Sleep: 3 Questions to ask
- Why is sleep important for fitness and health?
- How do I improve the quality of my sleep?
- And what products can I use to help me get there?
Insomnia and sleep disorders
Many people have trouble sleeping or have disrupted sleep patterns. People suffering from insomnia spend less time in deeper levels of sleep, wake up more often, and experience a reduction in REM sleep. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of other factors such as stress, anxiety, or a disruption of the body’s internal clock – such as jet lag, all-night study sessions, or changing work hours.
Sleep problems are common for many people; they can have a dramatically negative impact on one’s quality of life. [highlight]Some of the symptoms of insomnia[/highlight] are tiredness, lack of energy to fulfill daily activities, irritation and weight gain. Some people resort to medications to help them sleep. Alternatively, there are also natural relaxants and sleep aids that can be used to aid in the management of chronic sleep problems. Another route that can be taken to help sleep conditions is exercise.
Benefits of exercise and sleep
Exercise helps you to sleep better for a couple of reasons. Exercise is a beneficial stress on the body. The brain compensates for the physical stress by increasing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep (stage 4 sleep). Exercise also encourages sleep because it causes one's body temperature to rise and then fall by equal amount a few hours later. This drop in your body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that exercise in the afternoon can help deepen shut-eye and cut the time it takes for you to fall into dreamland. But, they caution, vigorous exercise leading up to bedtime can actually have the reverse effects
What time of day is it best to exercise/workout?
Choosing a time of day to exercise, paying attention to your body clock can also improve results. Physical performance is usually best, from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., says Michael Smolensky, an adjunct professor of bio-medical engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, and lead author with Lynne Lamberg of “The Body Clock Guide to Better Health.” Muscle strength tends to peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Muscle strength in the afternoon is up to 6% higher than at its lowest point in the day, which improves your ability to grip a club or racket as well as lessening the risk of injury. Another boost for physical strength comes from the lungs, which function 17.6% more efficiently at 5 p.m. than at midday, according to a study of 4,756 patients led by Boris Medarov, an assistant professor of medicine at Albany Medical College in New York. For those of us who aren't chasing world records, afternoons certainly seem to be the best time for exercise.
3 natural health products that can help aid sleep quality
Melatonin is a natural, non-addicting hormone supplement that assists with sleep. It has been taken for years as a supplement to aid with sleep. Supplemental melatonin’s effects on sleep are extensive and well documented. Supplemental melatonin is particularly well-researched with respect to dealing with disruptions in the body’s internal clock, such as jet lag and shift work, with no fewer than 10 clinical studies demonstrating its ability to re-synchronize the body’s altered circadian rhythms governing sleep.
Valerian root is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety. Valerian acts like a sedative on the brain and nervous system.
Ortho•Sleep promotes sleep and relaxation. It was specifically formulated to be one of the most comprehensively powerful natural sleep aid available. Its potency is designed to effectively address short-term sleep disorders due to anxiety, stress, and/or a disruption of the body’s internal clock due to such factors as shift work and/or jet-lag. Ortho•Sleep contains a carefully formulated blend of nutrients and compounds that have been shown to be effective in combating insomnia and promoting healthy, restful sleep. These include neurotransmitters like GABA and melatonin, as well as 5-HTP, a serotonin precursor. The formula further includes the amino acid L-theanine as well as Valerian root, passionflower extract, and lemon balm, all of which possess relaxing properties, and work to increase the activity of GABA in the brain.
[highlight]These are some of the ways to help with sleep disorders, which will improve on health and quality of life.[/highlight]
Neda finished her schooling as pharmacy assistant in 2003 and has been working in the pharmaceutical field ever since. In addition she is a certified Acupuncturist and also in school to be a nutritional counselor. She has always had a passion for alternative medicine and nutrition, and believes that integrating different health care approaches is a great way for reaching optimum health.
She works at Pharmasave Columbia Square in New Westminster as a pharmacy assistant and a weight-loss coach. At Pharmasave Columbia Square they offer Ideal Protein weightless program along with professional lines of nutritional and weight loss products.
Connect with Neda on Twitter or Facebook with any other health or wellness questions.
Another possible option to help deal with insomnia & sleep issues
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