We all experience a night where we stare at the ceiling or cannot turn off our mind. Transient insomnia is something we experience when we are living with a stressful situation or maybe just a long day. The problem is that if you do not get a good night sleep you may find that it is difficult to concentrate, your hunger may increase, or you may experience more aches and pains.
One of the exercises that you can use is to use imagery along with breathing exercises to help relax and go to sleep. This exercise may also help with people who may be experiencing nightmares as well.
Let’s start with the breathing as this is what allows you to increase your oxygen levels and helps you to relax. Take a slow deep breathe imagine filling your lungs from the bottom to top. For women this is not as natural as you thing as we tend to be shallow breathers. Once you have filled your lungs hold it for the slow count of four then slowly exhale to the count of 8. This will also help you to increase the use of your longs. The breath hold allows some of the small airways we do not usually use to open.
The second step is to use imagery. Choose a place you want to be. I personally am a warm white beach person or on a flower covered meadow person. You choose an image that suits your personality. Now focus on that image. Image the smell of the air, the temperature of the sun, fell the grass under your feet. The more you can focus on the details the more it will help you to relax.
In my mind I travel to a valley between the mountains. I am lying looking up at the sky watching the clouds pass through the sky. I feel the grass under my hands and between my fingers. I smell the sweet smell of violets and wildflower. I can hear the wind across the pond and rustling in the leaves. The more I concentrate the more relaxed I become. Along with the slow deep breathing I can feel my muscles relax. I allow myself to float along and eventually I drift off to sleep.
This exercise was taught to me when I was in high school as a way to get past my test anxiety. I found that doing this exercise for just three to five minutes really reduces my stress. I use this on nights when I can not turn off my mind to ideas or to my family. It allows me to drift and it does help minimize the nightmares I experience.
Are there exercises or imagery you use to help you to relax and unwind?
What should you eat before you go to bed is always a question people ask. The answer is not so black and white. It depends on many things such as if you have GERD or Acid Reflux, do you have diabetes? I believe you really should not eat right before bed. From the information I have gathered if you wake hungry in the morning a little bit of protein before bed such as egg whites will help you to sleep better. This will also help you if you are diabetic and have blood sugar issues in the morning. Other than that there is not magic recipe to foods that will help you sleep.
If you have a question please share. If you have something that you find helps you sleep share it here. W
Not everyone who snores actually have sleep apnea. In fact Upper Airway Resistance is an independent diagnosis that can disrupt sleeping but you do not stop breathing throughout the night. The issues are not just that of the person who has the problem but those who live with them.
Upper Airway Resistance, or AURS is when the back of the throat and soft palate is crowded and causes snoring or vibrations that can be very loud and disturbing.
In children the solution can be as easy as removing the tonsils and adenoids allowing for more space and easier breathing. This allows a child to sleep easier and reach slow wave sleep, the time in sleep growth and healing happens, to occur. It also allow for an easier transition into REM sleep. This normal sleep architecture helps children to learn and retain information as well as have less behavioral problem.
In adults the solution is not always as easy. The airway can be restricted due to issues such as deviated septum in the nose, being overweight or just age causing a relaxation of the tongue when we sleep causing crowding. One of the easiest solutions is to sleep on your side or stomach. This allows the tongue to fall forward when you sleep. Another solution is to elevate the head of the bed. Again this will help to support the airway and keep it open.
Some of the more interesting solutions people have come up with that have been shown to work are mouth and tongue exercises. Using a didgeridoo, an Australian woodwind instrument, has been shown to help strengthen the muscles in the throat and help decrease snoring. Singing has also been said to help.
My final suggestion is that an oral appliance created specifically for you might be helpful. Always use a dentist who knows how to create the best device for you. They should know how to create more than one type of device. They should also be a fellow of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. An oral appliance would allow the tongue and the jaw to be slightly repositioned to eliminate the snoring.
I always suggest that it will be helpful to talk to your doctor about your medical options. Whether you use a traditional therapy or one of the non-traditional therapies I would suggest that you take care of this issue not for your health but also for those who you live with or vacation with.