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Wednesday, February 9, 2011



Insomnia can often be traced back to un expected source. Learn about pitfalls that cause it.


If you're regularly exhausted by mid afternoon, you're not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can be dangerous: Tired people are more likely to have car accidents, while chronic tiredness can increase your chances of developing diabetes & hypertension. Surprisingly, you may be sabotaging your own efforts to get some rest. Learning to recognize the most common sleep thieves can help.


Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeinated beverages like coffee can perk you up (though only temporarily) by blocking body chemicals that induce sleep & increasing the production of adrenaline. However, caffeine stays in the body for up to 12 hours & can cause insomnia. To avoid this effect, cutting caffeine completely out of your diet is advised. There's no evidence that any amount of caffeine is good for you.


Sleep Apnea

This disorder, which causes people to momentarily stop breathing during sleep, can cause disruption of deep sleep, resulting in a tired feeling the next day. Sleep apnea commonly occurs when a person's airway becomes blocked during sleep, resulting in loud snoring. If your partner tells you that you have a snoring problem, consult your doctor who may prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure machine to prevent your airway from becoming blocked.


Working or Eating on Bed

Using your bed as a place to work or eat can cause you to associate it with these tasks, ultimately leading to sleeplessness. That's when a treatment called sleep restriction can be helpful. You cut out all those activities & then re-associate the bed with sleep. It's one of the most effective treatments for insomnia.



Reading interesting content on the Web or watching an engaging TV program right before bed can keep you awake by stimulating your mind. Even the bright light emitted from the television or computer can wreak havoc with your sleep. Turn off your electronics a couple of hours before bed to ensure they don't ruin your rest. Give your brain a chance to wind down from the day.



Parents know all too well the effect a wakeful child can have on their sleep. Habits like frequent nighttime nursing & allowing your child to sleep in your bed can shortchange your own rest. To keep the little ones in bed putting children to bed drowsy but not asleep is suggested, so they learn to fall asleep on their own. If your children are having trouble sleeping well, consult your pediatrician.


Anxiety & Allergies

Conditions like anxiety & allergies can also cause insomnia or lessen sleep quality. Treating the root problem is often the best way to take care of sleep difficulties. Treatment for allergies depends on the source of the allergic reaction; talk to your allergist if your allergy symptoms are affecting your sleep.


Working Overnight

If you have a job that requires you to work overnight, you may not be getting the deep sleep that you need because the body tends to sleep more lightly during daytime hours. Barring a job change, try mimicking nighttime conditions while you sleep by making your room as dark & quiet as possible & using eye <, masks/ear plugs. Also, try to keep the same overnight schedule on your days off.


l2-Hour Snooze On Weekend

After a week of shortchanging yourself on sleep, taking a l2-hour snooze on the weekend may seem like the perfect antidote. But sleeping in can throw off your sleep-wake cycle, causing you to stay up until the wee hours of the morning on Sunday nights, which means you're tired all over again on Monday. For maximum restfulness, go to bed & wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.


Avoid Exercise Before Going To Bed

Getting your exercise in the morning or early afternoon will help you sleep better at night, while working out close to bedtime may keep you awake because of the rise in body temperature that it causes. (Cooler body temps help you feel sleepier.) To avoid exercise-induced insomnia, finish up your workout at least three hours before bedtime.

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