Sleeplessness is usually associated with emotional or mental tension, anxiety, depression, work problems, financial stress or unsatisfactory sex life. While insomnia is not usually related to any physical illness there are exceptions.

Any illness that can cause pain or discomfort may cause sleeplessness. The more mental energy you consume the more sleep you will need.

This is because when the brain works overtime it uses up blood sugar leaving you mentally exhausted. Sleep patterns also change in old change.

A sweet drink before bed increases the brains supply of the amino acid L-tryptophan. This increases the likelihood of falling asleep more easily.

Herbs that may be of help Sleeplessness are valerian, skullcap, hops and passion flower. Magnesium and Calcium are usefull minerals in relieving Sleeplessness.

All of these natural approaches are non habit forming and most importantly non toxic. Sleeplessness Alters Metabolism.

A lack of quality sleep may lead to love handles and double chins. Doctors at the University of Chicago found that not getting enough sleep altered basic bodily functions such as regulating blood-sugar levels, storing away energy from food and the production of various hormones.

The study examined the effects of sleep deprivation on a group of 11 young men in their 20's. For one week the participants were allowed only four hours of sleep a night and were told to continue the normal routine of their lives. After one week of four hours of sleep a night, the participants' metabolic levels and their ability to process carbohydrates were the same as those of a 65 year-old man.

The young men took 40 percent longer than normal to regulate their blood sugar levels following a high-carbohydrate meal.

Their ability to secrete insulin and to respond to insulin both decreased by about 30 percent. A similar decrease in acute insulin response is an early marker of diabetes.

Sleep Apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. Sleep Apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea : central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when air cannot flow into or out of the person's nose or mouth although efforts to breathe continue. In a given night, the number of involuntary breathing pauses or "apneic events" may be as high as 20 to 60 or more per hour. These breathing pauses are almost always accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition. Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes but is more common in men. Sleep apnea seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis.

Studies show that the condition of Jet Lag, actually results from an imbalance in our body's natural "biological clock" caused by traveling to different time zones. Our bodies work on a 24-hour cycle called "circadian rhythms." These rhythms are measured by the distinct rise and fall of body temperature, plasma levels of certain hormones and other biological conditions. All of these are influenced by our exposure to sunlight and help determine when we sleep and when we wake. When traveling to a new time zone, our circadian rhythms are slow to adjust and remain on their original biological schedule for several days. This results in our bodies telling us it is time to sleep, when it's actually the middle of the afternoon, or it makes us want to stay awake when it is late at night.

Restless Legs Syndrome
An urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in the legs. Some people have no definite sensation, except for the need to move. Moving usually offers some temporary relief of symptoms. A worsening of the discomfort when lying down, especially when you're trying to fall asleep at night. Sleep disturbances are common with RLS, primarily because of the difficulty it causes in getting to sleep. Restless leg syndrome may affect as much as 2-5 percent of the population, with varying degrees. The cause of RLS is still unknown. Some cases are inherited. Some cases have been associated with nerve damage in the legs. RLS can also be a side effect of a pinched nerve root from arthritis in the lower back. Most cases of RLS respond well to medical treatment.

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Chronic neurological disorder involving the body's central nervous system. About one in 2,000 people suffers from narcolepsy. For people with narcolepsy the messages sometimes arrive in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is why someone who has narcolepsy, not managed by medications, may fall asleep while eating dinner or engaged in social activities. Recent discoveries indicate that people with narcolepsy lack a chemical in the brain called hypocretin, which normally stimulates arousal and helps regulate sleep. They also discovered that there is a reduction in the number of Hcrt cells or neurons that secrete hypocretin. This may be due to a degenerative process or an immune response. In addition to a medical history and physician examination, a diagnosis is made from polysomnogram tests in an overnight sleep laboratory to measure brain waves and body movements as well as nerve and muscle function. A diagnosis also includes the results of the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT), which measures the time it takes to fall asleep and to go into deep sleep while taking several naps over a period of time. Changes in behavior combined with drug treatment have helped most persons with narcolepsy improve their alertness and enjoy an active lifestyle. Drug treatment is only one element of narcolepsy symptom management. Changes in behavior to encourage good nighttime sleep are important too. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon or evening, Exercise regularly. Get enough nighttime sleep - eight hours nightly. Some sleep specialists recommend several short daily naps along with drug treatment to help control excessive sleepiness and sleep attacks. Others report that a single, long afternoon nap works well to improve a patient's alertness.

Sleep Tips
Avoid alcoholic drinks in late evening. Cut back on coffee, tea, and other sources of caffeine. Don't eat a large, late evening meal before going to bed. Engage in some other form of exercise before going to bed. Don't use your bedroom as a place to work. Drink a warm milk drink before going to bed. Get up and read or do something else, if you are unable to fall asleep within half an hour. Take a warm bath before going to bed. Avoid naps if they interfere with your normal sleep pattern.

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