major sleep problems:

·         Do I need eight hours of sleep?

According to Gregg D. Jacobs, MD., an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center, University of Massachusetts and the author of Say Goodnight to Insomnia, he found through a sleep study that those who sleep seven hours may live longer than those that sleep eight or more.  Too much sleep can cause health issues too as it has been linked to obesity and diabetes, he says. Sleeping 12 or more hours a night could be a sign of depression or chronic fatigue syndrome and should be discussed with your physician.

Most women get roughly 6.5 hours a night on average and are walking around with a chronic sleep deficit.  Many people can thrive on less as it has been determined by a University of Utah study as genetics play an important part in the amount of sleep we need.  Finding the right amount of shut eye you require may depend on signs of sleep deprivation such as restlessness, mood swings, a lack of concentration, forgetfulness and narcolepsy during the day.

·         Do women suffer from insomnia more than men?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women are twice as likely to have insomnia as men.  Why?  Hormones, age, stress, lifestyle, diet and general health can offset someone’s sleeping patterns.  Married women sleep better than single women, but newly married recount for less.  Women that have lost their spouse or those that have young children lose sleep according to the journal Sleep.

·         Will an alcoholic drink help me get a good night’s sleep?

It might get you to sleep, but you will have a harder time staying asleep.  If you suffer from sleep apnea alcohol will only make you snore louder and aggravate the disorder.  Ambien with alcohol intensifies the affect of the drug and can lead to blackouts, memory loss or erratic behavior (some say that the mixture will make you sexually aggressive) as this has been used as a date rape drug or sexual enhancement as stated in reports about Tiger Woods.

·         Are sleeping pills addictive?

Sleeping pills that are known as non-benzodiazepine hypnotics are safe for a few night, but are not advised for longer than a month as people have become psychologically dependent on them.  There are also side effects associated with sleeping pills such as daytime restlessness, “foggy” feeling and memory loss.  If you take sleeping pills adhere to the warnings, like may impair driving.  They are also not for those that are pregnant or nursing.  To cure insomnia it is better to adopt better sleeping habits and make some alternative lifestyle changes than rely on sleeping pills.

·         What if I like to nap in the afternoon, am I sick or lazy?

If you are like me you enjoy taking a nap especially after lunch and daytime naps 45 minutes or less can give you the energy and improved memory to make it through the rest of the day.  Naps that are longer or after 4pm can affect your ability to fall asleep at your bedtime.  Some people get sleep inertia which is a temporary disorientation after waking from a nap. 

·         Does watching TV, playing video games or reading in bed make me sleepy?

When you are in bed you need to leave your daily activities behind.  If you are watching a scary movie or wondering how to beat the monster in a video game it is harder to turn off these thoughts and go to sleep.  If you want to read a book, make it a part of your nightly routine.  Your brain will associate reading as part of the time to prepare for sleep just like; getting on your non-constrictive pajamas, having a cup of tea or taking a warm bath.

Your bed should be a haven for sleep and intimacy only and if you find yourself tossing and turning get up for a bit before trying to fall asleep again.  Make sure your bedroom temperature is 65 degrees or less.  If you are too warm this may be the reason you can’t relax.

·         Is there any way to make up sleep once you’ve lost it?

Sorry, but once you lost sleep it is gone no matter if you sleep 12 hours the next night.  If you suffer from insomnia and sleep in on the weekends it gives you the same affect as jet lag.  This is due to the fact that you disrupted your natural sleep cycle.  It only complicates the consistent sleep rhythm, as those lost hours of sleep will eventually go away on its own.  Getting upset about losing sleep causes a 'cycle of stress' that will just make your insomnia worse.

·         Can I lose weight while sleeping?

Too much sleep or too little can cause weight gain. Appetite-controlling hormones such as leptin and ghrelin play a role in losing weight while we sleep.  But remember, when we are tired we have a tendency to want to eat prior to going to bed.  This will not only add calories, but will affect your ability to fall asleep as some foods cause indigestion, heart burn and acid reflux.  Limit food intake to at least 2-3 hours before retiring.  Don’t eat anything hot or spicy and by all means, when you’re tired go to bed, don’t eat!

·         Is it true if I think about something before fall asleep, I will dream about it?

While you sleep you dream during your REM or rapid eye movement sleep stage.  During REM your brain sorts out and processes information and memories you had during the day (or since last time you slept, for those that nap).  If you are thinking about stressful situations about family or work you are better off if you get a good night’s sleep, because the more refreshed you are the better you can concentrate on the issues in the morning.

·         Will a warm glass of milk help make me sleepy?

Food rich with the amino acid tryptophan cause you to get drowsy.  Ever wonder why you really want to nap after a holiday meal?  Turkey, milk, eggs, pumpkin, cereal, nuts and seeds are just some foods with tryptophan.  Tryptophan converts to melatonin and serotonin which are hormones that are produced in our body naturally that aid our wake/sleep cycle.  Melatonin is available as a supplement at your local pharmacy or health food store.  So, if you must have a late night snack before you go to sleep, have food that helps you to fall asleep.... like that warm glass of milk your mother gave you when you were a child.

For women and major sleep problems, like any major problem it is advisable to see your physician as he may recommend that you see a sleep specialist for further treatment.
Good Evening
Rose Sheepskill