Many people are fighting against various sleep disorders like insomnia and others. They spend quite a lot of money on buying sleeping pills, visiting psychiatrists or other experts, changing the furniture in the bedroom, and other most popular tricks to combat insomnia. However, it is possible to substantially improve our sleep quality by using quite a simple and easy method. Wanna know what that is? Regular physical activities and exercise!
According to the latest findings of American specialists, only 150 minutes of physical activities a week can help us improve our sleep quality and feel more alert during the day. A group of experts at Bellarmine University carried out a survey and interviewed about 2,600 American people aged between 25 and 60. It turned out that 2,5 hours of moderate physical activities and exercise a week can be of a great help to those who suffer from insomnia and other related sleep disorders. It was estimated that by using the stated amount of physical activities can assist to provide more than 65 per cent sleep quality improvement, as well as help feel less sleepy and tired during the day.
Sufficient amounts of physical activities are very important for all of us to support our overall health and a proper function of all systems of the body. Brad Cardinal, one of the leaders of the research group and a specialist at Oregon State University said: “We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health.” According to the expert, plenty of physical activities and exercise can play a role of a safe and unique alternative to sleeping pills known for their numerous harmful side effects like addiction, impaired memory, etc.
It is obvious that using physical activities to improve our sleep quality and combat such a common symptom as daytime sleepiness will lead to numerous improvements and other amazing benefits to our general health. In particular, during the study it became apparent that such symptoms as leg cramps or the ability to focus can be deceased: 68 per cent of the participants reported about having less leg cramps, and 45 per cent told that they have improved abilities to concentrate. Physical activities can assist in weight loss and lowering bad LDL blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risks of serious cardiovascular diseases like a heart attack, atherosclerosis, and so on. Read more about the findings of this interesting study in the latest issue of Mental Health and Physical Activity.
Insomnia is a curse of modern generations, and millions of people around the globe suffer from this type of sleep disorders. In many cases, insomnia turns into a chronic condition, bringing such effects as constant restlessness, headaches, fatigue, inability to focus and maximize our performance, and so on. Form the scientific point of view, not too much is known about the most common causes, mechanisms and effects of this sleep disorder. That is why insomnia and chemical processes that accompany this condition become a focus of numerous current researches and studies very often.
In particular, one of the studies carried out this summer and reported in September has shown that such condition as insomnia has very strong influence of heredity. This factor plays a great role, and if your mom, dad or other close relatives suffer from this health condition, you have quite high chances to suffer from it too. The group of scientists of Universite Laval’s School of Psychology, who carried out this research and worked on analyzing the data on about 3,500 participants, came up with the conclusions that those who have a history of chronic insomnia in their family can be exposed to up to 76 per cent higher risks of suffering from this sleep disorder at one or another stage of their life.
The participants were asked to answer some questions about their sleep patterns, their sleep problems and sleep problems of the close relatives like mother, father or siblings. The study included also monitoring possible changes of sleep patterns withing 12 months, with occasional interviewing the participants. It turned out that almost 40 per cent of people who had a family member suffering from insomnia displayed the signs of the same sleep disorder. At that, 76 per cent of those participants had only one relative suffering from insomnia, and 21 per cent had two and more family members affected by the same condition.
Dr. Charles M. Morin of Universite Laval’s School of Psychology, one of the study leaders and the author of the report, commented on the findings of his colleagues as the following: “There is very probably a genetic factor behind the family aggregation we observed. However, we don’t know if the mechanism is a physiological process that interferes with sleep or a predisposition to anxiety.” He also said that there are options of early psychological and related types of treatments for those who have elevated risks of insomnia caused by such factor as heredity.
The scientists suggest using yoga poses as a great and effective natural treatment for insomnia. Recently, 7 best yoga poses were specified, which can be used by everyone in order to improve the sleep quality and substantially relieve the symptoms of various sleep disorders. Check out the previous information about the first 3 best yoga poses, and continue reading this article to learn about other 4.
Asana 4: Plow. Known also as Halasana, this pose involves laying down on the floor, bending the body and lifting the legs over the head as far as you can. It is an excellent pose to stretch the muscles of hips, spine and shoulders, and in yoga practice it is one of the best poses to reduce negative effects of stresses and improve sleep. Do not worry if your toes can not reach the floor: as you practice, you’ll see the progress very soon.
Asana 5: Shoulder Stand. This yoga pose is called Sarvangasana, and it has been used for many centuries by Indian yoga experts to rejuvenate and stimulate all vital body organs. This pose involves lying down on the back, bending the body from the shoulders and holding the legs in the air. It is one of truly best yoga poses for relaxation, stimulating the function of the thyroid gland, promoting blood circulation in the chest, upper back and shoulders, relieving tension in many body organs and removing anxiety and nervousness from you mind. Practice this pose to improve your sleep quality!
Asana 6: Seated Forward Bend. This Paschimottanasana exercise means nothing else but bending forward while sitting. By doing this exercise, you are receiving a great opportunity to stretch you calves, hamstrings, as well as your back and neck. All you need to do is just bend and go as forward as possible. This asana can assist you in focusing your attention, relieving any sort of nervous tension, and also relieve the symptoms of insomnia.
Asana 7: Supine Spinal Twist. This asana is one of the greatest exercises for spine stretching and relaxation. Known as Supta Matsyaendrasana, it involves simple and very gentle twist from the laying down position. At that, the upper part of the body should go to one side, and the lower part should go to another. You should use this asana very very carefully in case if you have any sort of spine problems or low back pains.
It is estimated that currently, over 60 million citizens of the United States suffer from chronic insomnia. This is a very common sleep problem linked to a chronic lack of sleep, inability to fall asleep at night, frequent waking up and prolonged periods of sleep deprivation. There is a great deal of various techniques and various sorts of treatment to insomnia, which include using special stress management and relaxation techniques, medications and herbal remedies, aromatherapy and other alternative treatments, undergoing special therapeutic programs and so on. Though such practice as yoga is usually not valued too high as an effective treatment for insomnia, there are theories and even books written on the effectiveness of this ancient therapeutic approach.
There are 7 most effective yoga poses that can give any of us a proper end-of-day relaxation and stress relieve. Check out these simple stretching exercises which can work great as an interesting alternative treatment for insomnia.
Asana 1: Forward Bent. This is one of the most common and basic poses which is widely practiced and included to most of individual yoga programs. Known also as Uttanasana, this forward bent pose involves hard bending over and trying to make your forehead go far to touch your keen. Though it obviously can be quite hard to achieve to many people, Forward Bent pose is a very relaxing one for the muscles of our legs, shoulders and our back.
Asana 2: Wide Legged Forward Bent. This is another very common yoga pose known also as Prasarita Padottanasana. It is very similar to the previous one, and the only difference is doing the same movement when your legs are spread several feet apart. It is enough to remain in this pose just for 20-30 seconds in order to bring a great relief to your spine and your brain. Also, Wide Legged Forward Bent is supposed to be one of the best and the most effective yoga poses for back leg and back muscle stretching.
Asana 3: Child’s Pose. This is one of the best yoga poses to rest and relax, and the main advantage of this pose is that it can be used by everyone, even those who are just the beginners in yoga. Known as Balasana, this pose involves kneeling on the floor and placing the buttocks on your heels, then separating the knees as wide as the hips. It is possible to leave your arms rest on the sides, or stretch them out in front of the body. Child’s Pose is recommended as a great technique to relieve anxiety, stresses and insomnia.
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Those who suffer from chronic sleep disorders are well aware of how this everything happens. If you missed that special point, just several minutes which you could have used to fall asleep, there’s no point in turning and tossing in your bed anymore. You’ve lost your chance, my friend! In such case, most likely you will not be able to fall asleep till the morning, and your risks of feeling restless, exhausted and worn out in the morning are huge. However, recently American specialists found a new way to fight against insomnia. They say that the most effective strategy to beat it is getting out of bed as soon as you realize that you can’t fall asleep.
A group of scientists leaded by Daniel Buysse at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied sleep patterns of 79 old adults (average age 72) who suffered from chronic insomnia. The participants used to undergo seances of special therapy, which included behavioral treatment or reading educational materials about sleep disorders. They were all recommended getting out of their beds in case if they could not falls asleep for 15-20 minutes.
The experiments lasted for 4 weeks and after this period of time, about two thirds of the participants reported about considerable improvements and positive response on the behavioral intervention they underwent. Some of the participants were even convinced that they managed to get rid of insomnia completely. Moreover, after 6-months period of time, the participants were invited to the research facilities again to monitor their sleep patterns. Scientists were surprised to see that no one of the participants did not demonstrate tendencies to developing more of sleep disorders.
“A lot of insomniacs spend a lot of time lying in bed worrying about their sleep, among other things.If you’re not ready to fall asleep, don’t lie down in bed and try to force yourself to sleep. And if you wake up in the middle of the night and don’t fall back asleep easily, get out of bed. You don’t want to have any linkage between the experience of lying in bed and being awake,” says Thomas Neylan, a specialist at the University of California. Every fifth person on Earth suffers from chronic insomnia. It is a very serious problem which in most cases leads to serious mental disorders and somatic diseases.