Everybody has trouble sleeping every now and then; some more than others. Today’s article covers three different ways to help with the occasional or chronic bout of insomnia.
The Science of Siestas
The subject of naps can so often stray from the scientific--is it a moral affront for anyone over the appropriate age of kindergarten attendance to even think about taking a nap in the afternoon? Or is it cultural--after all, if you’re not pronouncing nap as ‘siesta,’ what are you even doing here? Then again, it could be social--do we worry that not being busy 24/7 and admitting to naps will tarnish our stalwart reputations?
We’d like to put the philosophy aside to simply state the facts:
1. Naps are good for you in 20-minute increments or less. (Time limits and words like ‘increments’ take the warmth out of the idea of a nap, we know. But we’ll get back to the warm and fuzzy part in a bit). Midday is the best time of day for a nap--in the morning you’re more awake while right after lunch you’re reeling from a food coma anyway, and waiting until evening can affect your nighttime sleeping patterns.
2. Naps weren’t built for the soft: back in ancient Rome, everyone from farmers to soldiers took to designated after-lunch naps.
3. Even naps as short as 5 minutes help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and decrease the risk of heart problems.
4. More than 85% of mammals sleep sporadically throughout the day (polyphasic) while humans have adopted the minority life style of sleeping in one large chunk each day (monophasic). The basic conclusion is that it is not clear if monophasic sleep is the only or natural style of sleep for humans.
5. Lastly, extra sleep is excellent for your brain. Studies have shown that taking naps after strenuous mental activity helps in the learning process, increasing memory retention, perception, and alertness.
Ever heard the fact that driving sleep-deprived is just as bad (if not worse) than driving drunk? Being alert is incredibly important in our fast-paced world--so take it slow.
Snacks for Insomnia
Our diet is responsible for a number of mood and energy altering phenomena. Bad indigestion often results in a bad attitude, after all. And sometimes our food and drink can even be a help or hindrance to our sleep cycles.
We’re going to focus on the kinds of foods you can add to your diet, rather than take away.
(Special thanks to Dale Pinnock’s The Medicinal Chef).
How To Save On Prescriptions
Over-the-counter meds are one of the most common ways to treat insomnia or any of the factors that may be causing it. You can rest even easier knowing that there’s a way to save on prescriptions!
We have two options for you over on our Drug Assistance page: