5 Easy Self-Help Sleeping Strategies

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Here’s another set of self-help sleeping strategies. The first five-set can be found on this link.

But before we proceed , let us take a look at the ugly truth of sleeping pills and why there is a need to stop any chemical supplements just as you could sleep.

pills_avoid reliance on sleeping aids

Ending the Reliance on Sleeping Aids

There are many sleeping aids accessible in the market probably because people tend to have so much trouble sleeping.

A lack of sleep has a variety of reasons that could be work-related stress and insomnia.

There are other reasons, as some people have speculated; anything and everything can be interpreted as a cause for lack of sleep.

Of course, the occurrence of this problem is fueling the steady market for sleeping aids.

However, with a market that is near the saturation point, just what are the chances that the sleeping aids being sold are actually safe to use?

A lack of sleep can be the problem itself, or the symptom of a larger, more expensive problem.

Insomnia is just as likely to be an outcrop of depression as it is a symptom of other, more dangerous mood and behavioral disorders.

Ideally, people who have trouble sleeping should see a medical professional to be properly assessed.

The need to know if their problem is really just a lack of sleep or if there’s something else beneath the surface.

The availability and popular consumption of various medications have produced what others call the “pill culture.”

People are becoming increasingly willing to turn to a convenient pill to solve an obvious problem without seeing a professional to check if there are other problems.

Everything from pain medication, muscle relaxants, and sleeping aids can end up as part of this problem.

Recently, a new perspective on sleep disorders was put forth by a team of researchers led by Dr. Jesse Milby from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Milby considers sleeping problems as a lack of “sleep hygiene.” According to a research project he and his colleagues from UAB conducted, there are several things people routinely do that contribute to the development of the sleeping problem.

His data showed that using the bed for nothing more than sleep and sexual activity helped improve people’s sleep cycles and reduced the severity of their insomnia, even without medication.

That means no reading, no “hard” conversations, no doing taxes, or any other activities people might be inclined to do in bed.

The problem, he noted, was that the process often took longer than the average person was comfortable with.

With more and more people turning to medication to get a quick fix for their sleep problems, Milby believes society is risking making their sleeping problems much worse.

The problem, UAB internist and palliative medicine specialist Rodney Tucker noted, was that people who could not deal with the stress of daily life were seen as “needing a pill.”

There is a prevalent belief that everyone can deal with all the problems being thrown at them when this is simply not the case.

The perception that taking a pill can fix their problems, along with the unwillingness to let go of established personal routines and invest time in personal therapy, has caused more and more people to become dependent on sleeping aids.

It allows them to avoid having to deal with the harsh reality of having a problem and the need to rectify the situation, which is likely to do more harm than good in the long-term.

sleeping strategies

5 Self-Help Sleep Techniques

Reducing Your Evening Stimulation

The best nighttime routine is one that leaves you feeling relaxed and ready to go to bed.

If you are experiencing trouble falling asleep, it may be beneficial to avoid external prompts or inducement for an hour or so before bedtime.

Stimulation, such as watching television, keeps your mind active and alert.  If you find it difficult to give up television before bed, try to select shows that are calming rather than aggressive, action-packed programs.

When reducing your evening stimulation to promote healthy sleep habits, try these tips:
  • Keep your bedroom television-free.  This will help your mind and body associate the bedroom with sleeping only.
  • Don’t exercise up to three hours prior to bedtime.  Remember that exercise wakes up your body, and unless the physical activity is done well before you plan to go to bed, it will work against you when trying to sleep.
  • Plan to unwind when returning home from being out. If you jump directly into bed, your mind and body might not have sufficient time to decompress and slip into your evening routine.
  • Try reading.  Non-technical reading might help make you tired.  Avoid work-related or overly complicated material.
  • Avoid falling asleep without turning off the light.  This will wake you up in the night and disturb your sleep cycles, as well as you bedtime routine.

The goal is to define the fine line between stimulation and relaxation when deciding how to unwind.

Being able to easily relax at night will be paramount to your success in falling asleep naturally.

Stay Away From Internal Stimulants

While there are many external stimulates in your environment, there are also stimulants that affect your body from the inside.

Impacting the way you feel, think, and relax, these products contain caffeine, sugar, and chemicals.

While you don’t need to completely remove these items from your diet, you do need to pay attention and be sure not to ingest them after dinnertime to avoid difficulty falling asleep.

Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine wakes up your body and mind by raising your heart rate.  Since it has this effect, it is considered a stimulant.

Coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate beverages contain caffeine.  Have your last caffeinated beverage at least 3-4 hours prior to bedtime to avoid having difficulty sleeping.

Chocolate 

Chocolate has caffeine and sugar, both of which are stimulants that will keep you from having a restful night’s sleep. Do not have chocolate for 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.

Alcohol

While alcoholic beverages might make you feel tired and help you fall asleep, the sleep is typically not restful.

For example, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night feeling dehydrated, then have trouble falling back to sleep.

As with any other medication that can become addictive, you do not want to create a nightly dependency on alcohol to fall asleep at night.

Smoking

Tobacco contains nicotine which is a stimulant.

Your body’s nicotine dependency can cause your body to wake when the level of nicotine in your blood becomes low.

Try to not to smoke in the hours before bedtime.

Caffeine in Common Beverages and Drugs
Beverages
Brewed coffee, drip method, 5 oz cup 60-180 mg caffeine
Instant coffee, 5 oz. cup 30-120 mg caffeine
Decaffeinated coffee, 5 oz. cup 1-5 mg caffeine
Brewed tea, 5 oz. cup 60-180 mg caffeine
Instant tea, 5 oz. cup 25-50 mg caffeine
Iced Tea, 12 oz. cup 67-76 mg caffeine
Cola, 12 oz. cup 36-47 mg caffeine
Chocolate
Dark/semisweet, 1 oz. 5-35 mg caffeine
Non-prescription Drugs
Dexatrim 200 mg caffeine
No Doz 100 mg caffeine
Excedrin 65 mg caffeine
 Your Diet Matters

Your diet impacts your ability to fall asleep and maintain sleep at night. By eating a healthy diet, low in processed foods, sugar, fat, and preservatives.

You may find that you can stop the cycle of insomnia and improve your overall health.

Consider these guidelines for a healthy sleep diet:
  • Follow the recommended daily guidelines for fruits and vegetables.
  • Increase the complex carbohydrates in your diet.
  • Eat protein that is low in fat, and consider meat substitutes like tofu or veggie burgers.
  • Avoid spicy and heavy foods.
  • If you need a snack before bed, make it low in fat and sugar.
  • Eat your last meal four or more hours before bedtime.
  • Try not to overeat at your nighttime meal because you might feel drowsy immediately after eating.  Alternatively, be sure to eat enough so that you are not ravenous at bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. A well-hydrated body won’t wake up in the night because of dehydration. Drink eight glasses, equivalent to 2 liters of water per day.

Watch yourself for food allergies that might be subtly causing you sleep disturbances.

Common food allergies that might affect your sleep patterns are wheat, dairy products, corn, and chocolate.

A well-balanced, wholesome diet will help you be a healthier person overall.  General health is a huge factor in your ability to fall asleep naturally.

If your daily intake of food is healthy, your body and mind will be healthy and well-nourished, helping you sleep deeply without waking in the night.

sleeping technique

Get Rid of Anxiety and Worry

Are you someone whose mind is filled with thoughts of your family, your finances, your job and the future, when you are trying to fall asleep?

Do you find it hard to stop thinking and /or worrying about things long enough to drift off?

If your mind is busy at bedtime, it can lead to constant tossing and turning and insomnia.

If you worry about situations in life, there are a few techniques you can use to help put the worry out of your mind and fall asleep.

First, realize that now is the time to sleep, and the situations and events that are causing you stress will be there tomorrow.

Try making a “Worry Notebook.”  In a notebook designated for this purpose, create a list of what’s causing you stress and anxiety before you go to bed. Then go through the list and identify which items can be dealt with tomorrow.

The list of items on your list for tomorrow then becomes your to-do list for the next day.  This will help you feel more in control and positive about the situation.

In a separate section of your notebook, create a list of things that you worry about but are out of your control. Reconfirm to yourself that you have no power to change these things.

When you have finished your lists, put away the notebook and remind yourself that you have put these things out of your mind, and onto paper, and will not think about them again until tomorrow.

If you find yourself thinking about these stressors during the night, firmly remind yourself that you have put away the notebook until the morning and now is sleep time.

Another idea for getting rid of your worry and anxiety is to write in a diary daily. Along with a record of your day, be sure to include what bothers you and causes you stress.

The main point of this exercise is to put your feelings on paper, thus releasing you from thinking and worrying about them at night.

For both of these techniques, the act of writing down your anxiety and worry gives you permission to rest at night and handle your feelings the next day.

Yoga and soft music or relaxing sounds may help to clear your mind. Consider trying light reading to keep your mind off worrisome thoughts.

If you teach your mind to relax, you will find it easier to achieve a night of restful sleep.

Bath Time

A soothing warm bath an hour or so before bedtime will relax you and help you feel sleepy.

Do not try to go to sleep immediately following the bath because warm water has a stimulating effect on your body by raising your body temperature.

After the bath, you will probably find yourself getting drowsy as your body temperature returns to normal.

How does a warm bath help you sleep better? 

The warm water will relax your major muscle groups, help your circulatory system, and raise your body temperature.

When your core temperature returns to normal about an hour after the bath, you’ll still feel relaxed and comfortable and your body will be ready for sleep.

Creating a peaceful bath time experience is easy and enjoyable. To make a soothing bath environment, light candles and use dim lighting in the bathroom.

Experiment with scented oils or incense. Put on some light, tranquil music, and enjoy the mellow environment.

Another way to make your bath special is to add herbs to the water.  Make a blended herb take advantage of the herb’s relaxing qualities.

Put the sachet in the tub when it’s filling, and hold it under the hot water while it steeps.  Unwind in the tub while enjoying the herbal scents.  A few comforting herbs to try are lavender, chamomile, mint, passion flower, and lime flower.

There are many aromatic oils on the market that are created to induce relaxation.  About  4-5 drops of the essential oil are added to the bath after the tub is filled.

When deciding on an essential oil to use, try rose, chamomile, lavender, hops, ylang-ylang, vetiver, or neroli for a calming bath.

Bath powder is the third choice of enhancements that can be added to your bath.

This recipe for bath powder should be added to the water while you are filling the tub.

Milk & Honey Bath Powder

You will need:

½ cup honey

3 cups powdered milk

Lavender buds

You have to:

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.

Add several tablespoons of the milk bath to warm water in the tub.

Store any remaining mixture in a sealed container.

Bath time is a great way to encourage relaxation and drowsiness. Experiment with various herbs and oils to find the ones that work best for you.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

5 Self-Help Sleeping Techniques

  1. Reducing Your Evening Stimulation
    The goal is to define the fine line between stimulation and relaxation when deciding how to unwind.
  2. Stay Away from Internal Stimulants
    Caffeinated Beverages
    Chocolate
    Alcohol
    Smoking
  3. Your Diet Matters
    Eat a healthy diet, low in processed foods, sugar, fat, and preservatives.
  4. Get Rid of Anxiety and Worry
  5. Bath Time
    A soothing warm bath an hour or so before bedtime will relax you and help you feel sleepy.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you having some difficulty sleeping at night?

– What are your measures for you to be able to sleep well?

– What sleeping strategies work best for you?

– What other effective sleeping strategies that you know?


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What Are The Benefits Of Sleeping And The Behavioral Changes To Achieve Them?

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Do you constantly have enough sleep? Let us find out first the benefits of sleeping and some behavioral changes related to it along with some sleeping facts and sleeping equipment.

Do you have some sleeping difficulty? Do you experience it once in a while? While this may be inconvenient, it’s often temporary.

When occasional sleepless nights turn into a regular occurrence of many nights in a row with interrupted sleep, you might have a sleeping problem.

When you don’t get enough sleep for an extended period of time your tiredness impacts every part of your life.

Physically, you might notice a decrease in your productivity and daily activities.

Emotionally, you may experience relationship problems or a change in your personality.

Mentally, a chronic sleep problem can create stress and anxiety.

There are three categories of sleep deprivation and insomnia.

The first stage, called “initial” insomnia, is when you first realize you’re having difficulty achieving a sleep state and occurs when it takes longer than a half an hour to fall asleep.

“Middle” insomnia is when you have difficulty staying asleep.  Once awakened, you stay awake until the wee hours of the morning.

The most severe level of insomnia is “late” or “terminal” insomnia.  This is when you wake up early in the morning and stay awake after sleeping less than 6 hours.

There are a variety of reasons that you may be having trouble sleeping.  If your insomnia is due to a medical condition, your doctor will be able to provide you with suggestions and appropriate medical attention.

On the other hand, if your sleep difficulties are occurring because you are stuck in a cycle of sleepless nights, or your insomnia is due to your inability to reach a state of inner peace needed to achieve sleep, this article is for you.

What’s So Good About Sleep Anyway?

Finding time to sleep in our busy schedules is extremely important for our health and wellbeing. Most people push the boundaries when it comes to sleep.

We restrict the time we allow for sleep, going to bed progressively later as we try to fit in the many different jobs that need completion each day. We underestimate the importance of sleep.

Without adequate sleep, our bodies will react, and those important schedules we put off sleep to achieve will be affected eventually.

It’s only recently that we have begun to fully understand just how much our body needs sleep to function properly.

Most of the body’s normal activities rely on us having a regular sleep and an interrupted sleep pattern is a significant stress on our bodies.

Our nervous system, our digestive system and the ability of our body to repair itself are all dependent on our sleep cycles being consistent and regular.

When we deprive our body of sleep, we inhibit our brain’s ability to make a decision. Our emotional responses to situations may be compromised, and even how we interact socially may be affected.

Sleep is as necessary for our health like eating and drinking. It has long been recognized that sleep deprivation is an effective torture tool.

Experiments using rats have revealed that their life expectancy is significantly reduced when they are sleep deprived under experimental conditions.

How much sleep a person needs is dependent on factors such as age and gender. Pregnant women. for example, may require more sleep than a non-pregnant woman of the same age group.

A child may require more sleep than an adult. However, an older adult generally requires less sleep than a younger adult.

The amount of sleep an individual need is fairly consistent with their age group. A typical adult will require approximately 7-9 hours of sleep a night to maintain optimum health and performance.

If we reduce that amount of sleep time over a series of nights, our body will eventually react and we need to make up that time, usually in what is termed as a “sleep in”.

However, even though we know we will sleep in on the weekend, our performance during the working week may be severely affected by our lack of sleep.

If we find ourselves excessively yawning during the day, or finding it difficult to remember simple details or make simple judgment calls correctly, it is possible we are suffering from sleep deprivation.

People take micro sleep where they lose consciousness for very short periods of time without realizing it, leading to potentially dangerous situations.

Many road deaths and incidents at work have been directly traced to insufficient sleep the night before. With so many serious side effects and consequences of not sleeping, we should all be ensuring we schedule adequate sleep into our daily lives.

benefits of sleeping

Behavioral Changes for Healthy Sleep Habits

Habits at Bedtime

It is essential that your brain has consistency by creating a bedtime schedule so that your body can learn how to fall asleep without medication.

Create a sleep strategy to determine the best routine, and plan to follow the routine for one to two weeks before making any alterations.

Your sleep strategy should include:

  • A regular bedtime
  • A consistent wake time
  • A record of any natural supplements you have tried
  • Routine activities that are not stimulating such as brushing your teeth or reading

Moving through a regular bedtime process will signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. The desired end result of having a sleep strategy is regular sleep that’s restful and refreshing.

Plan to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, and don’t allow yourself to oversleep.  If you wake up the same time every day you’ll establish a routine.

Avoid naps during the day because your body will be confused, and it will interrupt your sleep pattern. You can’t bank extra hours of sleep, and trying to sleep later in the morning to make up for sleep lost overnight will leave you feeling tired.

Every person has different sleep habits, so be patient while you work through the process of finding the sleep plan that works best for you.

Sleep Environment

In addition to a regular bedtime schedule, it is important to make your bedroom a place that is conducive to sleep.

The more comfortable and relaxing your sleep space is, the better your chances for falling asleep and staying asleep.

Consider these tips when creating your relaxing sleep atmosphere:

  • Get rid of all annoyances and interruptions.
  • Control the room temperature. Cooler air (between 65 and 70 degrees F) is typically more comfortable for sleep, however, set the temperature to your preference.
  • Allow for room ventilation, if possible. Crack a window slightly to allow for air flow. The circulating fresh air will help you breathe deeply, and provide oxygen that is essential for good sleep.
  • Use ear plugs if there are noises outside the bedroom. There are many types of plugs that are specifically for sleeping, so if, at first, you don’t find the perfect pair, try another.
  • Mask noises with a white noise machine if you decide to not wear earplugs. Machines are designed specifically for this purpose, or you can use a fan or air conditioner to provide the background noise. This will hide background sounds such as traffic or a barking dog.
  • Try using an MP3 player to play soothing background music.
  • Your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock, relies on light and dark patterns to determine when to signal your body to fall asleep. Keep your room as dark as possible to help your body settle into a sleep state. Use mini-blinds and thick curtains to block light from windows. Try wearing an eye mask to block any remaining light.
  • Having a clock by your bedside might be adding to your sleep problem. If you are watching the clock all night long, face it toward the wall so that you can’t see the time.  Constantly looking at the clock only makes you think about sleep, and lack of sleep, which continues the cycle of sleeplessness.
  • Consider a room humidifier for winter months when the air is dry.
  • Use your room only for sleeping. Remove the TV, computer, stereo. Your mind should associate your bedroom only with sleep.
  • Wear the most comfortable clothing you own. Non-constrictive clothing won’t wake you in the middle of the night.

As you can see here, there are many different tips to try to help you sleep better.  Each individual has their own unique combination of elements that make up their perfect sleep environment.

If one suggestion doesn’t work for you, make a note and try another until you find out what works best for you.

Sleep Equipment

Significant to the sleep environment is the equipment used when sleeping.  Sleep equipment includes the pillow, bedding, mattress, and sleep clothes.

Your mattress should be smooth and firm so that your back is well-supported and your body is comfortable when lying down.  Make sure the mattress is supported completely by the bed frame to avoid sagging.

The mattress should also be appropriately sized for your body.  Make sure you have a big enough bed so that you have enough space.  If you have a single or double bed, consider buying a larger queen or king sized mattress.

Use whatever style and type of pillow you find most comfortable.  It doesn’t matter what it’s made of as long as it provides you with neck and head support.

The sheets and blankets should be clean and pressed.  If you do not like feeling tucked in, loosen the sheets so that your feet can move around freely.

To find the right temperature for you, experiment with different blankets of a variety of weights and materials. Since a cool room is most conducive to sleep, keep the lower temperature in mind when selecting bedding.

Find a sleep position that is comfortable for you and lay in that position so that your body knows it’s time for sleep.  Whether it is lying on your back, on your side, or on your stomach, your favorite position will help you instantly get relaxed.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

What’s So Good About Sleep Anyway?

  • Most of the body’s normal activities rely on having a regular sleep .
  • The nervous system, digestive system and the ability of of the body to repair itself are all dependent on your sleep cycles being consistent and regular.

Behavioral Changes for Healthy Sleep Habits

  • Habits at Bedtime
  • Sleep Environment
  • Sleep Equipment

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Do you always have enough sleep?

– Do you have some difficulty sleeping?

– Do you have a good sleeping habits?

– Do you have a conducive sleeping place?


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What Are The Optional Surgery Snoring Procedures?

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Aside from the natural remedies or alternative medicines, if you opt for something drastic solution with snoring, check some available surgery snoring procedures.

Living in the twenty-first century affords wonderful advances in medicine and surgery.  Snoring is something that has plagued mankind since time immemorial.

A person who snores in this day and age does is lucky in the sense that the impact of snoring is really starting to be understood.

Before taking any approach to stop snoring, take advantage of what the medical community has to offer; find out why you are snoring.

Knowing the root cause behind snoring will help to point you in the right direction as to how to eliminate or mitigate the snoring as much as possible.

Available options for relief can include allergy medicine up to surgery although surgery for snoring is rarely if ever the best choice.

Snoring Does Not Equal Surgery

Surgery is often considered to be the ultimate remedy to many of life’s problems.  This does not always apply to snoring.

In fact, the nature of surgery and snoring do not really go too well together.  Surgery should be considered as the very last resort for several reasons.

There are risks involved with any surgical process, and in many cases, these risks are outweighed by the benefits.

But this is usually the case where there are few if any other options to taking care of a problem that is affecting a person’s health and well-being.

Surgery is an exploratory process.  The very nature of what surgery is seems somewhat counterproductive to solving something like snoring, especially when there are other methods to address the issue that is much less invasive and can be just as successful.

Surgery causes scarring, and because it is an exploratory process, there is no way to know what a doctor is going to encounter until they are in the process of cutting and opening up the patient.

Surgery can often be the actual cause of snoring after going through a procedure such as a rhinoplasty.

The truth is that surgeries performed in an effort to resolve issues with snoring have not always yielded the desired result for a large percentage of people who have had it.

Surgery for snoring is not a common process and is not as reliable as some surgical procedures that are performed on a regular basis.

Because snoring is the result of tissue blocking the air passage, the surgical answer is to remove any excess tissue that may be causing the blockage.

For certain people, this may be a reasonable and acceptable answer to their snoring problem, but this is most definitely not the case for the majority of people who snore.

Keep in mind that snoring is not always the source of the problem. Snoring is more often, if not most often a symptom of something else in the body.

The cause of an individual’s snoring issue is going to be unique and distinct to each person, therefore, there is no one simple cure-all remedy to take care of every person’s snoring problem.

Keep in mind that snoring is not always the source of the problem; snoring is more often, if not most often a symptom of something else in the body.

Reasons to Deny Surgery for Snoring

Surgery is often prescribed as the first and only solution to a person who has a problem with snoring.

In many cases, for different ailments, is considered as the first and only for of treatment there might be.  This is not so with snoring.

Where surgery can save lives and minimize suffering, it also comes with costs in addition to the finances involved.

There is a multitude of reasons that surgery should not be considered due to the risks involved with surgery which include the following:

  • Post operation cosmetic effects
  • Infection
  • Scare tissue and inflammation
  • Costly follow-up surgical procedures
  • Time intensive healing process
  • Costly drugs to ease pain and manage the swelling
  • Potential of damage to speech and tone of voice
  • Complications with swallowing
  • Potential seepage from wound and hemorrhaging
  • Potential for irritating dry mouth
  • Potential for severe pain in ears

Overview of Surgical Procedures for Snoring

Surgery is a lifesaving tool that has saved countless lives, but in this day and age, there is a surgical procedure for just about everything.

Some of these procedures can be frivolous and unnecessary.  When it comes to snoring specifically, surgery is not a guaranteed solution to the problem.

It is essential that anyone who deals with snoring either directly or indirectly is aware of this when looking for a way to fix the problem.

The following examples go over the common surgical procedures for snoring and how they might disappoint the patient.

These examples state the name of the surgical procedure, what it is designed to do and most importantly the many ill effects that have been reported as a result of each respective procedure.

The problems listed as a result of the different surgical processes are serious.  These problems range from finances to long-term or permanent issues the patient may have to deal with after undergoing snoring surgery.

What each of these surgeries is actually designed to do can be an absolute turn off, and when you consider the problems associated with them.

The compounded effects are something to be gravely considered when there are so many other options available.  Again, this is why in most cases, surgery should be considered as a last resort, if at all.

These are the risks associated with surgical procedures for snoring specifically; there are other risks that are a part of any surgical procedure.

But these other kinds of issues cannot be compared to the unique set of problems that snoring creates and the different surgeries designed to fix snoring.

Another risk is anesthesia.  Being “put under” for surgery is not always the case, but for any kind of major surgery it is the case.  Having surgery performed for snoring would require this and anesthesia has been known to result in complications if not death in some instances.

Name of Surgery
Designed to…
Reported Problems…
Tracheostomy
Create an opening in the trachea (sometimes this is called a tracheotomy)
 – irritating to tissues and possible scarring
– requires follow-up surgery nasal secretions can clog air pipe and lead to breathing difficulties
– nasal secretions can clog air pipe and lead to breathing difficulties
UPPP (Uvulopa-latopharyngoplasty)
expand the airway and end snoring
 –  expensive
–  may require follow-up surgery of obstruction occurs again
–  post-operation infection
–  possible speech defects
–  higher than normal hemorrhage risk
–  swallowing problems
–  not effective for Sleep Apnea
LAUP (Laser
Assisted Uvuloplasty)
Uses lasers to remove uvula and obstructing tissues, without removing tonsils or lateral tissues
 –  dry mouth
–  Changes to voice (to be avoided by people who require their voice to earn their living!)
–  pain in the ears
–  unpredictable success rate
–  can mask deeper problems and/or lead to new complications
CAPSO (Cautery
-assisted palatal stiffening operation)
Burns the palate in order to stiffen it against vibration, and removes the mucosa along the uvula.
 –  post-operation discomfort and pain
–  currently in experimental stages (unproven)
–  difficulty predicting if surgery will be successful
–  expensive

Aside from these examples, there are other new kinds of snoring specific surgeries that have been developed which include somnoplasty and snoreplasty. 

These procedures are new and as yet unproven to have any kind of reliable success rate in addition to not knowing what any long-term effects may arise from these kinds of surgeries for snoring.

In general, surgery is a good thing, a very good thing; but this does not mean that surgery is the best step to take when looking to resolve an issue with snoring.

To be clear, there are cases where surgery is absolutely the best possible solution for a person suffering from snoring.

The positive effects resound just like the negative ones when snoring was causing loss of sleep and all the negative health issues and frames of mind that go along with that.

Luckily there are other options available.  Non-surgical answers to snoring abound, some of these remedies have been around for a long time, while others are relatively new.

These less invasive steps to alleviating snoring are where the majority of relief from snoring comes from.

Countless people use these alternative methods with great success around the world, making it easier for them and those around them to sleep and feel good which we will now take a look at.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Snoring does not equal surgery.

Surgery Snoring Procedures

  • Surgery for snoring is not a common process and is not as reliable as some surgical procedures that are performed on a regular basis.

Overview of Surgical Procedures for Snoring
Surgery is not a guaranteed solution to the problem.

  • Tracheostomy
  • UPPP (Uvulopa-latopharyngoplasty)
  • LAUP (Laser Assisted Uvuloplasty)
  • CAPSO (Cautery-assisted palatal stiffening operation)
  • Somnoplasty
  • Snoreplasty

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you familiar with the surgery snoring procedures?

– Would you consider having a surgery snoring procedure?

– What other alternative solutions can you do with regards to snoring?


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What Are The Herbal Remedies And Supplements For Better Sleep?

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There might be numerous techniques offered in the market for better sleep. Nevertheless, if you are looking for natural ways for you to sleep soundly at night, you might try using your melatonin, chamomile, or lavender. Check below how can these herbal remedies will help you.

Body’s Natural Hormones

Melatonin (chemically named 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring hormone in humans.  The pineal gland, a tiny organ at the center of our brains, secretes melatonin at night to help our bodies maintain a sleep schedule.

The body’s internal clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake up is the body’s circadian rhythm.  This rhythm is regulated by melatonin.

Darkness encourages the pineal gland to release melatonin, while light represses the release of melatonin.

Researchers have found that the pineal gland’s release of, and the production of, melatonin decreases as we get older.

This explains why young people typically have less sleep-related problems than older people.

Scientists have synthesized naturally occurring melatonin, and it is now available over-the-counter as a supplement.

No prescription is needed, and the supplement is available in drug and health food stores in the United States.

Melatonin is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other government agency. Since it is naturally occurring in some foods, the U.S.

Dietary Supplement & Education Act of 1994 permits it to be available as a dietary supplement.

Melatonin is has proven to be successful when used to treat sleep problems.  Two of the sleep situations most helped by melatonin supplementation are insomnia related to jet lag and delayed sleep-phase disorders.

How much melatonin should you take? 

Each individual should begin with a small amount of melatonin (about 1 mg), and increase their dosage if needed.  Melatonin comes in pill form and range most commonly from 1 mg to 3 mg.

When should you take melatonin? 

For maximum effectiveness, take melatonin about a half an hour prior to bedtime.  If you regularly sleep during the nighttime, you should not take melatonin during the day because it can impact your circadian rhythm.

The opposite is true if you sleep during the day and work at night. If you want to prevent jet lag when traveling across many time zones, take a dose prior to flying and another second dose 30 minutes before going to bed.

As with any supplement, there are several issues to consider.  Although melatonin has been used for a long time without problems or side effects, it is not FDA-approved and is unregulated by any regulatory agency.

Anything you ingest that is not FDA-approved does not have a seal of approval regarding the supplement’s safety or purity, and the effectiveness of the product cannot be guaranteed.

Another concern is the lack of study and information regarding interactions with other medicines.

Consult a doctor before taking melatonin if you have diabetes, a depressive disorder, an auto-immune disease, epilepsy, lymphoproliferative disorder, leukemia, or are taking an MAO inhibitor.

This product should be used by adults only and is not for use by children, teens, or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

natural remedy

The Benefits of Chamomile

Matricaria camomilla, commonly called “Chamomile”, is native to southern and central Europe.

This flowering plant is now widely grown in the United States, Argentina, Australia, Egypt and northern Africa.  The leaves and flowers are dried and used as a tea, either in tea bags or in loose tea form.

For centuries, chamomile has been used as a sleep-promoting supplement. One of the benefits of using chamomile as a sleep aid is that it does not need to be taken over a long period of time to be effective.  Chamomile can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia on the spot.

There are a few ways to use chamomile.

It can be placed in a sachet under the pillow.

Try brewing a tea and drink it 30-45 minutes prior to going to sleep.

Chamomile is most effective in treating transient (or mild) insomnia.

The naturally occurring chemical in chamomile that promotes drowsiness and encourages sleep is called chrysin. Chrysin is also found in passion flower (Passiflora incarnates), which is another herbal sleep aid and anxiety reducer.

If you find your insomnia is due to congestion and/or allergies, chamomile works as an antihistamine to reduce swelling from allergies and help you sleep better.

However, chamomile can create a similar allergic reaction to that of ragweed and other plants in the same family like aster or chrysanthemum.  Avoid taking chamomile if you have these allergies.

natural remedy
aster-koraiensis

Chamomile Tea Recipe 

What do you need?

1 cup water

1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers

lemon juice

honey

How to prepare?

1. Add the chamomile to boiling water either using a tea infuser or directly into the water.

2. Cover and boil for 35-40 seconds.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the tea steep for one minute.

4. If using loose tea, remove with a strainer.  Serve with honey and a twist of lemon.

5. For an added calming effect, use a few leaves of Lemon Balm, also called Melissa officinalis, instead of the lemon juice. Makes 1 serving.

lavender

The Soothing Properties of Lavender

Lavender originated in the western Mediterranean and Arabians are believed to have been the first to domesticate the flowering shrubbery.

The Romans later spread the growing and cultivation of the plant across Europe. The Pilgrims brought lavender to America. Lavender was also one of the first plants brought to Australia in the 1800’s.

Many herb gardens contain garden-grown or container grown lavender. Lavender is grown in somewhat alkaline soil, in a sunny location with good drainage.

Lavender’s essential oils act as a tranquilizer to calm the central nervous system, making it highly effective as an herbal remedy for insomnia.

The dried flowers and leaves can be brewed and drunk in a tea, or the plant’s essential oils can be extracted from the plant. Essential oils can be applied to the skin as a muscle relaxant, or the scent can be inhaled as used in aromatherapy.

Since the feet are known as an area of the body that quickly absorbs topically applied products, massaging lavender oil into the feet will have a calming effect.

The essential oil can be vaporized in a vaporizer or added to a warm bath and inhaled.

You can also create a sachet of the dried leaves and flowers, sprinkle with essential lavender oil, and slip it under your pillow.

Some people who apply lavender topically have experienced an allergic reaction when the oil contacts the skin.  Always conduct an allergy test on a small patch of skin to test for sensitivity prior to using a full application.

It’s also important to note that not all lavender species have the same calming effects.  Spanish lavender, for example, is used to invigorate and wake up the body.

Lavender & Mint Tea 

What do you need?

1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (or ½ teaspoon dried)

1 ½ – 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 cup water

other herbs like rosemary, lemon balm or lemon verbena, or rose geranium for added flavor

How to prepare?

1. Using a teapot, mix the lavender and mint.

You can use a tea infuser or simply add the loose leaves and strain it later.

2. Add boiling water and let it steep for five minutes. Makes 1 serving.

natural remedy

Handmade Lavender Sachet

What do you need?

dried or fresh lavender

lavender oil

a cloth or handkerchief

1 large needle to fit a ribbon, 1 regular sized needle

thread, ¼” wide ribbon

How to prepare?

1. Prepare your handkerchief by folding in half, then folding in half a second time, creating a pouch.  If you prefer a crisp look, iron the edges.

2. Using the threaded needle, sew three of the four sides.

3. Fill the pouch with lavender through the unsewn side.  Use enough of the lavender to fill the pouch, but don’t overstuff it.  The final product will resemble a bean bag.

4. Add approximately 8-10 drops of essential oil to the dried lavender.

5. With the larger needle threaded with ribbon, loosely sew the open side to keep all of the sachet contents inside.

6. When sealed, knot the ribbon and enjoy your homemade sachet!

 

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Melatonin – body’s natural hormones

  • Darkness encourages the pineal gland to release melatonin while white light represses its release.
  • Start with small amount and increase the dosage if needed.
  • Take melatonin about half an hour prior to bedtime for maximum effectiveness.

The Benefits of Chamomile

  • Chrysin is the naturally occurring chemical in chamomile that promotes drowsiness and encourages sleep
  • It can be placed in a sachet under the pillow or drink as a tea 30 – 45 minutes prior to going to sleep

The Soothing Properties of Lavender

  • Lavender’s essential oils act as a tranquilizer to calm the central nervous system, making it highly effective as an herbal remedy for insomnia.
  • Note that not all lavender species have the same calming effects.

The Medicinal Use of Valerian Root

  • The herb must be taken regularly over a period of about one month to see results.
  • Higher doses cause grogginess without being more effective.
  • Valerian root is used to provide relief from anxiety disorders, and acts as a sedative to encourage restful sleep.

Other Herbs

  • Kava
    Kava’s effective daily dose is between 70 and 200 mg of kavalactones.
  • Lemon Balm
    Try a lemon balm tea by adding 2 teaspoons dried lemon balm to 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Passion Flower
    Passion flower is not addictive and provides relief from sleeplessness.
    Dried passion flower makes a highly effective tea.
  • California Poppy
    It contain protopine that has a similar effect as morphine on the brain.
  • Hops
    Hops come as dried stobiles, capsules, and tablets, and are commonly used as a relaxing tea or as a sachet placed underneath the pillow.
  • Honey
    Try mixing honey into warmed milk or herbal teas to benefit from its sedating qualities.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Have you tried any of the herbal remedies mentioned above?

– What other herbal remedies you know that are beneficial aid for sleeplessness?

– What other ways you do to help you sleep?


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5 Self-Help Techniques To Sleep Well

self-help techniques to sleep well

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Are you having a hard time to sleep? Here are five self-help sleeping techniques that you can try.

These are color therapy, physical activity, relaxation through meditation, simple respiration through breathing and relaxing and of course through music and sound.

Color Therapy

Using color therapy, or “chromotherapy”, is a unique way to treat a variety of ailments, including, but not limited to, sleep problems.

Chromatherapy involves being exposed to color in various ways.  Being shown colored lights, visualizing and meditating on a color, being massaged with colored oils, and wearing specific colors can help treat both physically and emotionally caused sleep problems.

Chromatherapy has a long history.  Ancient Indian beliefs practiced chromotherapy in Ayurvedic medicine, where it was believed that colors corresponded to parts of the body, emotions and spiritual aspects of life.

They believed that each of the chakras, areas of energy in the body, linked to a color.

Ancient Egyptians used chromotherapy by breaking up the sunlight with specially created lenses.  They built solariums where they practiced chromotherapy.

Chromatherapy, as we know it was developed in the late 1600’s when scientist Sir Isaac Newton proved that light is a mixture of color from the full range of color we can see.

color therapy

Modern-day color therapy came about when Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt penned his Principles of Light and Color.  In this publication he outlined how color therapy could be used to treat a variety of maladies, include sleep difficulties.

The 1940’s were a time of experimentation with color therapy.  During this time, Russian scientist S.V. Krakov experimented with chromotherapy and determined that when he separated light spectrum’s wavelengths it had an impact on the nervous system.

For example, he found that red light increased blood pressure and impacted the adrenal glands.  White light and blue light were found to be relaxing.  This groundbreaking information is still used today by color therapy practitioners.

How does it color therapy work?

Color is a part of what makes up light, and light has many different energy waves.  When light enters the retina of the eye, it touches the photoreceptor cells in the eye.

The photoreceptors turn the light into electrical impulses, which signal the brain to release hormones.

By controlling the release of hormones, chromotherapy can be used to treat insomnia and other sleep-related difficulties.

In a time when alternative medicine is becoming more popular, Chromatherapy is actively being used by the medical community to treat disorders such as depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Some types of color therapy should only be practiced by trained professionals.  However, there are color therapy techniques that can be practiced safely at home.

To try chromotherapy on your own, follow these tips.  Select hues to wear based on your recommended color. When eating, choose foods that are a particular color. Spend time visualizing a recommended color.

Be aware of the following potential concerns:

  • Never replace traditional care with chromotherapy for severe insomnia.
  • Epileptics should avoid looking directly at any type of flashing lights.
  • When using colored lights, do not look directly into the light.  Receive colored light therapy indirectly by looking at an object that is lit by the colored light.
  • If you are on prescription medication, check the label for a light sensitivity side effect.  Exposure to bright light might cause a problem.

physical activities

Physical Activity

Getting exercise during the day is an important factor in how well you sleep at night. If you are physically active during the day, your body will be able to relax and fall asleep easier.

Exercise helps your body deal with daily stress and anxiety.

It impacts the chemicals in your brain, and how much you exercise is directly linked to your physical and emotional health.

Regular exercise will help you fall asleep and maintain a sleep state because your sleep cycles become more consistent and the transition between them becomes more seamless.  Try to work exercise into your life daily to avoid sleeplessness.

When getting physical activity, plan to exercise more than 3-4 hours before bedtime. For the best sleep benefit, be physically active in the late afternoon or early evening.

Try to be physically active for at least 20-30 minutes a day, 3-4 times per week. 

Aerobic activities usually work best to remedy insomnia, and activities can range from an easy walk to a rigorous run.

By making your heart rate go up, improving your lung capacity, and adding oxygen into your blood, your body will be in better health and you’ll be on your way to naturally correcting your sleep problem.

In addition to aerobic exercise, there are other types of physical activity you can do to fight sleeplessness. Consider yoga or Tai Chi.  Yoga affects the brain and core muscles and improves blood circulation.

Using yogic breathing techniques will help you relax and live with less stress. 

Tai Chi incorporates breathing with body movements in a slow-moving style that is perfect for individuals with joint pain or other issues that keep you from high-impact exercise.

If adding 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule is too tough, try adding small blocks of physical activity.

Making small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or purposely parking further away from your destination will help you live a healthy, energetic life.

meditation

Relaxation through Meditation

It only stands to reason that the more relaxed you are the more likely you are to fall asleep and maintain a satisfactory sleep state.

It’s essential to quiet your mind in order to fall asleep quickly. By using meditation you can stop thinking, worrying, or whatever else is going through your head.

There are several different meditation and visualization methods that will help you relax.  Try one of these meditation styles:

1. Focal point method

Select a focal point, whether it is a mantra, visual point, or even your own breathing. A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated either in your mind or out loud to help you focus on meditating.

The use of a mantra or other focal point will help keep you on track and keep your mind from wandering.

You need to be disciplined to practice this method of meditation because thoughts will come into your head and you will be tempted to think about other things. This method will become easier the more you practice it.

2. Breathing-focused meditation

Find a comfortable, quiet space and sit on the floor, using a cushion if so desired. Sitting with your hands in your lap, calm your body and close your eyes.

Breathe in and out through your nose.  Make an effort to concentrate on your breathing, counting each breath in and out until you reach ten.

Continue counting in groups of ten until you begin to feel relaxed.  Empty your mind of everything and concentrate only on counting as you inhale and exhale.

If thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge that they are there and let them go, again focusing on your breath.  When you have finished meditating, become aware of your body once more and stretch before getting up.

3. Guided imagery  

This method combines visualization with meditation and hypnosis.  This type of meditation is guided, and you are led to visualize relaxation, which helps you feel relaxed.

Find a place that is quiet and dimly lit.  Using an MP3 player, play a pre-recorded imagery recording.  Guided imagery usually starts with deep breathing and other deep breathing exercises.

When you relax, your imagination comes alive and the recording will guide you through a variety of scenes, using your imagination to help you find peacefulness and relaxation.

Common guided imagery scenarios include beachside strolls, mountain hikes, or nature walks through the forest.  At the end of your guided imagery session, you should feel calm and relaxed.

The aforementioned meditation methods are only a sampling of the wide array of choices available.  Experiment with these, and research others, to find one that helps you fight insomnia.

Simple Respiration: Breathing and Relaxing

Breathing is the simplest and easiest way to find complete relaxation and stress reduction.  The more deeply you breathe, the more serene you will become.

These relaxation tips will help your body wind down and get ready for sleep.

When you first get into bed:

Lie down and breathe deeply through your nose.  Imagine the air moving into your stomach.  On your next inhale, breathe in for four counts.  Exhale slowly through your pursed lips, while counting to eight.

You will feel the tension leave your body with every exhale. Repeat this technique six to ten times for immediate relaxation. Practice deep breathing daily to develop a healthy habit of regular relaxation.  Calming your mind will help you fall asleep.

Before going to bed try this relaxation technique:

Lie down with your back to the floor and your arms at your side, palms facing upward.  Your feet should be comfortably apart. With your eyes closed, mentally concentrate on each part of your body, tensing then releasing each group of muscles.

Starting at the top of your head, release tension as you move slowly down your body.  Feel your forehead, eyes and mouth.

Work through your shoulders, neck, and back. Move down to your toes, then bask in the relaxed state you have achieved.  Focus on your breathing, making sure breath is coming from your stomach.

Breathe deeply and slowly, letting go of all your concerns and stress.  When your body knows it’s okay to let go of your worries and stressors, you’ll be able to go to sleep naturally.

There are many other techniques for breathing and relaxation.  Through your own experimentation and practice, you can find one that works well for you.

music induction

Music and Sounds for Sleep Induction

Using noise as a tool to help fall asleep has been done since the beginning of time.  The earliest form of this technique is the lullaby, which has successful soothed even the most colicky baby.

There are many iPod, mp3 players and sound devices on the market today that is designed to have the same effect as a mother singing or humming a child to sleep.

Here are a few suggestions:

arrow1Relaxing classical music files are a wonderful way to relax and put your mind at ease.

Look for “Baroque Music” by Mozart, “Lullaby” by Brahms, and “Waltzes” by Strauss.  This is only a small sampling of the many, selections available.

arrow1Try something soothing and modern.

Ambient Electronica, which is also called “downtempo” and “chillout”, is a great way to unwind.

Gently mixing an ongoing techno-style beat, a taste of house-style music for irregular progressions, and unique rhythms, Ambient Electronica has soft melodies and calming sound effects.

A few good choices to try are Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, The Orb, and Future Sound of London.

arrow1When trying New Age or Tribal music there are many recordings to choose from.

The sound of this style is similar to Ambient Electronica, but unique non-electronic instruments like the harpsichord, chimes, bells, and didgeridoos are used.

The beat is often similar to that of a drum circle and sometimes involves guttural throat sounds and chants.

arrow1If you’d prefer to stay away from music, there is always non-musical sound effect sound devices.

These often feature babbling brooks, waves, rain, whale songs, waterfalls, and other sounds found in nature.

If you are a city dweller that is having trouble sleeping because it is too quiet, there are recordings of city noises such as fire engines, traffic, and airplanes just for you.

arrow1Sound machines are widely available and can be found at many different price points.

Usually about the size of an alarm clock, they typically come with a selection of sounds to pick from.  You can select how the recordings play, either as an ongoing loop or for a preset length of time.

You can select how the recordings play, either as an ongoing loop or for a preset length of time.  Some sound machines are even built into alarm clocks, and can be used to gently awaken you.  When deciding which style of

When deciding which style of unit to purchase, keep in mind that the units that play synthesized sounds are best because they most closely imitate the natural sound.  The second choice is a sound device that only plays recorded samples.

The style of music that works best depends entirely on the individual. 

Some people respond better to non-linear music, while others find it easier to drift off to sleep with soothing percussion in the background.

Some prefer random beats and tempo, others like a constant pattern of music. Try several different types to find the style that you prefer.

An interesting note, music’s relationship with sleep is the current focus of a study conducted by the University of Toronto’s psychiatry department and Toronto Western Hospital.  In their sleep clinic, they are investigating “brain music”.

Brain music is EEG readings, converted to music via a computer program designed to compose customized music based on the EEG readings.  Each sleeper’s brain waves are watched and studied.

The scientists determine which rhythmic and tonal sounds the individual is most responsive to and they input it into a computer.

A computer program is used to develop a personalized “soundtrack” of music that will invoke the same brain wave patterns when the person is trying to fall asleep later.

There is evidence that shows this personalized method of music therapy is highly effective.

Obviously, researchers are very interested in pursuing this method of relaxation since it is typically effective and does not involve possibly habit-forming medication.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

5 Self-Help Sleeping Techniques

  • Color Therapy
  • Physical Activity
  • Relaxation Through Meditation
  • Simple Respiration: Breathing and Relaxing
  • Music and Sounds for Sleep Induction

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you having some difficulty sleeping at night?

– What are your measures for you to be able to sleep well?

– What sleeping techniques work best for you?

– What other relaxation strategies have you tried?


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6 Easy-To-Do Tips To A Power Nap

power nap tips

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Our current lifestyle is such that we may not get adequate sleep during the night.

We often need to keep up late hours because we have so much work to do or because we are socializing, and that can be a problem for our sleep timings.

To add to that, we might also need to wake up early in the morning, this could wreck our schedule too.

That is the reason why some people have invented the idea of a power nap.

A power nap is a short nap, usually of just a few hours, during which you sleep in a sound and undisturbed manner, and wake up feeling totally refreshed.

 

Hitherto considered impossible, now more and more people are trying out power naps and are succeeding at them too.

They are finding that taking such short power naps throughout the day keeps them perked up and they can do more than they usually do with their deprived sleep routines.

Power naps have several physiological benefits as well. They are not just about giving us some much-needed sleep, but they can actually help us biologically. We may live longer because of power naps. We are going to see these benefits as well.

Most people are more than aware of how difficult it can be to stay awake in the heat of the middle parts of the day. As the early afternoon approaches, many of us find it difficult to stay awake.

We become drowsy and find it very difficult to focus and complete our work. Some people find they hallucinate or fall asleep for a few minutes. These situations can be extremely dangerous, especially if handling electrical equipment or driving a car.

Why we feel that sleepy is due to many factors. Our internal body clock and our natural body rhythms, the temperature of the environment we are working in, the lighting in that environment, how much time we spend working on computers and what we eat for our breaks all play an important role in how we feel in the afternoon.

There is growing evidence that a 20-minute nap in the afternoon improves focus and memory, which increases productivity and workplace safety.

Those who work at home or who are in a position to take this “power” nap will benefit from it and should take advantage of the opportunity to have one whenever they can.

Many cultures around the world have recognized the need to close shops, schools, and businesses and include an afternoon siesta into the daily routine.

Today, in the fast-paced lifestyles of the industrialized world are embracing the afternoon nap, not so much as a luxury, but a necessity to help them deal with the many expectations on their time in the afternoon and evening.

Workplaces around the world are providing space for their staff to take a power nap, recognizing the benefit to the workplace when staff   does have time to take one.

If this is not possible in your workplace, there are things you can do:-

Power Naps Tips

1.) Take a 10-minute nap in your car or in another safe area during your lunch break.

Even these ten minutes could mean a lot to you. However, when you are preparing yourself to take such a short nap, make sure to free your mind of all distractions just surrender yourself completely to sleep. Maybe you could use some soothing music to help you free your mind completely. When you wake up, you will feel the difference.

2.) Take some time during your lunch break to include exercise.

Physical exercise improves circulation of the blood, improves oxygen levels in the blood, and raises body temperature all of which reduces drowsiness and fatigue.

Consequently, when you try to take a power nap later in the day, you will find that the short surrender to sleep comes more easily to you.

If you keep working your body effectively, then sleep patterns will definitely improve and you will find the difference in these short power naps you take as well.

3.) Eat lunch that is not high in sugar or carbohydrates.

Include protein sources such as low-fat cheese, meat or chicken to reduce the chance of a sudden drop in blood sugar levels which create a lack of energy and feelings of drowsiness.

Heavy foods have a tendency to make you lose sleep, and even if you do fall asleep, your sleep will be highly erratic. The best way is to keep a light meal, which helps you psychologically as well.

4.) Go for a walk and increase the amount of natural light in your work area to reduce melatonin production levels in the afternoon.

Apart from that, the walk in the natural beauty that you take will also help your body to control its mind in a better way and, reluctantly, you will be able to sleep better.

5.) Join a meditation class, especially Yoga.

In these classes, you will be taught how you can control your mind. This is a very important thing to learn, especially in today’s times.

When you learn how to control your mind, you will be able to switch it ‘on’ or ‘off’ as desired. This can go a long way in improving your health.

First, you will be taught through various asanas, mainly the Shavasana, that you can completely surrender your body and let it loose in both the physiological and psychological sense.

This helps us to free ourselves from our bodies for a while, and the body goes to sleep. This is a wonderful way to find those important snatches of sleep, wherever you are.

You may not be able to perform the Shavasana at all times, but you will certainly be able to learn how to have those all-important power naps whenever you need to.

6.) You can have a short power nap in your swiveling chair itself.

All you have to do is to lock the door and tell people not to disturb you for the next 20 minutes.

Then, pull the shades if you can, settle in the most comfortable position you can on the chair and close your eyes.

Free your mind from all its thoughts, or think about something pleasant. You will find that sleep encompasses you soon, and you will have your power nap.

When you have these power naps, in the beginning, you may find it difficult to wake up at the right time.

But as time passes, this will become a habit. Initially, you may have to set an alarm on your cell phone to wake you up or you may have to tell someone to do that.

However, soon your body’s system will adjust to the new routine and you will find out that you are able to sleep more easily, and wake up on the dot.

These simple steps may help reduce the afternoon drowsiness and enable you to function in the afternoons with as much productivity as when you arrived at work that morning.

Combining them with a regular time to wake up and go to bed and a healthy lifestyle approach to diet and exercise will help you feel more energized and able to increase your personal productivity.

 binaural beats, power nap

Binaural Beats for Proper Sleep

When we are having a discussion on power naps, it is relevant to speak about binaural beats as well. Binaural beats are a specific kind of music, which are made up of specific natural sounds that have a soothing effect on the human body.

You might find sounds like birds chirping, insects humming, grass swishing in the breeze, ocean waves moving in rhythm and such others in these binaural beats.

When you are preparing for your power nap, just play this music. You will experience the benefits right away.

You will find that, as soon as the music begins to play, your mind will surrender itself to the rhythm of the beats. As these are mostly natural sounds, your mind will completely give itself up to them.

A typical binaural beats track lasts around 20 minutes. This is exactly the time you require for your power nap. You could get this kind of music in MP3 form, downloadable from the Internet.

Get it on your MP3 player or iPod and use it whenever you want. Just shut your eyes and let the music play. You will soon fall asleep, and you will see a vast difference when you wake up.

Even if you are suffering from problems such as sleeplessness  or insomnia, binaural beats can help.

A lot of people are recommended using this music at night so that they can get proper sleep, and not have to toss and turn in bed for long.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER
  • A power nap is a short nap, usually of just a few hours, during which you sleep in a sound and undisturbed manner, and wake up feeling totally refreshed.
  • There is growing evidence that a 20-minute nap in the afternoon improves focus and memory, which increases productivity and workplace safety.

Here are the things you can do in your workplace

  1. Take a 10-minute nap in your car or in another safe area during your lunch break.
  2. Take some time during your lunch break to include exercise.
  3. Eat lunch that is not high in sugar or carbohydrates.
  4. Go for a walk and increase the amount of natural light in your work area to reduce melatonin production levels in the afternoon.
  5. Join a meditation class, especially Yoga.
  6. You can have a short power nap in your swiveling chair itself.

Binaural Beats for Proper Sleep

  • Binaural beats are a specific kind of music, which are made up of specific natural sounds that have a soothing effect on the human body.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Do you find some time to have power naps in the afternoon or whenever needed?

– What strategies are you doing to have an effective power nap?

– Have you tried listening to binaural beats?

– What other effective sleeping strategies you know?


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What Are Some Non-Surgical Solutions To Snoring?

nonsurgical solutions to snoring

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The non-surgical options for resolution of snoring can be broken down into different types of approaches: medicines, devices and appliances, changes in lifestyle concerning diet and exercise, sleeping habits and alternative forms of therapy for snoring.

Any of these can be implemented with success depending on the root cause of the snoring, and knowing what that root cause is.

This may require a combination approach, and will definitely require observation of the effects of these measures on the snoring issue itself in order to estimate how much relief results.

Medicinal Solutions

In many cases, prescribed medicines can provide a way out of the snoring nightmare.  Drugs are prescribed to achieve relief from snoring by accomplishing these tasks:

  • Unfurl the nasal airway
  • Energize breathing
  • Counteract deep R.E.M. sleep (Rapid Eye Movement)

R.E.M. sleep is an integral part of sleep.  It is the deep state of sleep in which the body recoups vitality and allows the mind to stay sharp and healthy.

The effect of these snore related drugs is to limit the depths to which the body can relax when in this state so as to keep the throat from relaxing too much and keeping the air passage open and free of obstruction thus leading to relief from snoring.

Basically, these medicines have the opposite effect of what happens when someone takes a sedative or has too much to drink.

These things relax a person more than usual and can exacerbate an existing snoring problem, or cause a person who does not normally snore to do so.

There are over the counter drugs available from pharmacies intended specifically to clear nasal sinuses and air passages.

These drugs are meant to treat cold or flu symptoms but are also useful to snorers for the decongestive and antihistamine properties contained therein.

Saline sprays, because they are sold in pharmacies as well are considered part of the same group.

These sprays are not controlled substances, by merely salt water used to keep sinuses and other tissues surrounding the air passages moist in an effort to reduce or eliminate vibration and thus one snore.

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Devices for Snoring

There are a number of devices out there to help people cope with their snoring.  These items start with very basic items and go to the very complex.

Most of these can be acquired at your local drugstore, on the internet, and by catalog.  The most popular and effective anti-snore items follow.

The Sandler Pillow

Named after the inventor of this type of pillow, this device is designed to eliminate snoring by obliging the sleeper to sleep on their side.

This often promotes a closed mouth while sleeping and helps to minimize vibration and thereby cancels out any snoring.

The Snore Ball

Since its invention in the early 1900’s this effective device has helped countless people to stop snoring by sleeping on their side.  The snore ball is inserted in a pouch located on the back of a set of pajamas.

When the sleeper goes to roll onto their back from sleeping on their side, the device makes this very uncomfortable, so the sleeper will resume the side sleeping position rather than sleeping on their back which is when most people snore.

The snore ball can be any kind of ball that will create enough discomfort to keep one from sleeping on their back.  Over time, a habit is formed making the ball unnecessary.

Sleep Position Monitor

This electronic device basically accomplishes the same goal in a different manner.  Instead of creating physical discomfort when a person lies on their back, which is when snoring occurs, the sleep position monitor starts to beep when the sleeper lies on their back.

The beeping can be disturbing to others, but the point is that this device helps establish new sleeping behaviors.  Anyone who has suffered a person snoring can deal with a little beeping until the problem is resolved.

By learning a better way to sleep, the person will stop snoring and the beeping will not be an issue over time.  Eventually, the sleep position monitor may not be necessary either.

Nasal Strips

This is a simple yet highly effective device that has become popular for many people.  The concept is basic, open up the nostrils to make breathing easier.  The device consists of a springy plastic strip combined with and adhesive material.

The strip is put on at bedtime and taken off in the morning.  The strips are so effective in maximizing breathing through the nose that they are used by many players of different sports.

This is an over the counter remedy that anyone can use because there is absolutely no medicine involved.

Even non-snorers are using them to get better more restful sleep by breathing easier and recharging their body with more oxygen.

Nasal Dilators

Nasal dilators offer the same relief of opening up the nostrils to ease breathing but take a slightly different approach than the nasal strips.

This kind of device is actually a coil made of steel or plastic placed into the nostrils when going to sleep.  The effect is easier breathing, less snoring.

Throat Sprays

This is another way to combat snoring.  A simple spray to the back of the throat keeps the tissues well lubed in order to reduce or eliminate vibration.

This is similar to a saline spray, the difference is what the spray consists of which in this case are specialized oils, not just salt water.

Throat sprays are another form of simple, inexpensive, yet effective of combating snoring when used properly.

Overuse of throat sprays can irritate the throat and then actually cause snoring.

If an over the counter spray is not good enough, a doctor can prescribe a more effective version of the same implement.

Snore Stopper

The snore stopper is a device that provides a negative association with snoring to make the person sleeping stop snoring.

The device can be worn on the arm or the wrist and whenever snoring is detected the device gives the sleeper a small jolt of electricity to get them to stop.

Another version actually causes the tongue muscles to tense which opens the airway making it easier to breathe and hence stop snoring.

Snoring Appliances

Snoring appliances are applied inside the mouth to directly influence or affect the components of the mouth to eliminate snoring.

These work to manipulate the tongue, jaw, and palate in some combination to stop snoring and provide better rest.

Oral Appliances

These sets of tools are often designed by medical and dental professionals to help with the snoring dilemma.

By influencing the parts of the mouth these devices affect three basic properties to eliminate snoring.

They are:

  • Keeping the mouth closed so that a person may not snore by making the trachea vibrate.
  • Positioning the jaw in a forward placement to keep the tongue from sliding back and blocking the airway.
  • Opening the airway as much as possible to ease breathing and prevent snoring.
Tongue Retaining Appliances

This style of appliance specifically targets the tongue.  The effect of this appliance keeps the tongue forward by using suction to train the tongue not to lay back over the airway.

This increases airflow making it easier to breathe and preventing the vibration that causes snoring.

A tongue retainer is for people who cannot or will not sleep on their side, and although a tongue retainer may be less than comfortable, it is a highly effective option.

Mandibular Advancement Appliances

Shortened to MAA, this is a splint style of appliance that are basically like a mouth guard used in sports.

This keeps the jaw locked in a position that keeps it from moving back and creating an obstruction that leads to snoring.

These must be custom molded by a dental professional and may be somewhat costly but are a great way to stop snoring.

Thronton Adjustable Positioners

The Silenceris a popular example of this kind of device, which was created by Dr. Thronton in the 1990’s.

This is an expensive option, but for a reason; it is adjustable and is sometimes crafted from titanium.

These are often referred to as TAPs and are similar in nature to MAAs in that they move the jaw forward in order to keep the  airway open and prevent snoring.

Palate Lifters

Also known as lip shields, or lip lifters, this appliance augments the palate to keep from vibrating and causing a person to snore.

This is an option to consider, although there has yet to be a resolute opinion in the efficiency of this type of appliance.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

This appliance is designed to tackle Sleep Apnea specifically.  It works similar to an oxygen mask.

The mask is worn on the face, or over the nose and keeps what is called positive pressure in the airway which prevents the collapse of tissue and eases breathing to the point of controlling one’s blood pressure while asleep.lifestyle, diet

Lifestyle and Snoring – Diet

Allergies

Allergies have been linked to snoring, but because there are so many allergens, and each person is different, it is up to the individual to observe when they are snoring and what they are allergic to.

Any kind of allergic reaction can lead to snoring, so when you are suffering from allergies, whether they a food allergies or pet, you need to take notice and take the appropriate measures to handle these allergies.

Weight

If you are overweight and snore, you can bet that your snoring is at least in part related to your obesity.

Losing weight has a wide variety of health benefits, including better sleep by not snoring.

This has to do with your diet and eating habits, so if you shape up, you may stop snoring altogether.

Eating Habits

Certain foods cause congestion, like dairy, fried foods, junk food and sweets.  If you snore, your diet probably has something to do with it.

Eating a healthier diet can improve your health as well as minimize if not alleviate any snoring.  There are foods that are considered to be beneficial for people who snore, which consist mostly of leafy greens.

Clean Living

Your habits can determine whether or not you will snore.  Healthy habits actually prevent snoring.  Drinking and sleeping pills are known to cause snoring; use these in moderation.

If you smoke and you snore, chances are quitting will help you sleep better by not snoring.  Caffeine has been linked to respiratory issues, so keep your intake to a minimum.

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Lifestyle and Snoring – Exercise

Exercise, in general, is good for the body and helps to achieve more restful sleep.  Healthy habits help prevent to minimize snoring, but there are snoring specific exercises one can do.

Throat Work Out

Toning the muscles of the throat can really improve the breathing process when sleeping, thus helping with snoring if not eradicating it all together.

There are a few options to stress the muscles systems that affect snoring. You can firmly hold a pencil between your teeth for up to five minutes.  Pressing a finger to the chin with moderate pressure for a few minutes builds jaw strength.

Also holding the tip of the tongue firmly against the bottom front teeth strengthens the tongue.  These are exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.

These should not be painful, and the more these exercises are implemented, the better the results will be.

Sleep Factors

One needs to consider the way in which one sleeps and how that affects the way you breathe at night.

Sleeping on your back promotes snoring, but having a good pillow, or sleeping with something under the chin can help to stop snoring.  Anything to keep the mouth shut during sleep is a big help.

Your sleep environment plays a role in snoring too.  A humidifier will help keep the throat and sinuses moist, and making the room as dark and quiet as possible helps to reduce stress, and calm the person sleeping to the point that breathing becomes easier.

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Snoring Therapy Alternatives

Here are some other approaches one can try when dealing with snoring; these have been around for some time because of how successful they have been in combating snoring.

A warm drink before bed or herbal tea can really help alleviate snoring.  Relaxation techniques to calm the mind and practice breathing techniques like Tai Chi and Yoga have been of great benefit to many snorers.

Other forms of relaxation include meditation and massage, or even just soothing music.  Homeopathic medicines offer many ways to deal with snoring too.

Homeopathic alternatives look to achieve the same end result in different ways, such as dissolving blockages in the nose and throat or lubrication with natural products.

Magnetic therapy is popular in china and can help ameliorate snoring by affecting the nerves found in the nose.  Magnets can be put all over the body to achieve results that improve issues with snoring.

This applies even to weight loss which can affect snoring.  Even hypnosis has been used to help control snoring by some, although many are skeptical of this practice as it is not a recognized successful solution to snoring.

Other more “alternative” therapies are based on light and color, or in other circumstances gems and crystals as sources of healing power.

These latter examples have yet to be established as effective by science or medicine, but the power of belief can be enough to produce the placebo effect.

As long as the end result is the cessation of snoring, any means can be tried and tested to see if they work for a given individual.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Medicinal Solutions

Devices for Snoring

  • The Sandler Pillow
  • The Snore Ball
  • Sleep Position Monitor
  • Nasal Strips
  • Nasal Dilators
  • Throat Sprays
  • Snore Stopper
  • Snoring Appliances
  • Oral Appliances
  • Tongue Retaining Appliances
  • Mandibular Advancement Appliances
  • Thronton Adjustable Positioners
  • Palate Lifters
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Lifestyles and Snoring – Diet

  • Allergies
  • Weight
  • Eating Habits
  • Clean Living

Lifestyles and Snoring – Exercise

  • Throat Work Out
  • Sleeping Factors
  • Snoring Therapy Alternatives

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you aware that you are snoring at night?

– Do you know someone who is a loud snorer?

– Are you familiar with other solutions to snoring?

– Does lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) can affect snoring?


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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Understand Snoring Better

understand snoring

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Snoring is understood to be any kind of resonant sound that emanates from breathing while sleeping.

The crux of snoring is where the mouth and nasal passages meet. This is the point where breathing during sleep causes vibration; otherwise known as snoring.

The crux of snoring is where the mouth and nasal passages meet. This is the point where breathing during sleep causes vibration; otherwise known as snoring.

This vibration is due to constricted breathing passages.  As tight breathing passages are responsible for snoring, it should also be understood that the more pinched these passages are, the louder and more disruptive the snoring will be.

The reason snoring only occurs while slumbering is because the body is in a prone position in a relaxed state.  The airway consists of tissues that operate in a similar method to muscles.

When a person sleeps, these tissues become somewhat flaccid. So, when lying down this tissue literally blocks the breathing passage causing the sleeper to breathe with difficulty, resulting in more forceful breathing which then equates to snoring.

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Factors on How Loud a Person Snores

Every person is unique in their composition and physical make up.  This affects why some people snore at a very loud volume.  Included as part of snoring the tone and pitch.

Basically, we all have the same parts yet we all have our own uniquely identifiable voice, this is true for snoring as well.

How loud an individual may snore depends on the various factors involved in the process.  Because there is basically a flap of tissue closing off the airway we need to breathe.

Breathing becomes more labored and aggressive to supply our lungs, body and brain with oxygen. Snoring is an audible sign that the body is fighting for air.  This is an issue that can affect just about anyone, even babies.

The smaller the passages involved with breathing are during sleep, the more forceful the body will become in an effort to get the air it needs.

Thus, the tissue blocking the airway will vibrate in proportion to the force needed to get the vital oxygen our body is being deprived of.  This is how a snoring becomes so loud.

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Men Snore the Most

Generally speaking, men do most of the snoring that goes on in the world.  This has to do again, with the physical composition of the male body. In this case, the neck, which is typically thicker.

Because the male neck is more often fleshier in nature, there is more tissue substance found within.

Obviously, the more tissue there is in the neck and surrounding the breathing passages, the greater the likelihood of bombastic snoring.

Women have a natural defense to snoring in the form of Progesterone.  Granted, there are women who snore just a loud and violently as men, and even more so in some cases, but it is simply not as common as it is with males.  Progesterone is used as a form of therapy for men who suffer from snoring.

Causes and Amplifiers of Snoring

As we have already discussed, snoring is a symptom of something else.  This symptom manifests in the form of a sound that comes from the inability to breathe easily during sleep.

So what causes this trouble?  The tissues involved with breathing are not the sole culprit for this bothersome problem.

These factors are not gender specific. These are issues that affect men and women, although there are roughly twice as many male snorers as there are females who snore.

Snoring factors have to do with our health and our lifestyle.

These factors come in many combinations and include the following:

  • Allergies commonly affect breathing
  • Allergy medicines dehydrate the normally moist sinus passages
  • Illness such as a cold or influenza also causes labored breathing
  • Tissue scarring from surgery on the nasal passage
  • General thickness of tissues found within the sinuses
  • Nasal spray abuse agitates the sinuses and airway
  • Snorting controlled substances
  • Oversized tonsils and/or adenoids
  • Goiter, a swollen thyroid gland
  • Oversized tongue
  • Obesity results in thickness of the neck and soft tissues
  • Oversized stomach
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Aging

Some of these issues affect men more than women, like excessive girth of the stomach region.  This is believed to part of the reason men in general experience more issue with snoring than women.

Also, controlled substances; prescribed, available over the counter, or illegal are associated with side effects that lead to snoring such as drying the sinuses and relaxing the tissues at the back of the throat and air passages.

We have looked over that snoring is and broken down the physical process.  We have also gone over the many issues that can affect and cause snoring, so we must now look deeper into the issue to discover the truly deleterious effect snoring can have on a person’s wellbeing.

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What Is So Bad About Snoring?

The whole concept of snoring is somewhat subversive; this is where the largest danger with snoring lies, how innocuous it is perceived by the majority of people.  Snoring as a word seems harmless enough, and this is a problem.

The connotation of the word does not convey the true meaning of the action. When a person snores, their body is in a state where it is being deprived of oxygen and must breathe much harder to force open the airway.  Simply put snoring is a cry for help in the dark that says “I am not breathing!”

Because of this common perception of snoring, people become incredulous at the idea that snoring is a serious problem gives rise to health risks and emotional issues.

Most people are ignorant to the fact that snoring, although this is common but it is not normal, healthy or acceptable.

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The Physical Aspects of Snoring

What needs to happen for people to understand what snoring truly represents is a change of perception; a dynamic shift of what snoring means.

The gravity of the dangers of snoring cannot be stressed enough.

What follows is an abridged list of physical health issues that are related to snoring.
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen limbs
  • Weakened immune system
  • Loss of hearing

Remember, this is only an abridged list. There are many more physical issues that are part of snoring.

These issues are not exclusive to adults, and neither is snoring.  Snoring encompasses all ages and genders making anyone susceptible to the many dangerous effects snoring can have.  Let’s take a closer look at one of the more serious issues related to snoring.

Sleep Apnea in Depth

Sleep Apnea is a silent killer that strikes in the dark when a person is at their most vulnerable; when a person is asleep.

This alone should be enough to make anyone who snores, or even cares about a person who snores to seek out some resolution.

Find some way to provide relief when sleeping so as not to stop breathing altogether.  The term apnea is taken from the ancient Greek use of the word meaning: absence of breathing.  Sleep Apnea is merely a precursor to asphyxiation.

The correlation between snoring and Sleep Apnea is direct:  really snoring is just another word for Sleep Apnea.  If snoring is caused by tissue blocking the air passage; this is an absence of breath.

The sound associated with snoring if the vibration of the obstructive tissue is being vibrated by the body sensing this blockage and breathing with a sense of urgency.

Sleep Apnea is when breathing stops; snoring is when the body forces itself to breath hard enough to open the blockage.  The correlation is simple.

Sleep Apnea does not have to be fatal to have a negative effect on a person’s health.  Breathing provides the body with oxygen, it goes into the lungs and then into the bloodstream from where the oxygen is taken to all parts of the body.

Sleep Apnea translates to not breathing; if we are not breathing, our body is starved of the oxygen it needs to survive and operate to its full capacity. 

A lack of oxygen causes an imbalance in the blood stream leading to an excess of carbon dioxide.  Too much Carbon dioxide in the body creates a toxic state that can result in brain damage, heart disease or a stroke.

The Emotional Aspects of Snoring

Snoring does not affect the person who is actually snoring alone.  Anyone close to a person who snores with any degree of severity understands this fact.

How snoring affects the people around a person who snores is just as serious as the health risks involved.

A person, who snores loudly, meaning as loud a running motorcycle or some other internal combustion device, can keep their partner from sleeping.  A loud snorer can disrupt the whole house through the course of the night, every night.

This should begin to expose the vast area of problems that can arise due to snoring.

Someone who sleeps with someone who snores, or maybe shares the same room, or shares a wall between rooms, even so far as to be in the same building knows that trying to get a full night of deep, restful sleep is an exercise in futility.

There is a lot of frustration involved with situations like these because the person snoring may be unaware of it, or believe there is nothing that can be done for it.  Snoring can come with a costly emotional price tag.

The following are few examples of emotional disturbances resulting from snoring:
  • Loss of sleep can cause depression or anxiety
  • Break up of relationships, including marriages
  • Eviction from dwelling for bothering tenants
  • Clashing living partners or neighbors due to sleep disruption
  • Poor performance at work leading to unemployment due to lack of sleep
  • Short term and long term memory issues from lack of sleep
  • Lack of compassion from those affected by snoring

These are but a few of the many emotional problems that are part and parcel of snoring.  The effects of snoring are very far reaching and destructive to those subject to them.

Beneath the surface of each of these emotional states are the mental states associated with the person who snores and the person who has to deal with it.

A few of the emotional states caused from snoring follow:
  • Exhaustion
  • Frustration
  • Resentment
  • Anger
  • Helplessness
  • Anguish
  • Desperation
  • Low self-esteem
  • Confusion

It is not hard to see how lack sleep can affect one’s demeanor, especially if it the loss of sleep is due to someone else’s snoring.

One can quickly lose empathy for a person who snores when they are the on being kept up.

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