IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY SO HERE’S 20 TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER…

It’s Sleep Sunday and I found this brilliant infographic on Pinterest which has 20 Simple Ways to get a Better Sleep. If only one helps then it was worth posting this.

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT MELATONIN FOR SLEEP & YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM…

It’s Sleep Sunday so let’s talk this week about melatonin for sleep. You can see from the infographic below that it can help in many ways to help you sleep.

Pro Health also wrote on Melatonin for sleep and the immune system and explained that Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that your brain produces as a response to darkness. After sunset, usually around 9 pm, the pineal gland is activated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a control center in the hypothalamus that regulates hormones and body temperature.

Melatonin levels stay elevated through the night for roughly 12 hours, until our bodies are exposed to light at the start of each day. Most people produce enough melatonin on their own to induce rest. However, modern activities like excess travel, stress, screen time, and night schedules disrupt this natural rhythm, leading to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Supplemental melatonin may be a solution.

People who can benefit from supplementing their melatonin are people with limited day time light exposure, people with increased light exposure at night, people doing shift work or people suffering from jet lag.

Pro Health also say “ Research suggests that melatonin is not only a good sleep remedy, it might also play an important role as an immune buffer. One study examines how melatonin may act as a stimulant for immunosuppressed conditions, helping the body better respond to external threats like viruses and parasites. On the other hand, the study finds melatonin can regulate overactive responses as well, such as that found in septic shock, acting as an anti-inflammatory. “

Melatonin supplements are available in a few different formats and available from Pro Health and other good pharmacies. Always remember to check with your GP before taking any supplements especially if you are taking other medications.

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND HOW PAIN EFFECTS OUR SLEEP PATTERN…

TUCK Advancing Better Sleep has some very interesting guides on how people with chronic pain and fibromyalgia can deal with fatigue, sensory and mobility issues in the bedroom, and pain-related insomnia. One of the first ones I am going to feature here is How Does Pain Effect Sleep.
Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout keep people awake. Back pain, headaches, menstrual cramps –all sorts of painful maladies leave sufferers less able to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleep is often a respite from pain but if the discomfort is so strong that the person cannot sleep, the juxtaposition is a special irony.

It’s estimated that 50-80% of chronic pain patients report sleep disturbances. The worst is when pain and sleep loss get into a downward spiral of awfulness, leading to a low quality of life. Pain makes it hard to sleep, poor sleep makes the pain subjectively worse, and both lead to depression, which also affects sleep disorders and pain experience. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a possible solution for both living with pain and alleviating problem sleep.

Pain medication has a profound influence on sleep, even aside from its analgesic effects. Opioids fragment the sleep cycle, even though it may subjectively seem to the patient that the sleep is better, at least in the short run. Over-the-counter pain meds like ibuprofen and aspirin also affect the sleep cycle, although not to the same extent. The effect is not uniformly bad, of course, if the pain medication lets the person get to sleep. They put me on Nortriptyline to help me sleep but I must admit I do also take a couple of herbal relaxants as well. It was mentioned at my last pain meeting that maybe I should try and come off the Nortriptyline as it does have some nasty side effects. I had more important drugs to cut down on (Tramadol) so I left this for a later date. By accident, I completely forgot to take them one-night last week and I had the worst pain and slept very little so I am in no rush to change my routine on what I take to help me sleep. 

They say people with insomnia are more likely to have chronic pain than those without. Experts estimate 25-40% of patients with chronic pain have insomnia, many times the rate among those without. Does pain make the sleep worse or does poor quality sleep degrade make the pain feel worse? Both. Don’t discount the effect that a good night’s sleep can have on a person’s quality of life and ability to tolerate pain. The subjective intensity of pain decreases when a person is well-rested. Hyperalgesia – increased sensitivity to pain – is a result of loss of sleep, especially the loss of REM sleep. Which is ironic, because the opioid drugs used to treat severe pain suppress REM sleep and may make patients more sensitive to the pain they feel. Antidepressant drugs also suppress REM sleep and make us complain about pain more (maybe this is partly the cause of the stereotype of the diva). Poor sleep quality is correlated with more severe pain and increased fatigue.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients complain about sleep problems often and the sleep difficulty and the pain support each other in a vicious cycle. It’s well known there is a connection between pain and mood. And between depression and sleep disorders. Researchers studied arthritis patients using the HAQ-pain scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form – 36 vitality scale for fatigue, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index for sleep quality and disturbances. They found that poor sleep quality was correlated with disability in arthritis patients.

Scientific article: Sleep Quality and Functional Disability in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lower back pain as I know only too well is known to affect sleepboth the quality and sleep latency. The Mayo Clinic website has interesting pictures of sleeping positions that may help reduce back pain. Recognizing that pain and sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand, the pharmaceutical companies have introduced combination drugs– over-the-counter pills that include both an aid (an antihistamine) and an analgesic.

The topic of pain and sleep is tied closely to that of ageing and sleep. A much higher percentage of seniors experience chronic pain than young and middle-aged adults. A much higher percentage of seniors experience sleep disorders, too.

PAIN DURING REM SLEEP…

People have reported pain during their dreams that isn’t real pain – it’s dream pain – and vanishes when they awake. More common is real bodily pain that could be felt if the person was awake but which was incorporated into the narrative of the dream. Vivid narrative dreams happen when the brain is in REM sleep and during REM the skeletal muscles are paralyzed. This paralysis may contribute to bodily pain and make it worse than in NREM sleep when the body can more easily move around.

Psychologists did a test where they induced a mild pain in sleepers in the REM stage of sleep. Upon awakening, the subjects often reported dreams (about 30%) that included pain in the same part of the body that the researchers applied pressure to. The subjective level of pain during the dream tended to be higher than the pain when the person was awake. Curiously, burn patients report about the same percentage of pain dreams even though the level of pain they experience is much higher than the subjects in the psychologists’ tests.

NOISE AND SLEEP…

Loud or unpredictable noises fracture sleepers’ rest, sometimes causing awakening, and sometimes triggering a shift to a different stage of sleep. The noise that disrupts slow-wave sleep leaves people waking to feel unrefreshed and often with diffuse pain and tenderness, even in healthy people. I can honestly say that I am quite sure I can even hear a pin drop.

Individuals have different responses to noise, of course. Researchers have even figured out how to predict who will wake up from noises, based on electroencephalography (EEG) readings.  People who have more sleep spindles on the EEG readings during a normal night of sleep have more tolerance for noise.  In other words, people who have more active brains when asleep tend to sleep better when it is noisy.

White noise – a constant hum in the background at low volumes – can help some people sleep. Presumably, this is because the noise drowns out softer unpredictable sounds.  There are commercial products that generate white noise that some find helpful and others use humidifiers partly because of their constant hum. White noise can induce sleep in infants.

Rain helps improve the subjective quality of sleep for many. You have probably heard people tell you they slept great because of the rain. This may be due to a combination of the white noise generated during the rain (but not in a thunderstorm), a sudden reduction in outdoor temperature, changes in the electrostatic characteristics of the air. Further, the “fresh” air following rain – perception of coolness, sweet smelling air, low particulate account – is conducive to sleep.

Aircraft noise disturbs sleep and when bad enough can result in sleep-deprived behaviour during the day. The WHO claims 1 in 3 Europeans suffers health harm from excessive traffic noise (cars, planes, etc.).  20% of Europeans are said to be at risk for significant health damage from nighttime noise. A Korean study found railway traffic was more bothersome and problematic for sleepers than automobile traffic.

What about birdsong and the natural sounds of the morning?  Many find these sounds pleasant when they are relaxed and report they enhance the sleep experiences around dawn when the sleeper is often in REM sleep.

A related issue is the effect of rocking on sleep.  Parents rock babies to sleep and some baby cribs are set to rock.  People enjoy sleeping in hammocks that can rock.  Is there the scientific explanation of that?  A Swiss study found the rocking at 0.25 Hz facilitates and transition from stage 1 to stage 2 sleep.  The density shown on EEG reports increases when the sleeper is rocking.

THE SOUND SLEEPER…

What does it mean to say someone is a sound sleeper? Or that you slept soundly? One thing it means is that the sleeper does not wake readily from noises. “Resistance to acoustic disturbance” is a measure of the depth of sleep, and it varies over the course of the night. How likely we are to wake up from sleep in response to noise varies throughout the night and even within any given stage of sleep. In deep sleep, we are less apt to be awakened from external noise. Spindle activity in light sleep seems to be a measure of how sound (less sensitive to sounds) we are.

 

WORLD SLEEP DAY MARCH 13th 2020…

World Sleep Day is about raising awareness of sleep problems and the health effects that these cause, including other problems that are subsequently caused by it in the economy, education and so on. Of course it is also about preventing sleep problems and disorders in the first place. If you research the effects of lack of quality sleep more deeply, then the conclusion is that basically it makes people age faster. Higher cancer risk, higher diabetes risk, obesity, low testosterone in men, higher risk of osteoporosis in women, higher risk for Altzheimer’s etc. are all effects normally linked to aging.

It’s organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine. This year’s motto is “Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet”. Last year’s was “Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging”. World Sleep Day . It is an annual event, and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. World Sleep Day is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year. Future dates will be: Friday, March 13, 2020 & Friday, March 12, 2021.

A new smart, modular bed rocker system, for adults from Ensven has a particularly interesting feature in that it can detect shallow/bad sleep – restlessness – and automatically react to rock the sleeper(s) back into recuperative deep sleep. Ensven have a youtube video which shows how this works. It’s worked for years with babies so it’s no surprise it could work for everyone else.

Sleep is so important for health that it’s becoming the most talked about subject but if you can get it right then your health will benefit.

SLEEP SUNDAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP WITH THESE THREE GREAT OFFERS…

You should try the Kally Pillow. Use code SLEEP10 at checkout for 10% off! Your best night’s sleep is waiting for you! Discover the difference with our 14-night trial at Kally Sleep! Kally say it’s the best orthopaedic body pillow for neck & back pain, pregnancy, recovery support and restless sleepers.

It is ergonomically designed by experts to help you enjoy longer periods of deep, uninterrupted sleep in superior comfort. Their sumptuous body pillow provides crucial support for your back, neck, and spine, while the delicate and breathable 100% Cotton Jersey pillow cover helps you stay cool (included free). Totally redefine your sleep with the Kally Body Pillow.

The Kally Pillow is the ultimate sleep system expertly designed to encourage healthy sleep positions and a much deeper sleep. If you suffer with leg pain, back pain, neck pain or are simply looking for the ultimate sleep comforter, then the Kally Pillow is for you. By taking pressure off all of your key joints, this orthopaedic pillow will leave you feeling weightless and encourage a deeper more peaceful sleep.

Orthopaedic body pillow

Hypo-allergenic materials

100% Cotton Jersey Pillow Cover (included Free)

Supportive Hollow-fibre interior which moulds to your body

Rolls up and can be stored or packed away easily

Easy clean – Pillow and Cover machine washable

Unisex, one-size-fits-all product

Ideal for sleepers of all weight groups

Firmness = medium

Suitable for all side sleepers and women during pregnancy

Helps sufferers of fibromyalgia, arthritis and acid reflux

They have guide to common sleeping positions. You can take power over your power naps; Many of us have been there, unable to work out why that one sleeping position sends us drifting while others put dead legs, sore necks and more troublesome obstacles between us and our Z’s. You may be lucky enough to hop into bed without much thought about how to get comfortable. Even if this is the case, it is still great to know how the position you sleep in affects your body.

Another great offer for something to help you sleep people who snore is the Slumber Bump who’s special offer is For Friends & Family Event with 25% off , February 14-29|Code: FriendsRock.

The slumberBUMP™ has a proven track-record of improving people’s quality of sleep if they suffer from positional snoring (also known as positional sleep disordered breathing.) There are a few obvious signs that the slumberBUMP is helping you, like waking up with more energy and without a headache. While these are great signs, we wanted to take it a step further and give you the ability to keep track of your progress with what we are calling, The 21-Day Challenge.

slumberBUMP recommends Snore Lab to give you a more unique insight into how well you are actually sleeping at night. The helpful Snore Lab app, recommended by doctors around the globe, will track exactly how loudly and for how long you snore over the night. Starting from the day you receive your slumberBUMP for the next three weeks, you will be able to enter your sleep data and plot out your progress with the slumberBUMP. They ship to the U.K.

Another great offer is from Grass & Co where if you enter your email address you can get a 20% discount code and their CBD guide ebook.

The NEW Silent Night CBD Kit includes our balancing CALM 500mg CBD Consumable Oil, peaceful Pillow Spray and an exclusive limited edition Grass & Co. Sleep Mask.

CALM 500mg CBD Oil – Our NEW 500mg CALM CBD Oil is a simple and effective way to benefit from CBD. Each drop contains a deeply relaxing blend of CBD, Mint, Chamomile & Ashwaghanda.

CALM Pillow Spray – CALM Pillow Spray balances the comforting aromatherapy scents of luxurious Lemon, relaxing Rosemary and calming Chamomile to soothe you to your sleepy place. Awake feeling calmed.

Grass & Co. Sleep Mask – Made from the highest quality mulberry silk, these luxurious masks are a must-have winter sleep accessory. It costs £57 and would make a great Mother’s Day gift.