TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - Your life is already tense — teens rebelling,
house under renovation, work life in overload, bills piling up, elderly
parents declining — yet the demands requiring your attention and time
continue to grow, overflowing into sleep-time territory. Oftentimes,
mass marketing's solutions to women's challenging lifestyles focus on
quick fixes and more consumer goods. But ask around, and you'll quickly
learn that what most women really savour and yearn for is not a faster
toaster or fancier phone, but uninterrupted, mind-numbing,
all-encompassing, quality, sound sleep. That's right. To wake up
refreshed and energized, with zip in your step, clarity in your mind,
feeling good and ready to tackle all that life throws your way. Is
dreaming about sublime, heavenly sleep the impossible dream? Absolutely
Insomnia — difficulty falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep resulting
in sleep that leaves you non-revitalized—is the most common sleep
disorder in Canada. Although there is no gender bias or age barrier,
insomnia appears to affect more women than men. In 2008, IMS Health
Canada reported that almost 18 million prescriptions for sleep were
dispensed by Canadian drug stores. It is clear that this issue is not
Poor sleep over an extended period of time can have a serious
detrimental effect on overall health and wellness. It can impact on
mental stability, affecting a person's behaviour, concentration and
focus and increasing the risk for anxiety, depression; and on physical
health, contributing to weight gain and inducing impaired motor
coordination. Quality sleep is essential to regenerate the brain and
other parts of the body so that they can continue to function
What can you do?
Most importantly, establish a sleep routine. Maintain when possible a
fixed sleep time. For instance, make an effort to go to bed at 10 p.m.
each night and rise by 6 a.m. New research notes that we all need at
least 7 ½ hours of quality sleep daily.
Create an appropriate sleep environment. Avoid noise, light, and
extreme temperatures to help encourage a comfortable night's sleep.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and excess alcohol. These often contribute to
poor sleep and insomnia. Alcohol may initially allow one to fall
asleep, but results in fragmented sleep.
Learn how to relax. Deep breathing, meditation and biofeedback are often
helpful for most people.
Consider natural sleep supplements including:
Passionflower - a safe, effective herb used to promote sleep,
particularly if caused by nervous exhaustion, overwork and worry.
Valerian - well known for its sedative effects, this herb can reduce
restlessness and insomnia. It appears to reduce night-time waking.
Melatonin - Research reported in the 2001 Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals that melatonin can help older adult
insomniacs (50+) obtain a good night's sleep.
Other beneficial herbs include hops, chamomile and lavender. A number of
excellent natural sleep supplements are available at through your local
Nutrition House store or on-line at www.nutritionhouse.com. Most of these supplements are comprised of a few nutrients that work
synergistically to provide a restful night of restorative, quality
Stressing over lack of sleep can only make it worse. So try the tips,
stay calm, and train yourself to a better sleep.
Michele Sevier Biography
Michele Sevier, DNM, DAc, is an educator and advocate of natural health
and healing. As an independent advisor to Nutrition House, she is
actively involved in many facets of integrative medicine including
research, the formulation of specialized supplements, and providing
natural health solutions to the general public through Nutrition
House's 'Ask Our Expert' service at www.nutritionhouse.com.
SOURCE Nutrition House Canada Inc.
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