The Main Cause of Insomnia

By: Wendy Owen
Well in my opinion the main thing that keeps us tossing and turning at night is worrying about not going to sleep.


Sure there might be other reasons for sleeplessness; chronic pain, restless legs syndrome, partner disturbance, too much coffee...


But at the end of the day you're lying there worrying about how you're going to get through the next day if you don't get to sleep *right now!*


Worry and the stress it causes, are by far the main causes of sleeplessness, and the sad part is, the more we worry, the more wide awake we feel. But what can we do about it?


We have to empty our conscious minds of worrying and stressful thoughts (yeah right! Easier said than done!)


Stress and worry can affect your sleep quite dramatically. It can be an isolated stressful incident which keeps you awake for a few nights, or the stress and worry may be chronic. Once they becomes a habit, certain situations will then always cause you to become stressed.


Worry in particular can become a habit and like any habit, is very difficult to break (just ask us smokers, um... ex smokers out there!) But it can be done. You have to train your mind to either let go of a thought, or replace one thought with another.


If you suffer from insomnia, whether you're having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, stress could be the cause. Your sleeping problems can then cause more stress which in turn makes it even harder to sleep. How can you stop worrying and stop this vicious cycle?


The most important thing is to try and work out what you are telling yourself when you are worrying about something. We talk to ourselves all the time whether we are aware of it or not. What thoughts are going through your mind that are causing your bad feelings?


For example, you may be sitting in a traffic jam thinking, "I'm going to be late for work if this stupid traffic doesn't start moving soon. Then I'll be rushing around all day trying to get everything done! Which means I probably won't have time to buy a proper lunch and I'll have to grab something quick and greasy! Well there goes the diet ..."


Enough! Why torture yourself with this rubbish? Make it a habit to stop these thoughts as soon as they start. How? Just substitute them with better thoughts! Have a list of thoughts that make you feel good and think about them instead! This will reduce stress significantly and with practice, it will get easier and easier.


If you're having trouble doing this, try doing in in two steps. When you catch yourself worrying, say "STOP!" Picture a big red stop sign right in front of you. Concentrate on this until it breaks you train of worrying thoughts.


Then you can start thinking your pleasant thoughts, a movie you enjoyed, a present from your children, whatever makes you happy!


Your mind is extremely powerful - put it to work for you and not against you!




Author Bio

Want to know how to have better sleep? Find out how! Sign up for our monthly ezine and score our free book "How to Cure Insomnia and Achieve Healthy Sleep" at: www.insomnia-connection.com your resource for detailed information on better sleep and curing stress. The author, Wendy Owen, has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health.

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What to do during a nosebleed

My grandson had three episodes of nosebleeds these past two weeks, so when I found these tips on what to do during a nosebleed, I just needed to post them here.

What to do during a nosebleed:

Step 1: Sit and lean forward
Contrary to common practice, lying down or tilting your head back isn’t the best thing to do, as it will cause you to swallow blood, which might make you vomit.

The best thing to do is sit down and lean forward. This position allows the blood to drain out rather than run into your throat. Use a bowl to catch the blood flow. Also keep tissues or handkerchiefs handy to dab blood on the face or hands.

Step 2: To stop the bleeding
Pinch the nostrils together with your thumb and index finger for about 5 minutes. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped, squeeze for another 5 minutes. As you’re doing this, breathe through your mouth.
If pinching your nose for that long doesn’t help, then visit a doctor immediately.

What to do after the bleeding stops:

Remain calm and resting for a good amount of time. Thirty minutes to one hour is certainly recommended.

Drink some water to help clean your throat. As said earlier, blood in your throat can cause nausea and vomiting, in fact it can even lead to diarrhoea. Water can also help if the cause of bleeding is dehydration or dry heat, which often triggers nose bleeds.

Try to prevent any possible irritation to the nose. Do not pick your nose, avoid blowing your nose and sneezing for 24 hours after a nosebleed, as these actions might trigger off another nosebleed.

Don’t clean the inside of your nose after the bleeding has stopped, doing this can disrupt the clotting, triggering bleeding again. Gently clean the outside of your nose with warm water and a soft cloth.

Try and avoid exposure to dry air as it can contribute to the problem. In case of dry weather, lightly splash warm water around your nostrils every few hours the next few days to keep the inner linings of your nose moist.

When to call a doctor:
•    If the nosebleed does not stop after 10 minutes of home treatment.
•    If you have repeated episodes of nosebleeds.
•    If you’re taking blood thinners such as aspirin or have a bleeding disorder.
•    If your nose bleeds after you have suffered a severe injury.

Milk

Milk and honey together symbolized good health, prosperity and blessings from God.  Milk and milk products were an important part of the daily diet of biblical times. But it was difficult to keep the milk fresh. The solution was to use the same fermentation process with milk that was used to make wine or sourdough bread.

The result was what we today call yogurt, cheese and what is sometimes called curds in the Bible. Butter was seldom used for cooking then. Olive oil was used instead.

But even though the chosen people relied heavily on milk, they were hardly the first. Milk has been considered necessary for survival – for perhaps millions of years.

It has been called “the perfect food” because it provides so many of the nutrients we all need to grow, to fight off disease and to stay healthy.

Here are some of those recently discovered health benefits found in milk and milk products:

• Calcium builds bones in children and helps prevent or slow the development of osteoporosis in older
   women.
• Ingredients in milk lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, major factors of heart disease.
• Milk attacks bacterial infections, especially those that cause diarrhea. It soothes stomach linings irritated
   from drugs or harsh foods.
• Milk helps prevent dental cavities and chronic bronchitis.
• Researchers now say that while milk is stopping some cancers from developing, it’s also giving us a
   boost in mental alertness and energy.

With all this, it’s no wonder that this “perfect food” was so important in the lives of biblical people who had to depend on natural foods as healing medicines.

Milk can act like an antibody in fending off infections that attack our gastrointestinal system – something that was a matter of life or death in biblical times when penicillin and other drugs weren’t available.

These anti-infection chemicals help stamp out childhood diarrhea – which was very dangerous in ancient times and is still often fatal among infants in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Yet, for all its miraculous benefits, milk is not for everyone. People who suffer lactose intolerance know they have to avoid it. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and may produce intestinal and bowel disorders in people who are lactose intolerant.

Fish


Fish is low in cholesterol and contains healthy polyunsaturated fats.

The benefits of eating fish are the following:

• Thins the blood
• Protects arteries from damage
• Inhibits blood clots (anti-thrombotic)
• Reduces blood triglycerides
• Lowers LDL blood cholesterol
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
• Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
• Reduces risk of lupus
• Relieves migraine headaches
• Fights inflammation
• Helps regulate the immune system
• Inhibits cancer in animals and possible humans
• Soothes bronchial asthma
• Combats early kidney disease

The key to the healing powers of fish lies in the omega-3 fatty acids. These are particularly concentrated in cold-water fish such as anchovies, bluefish, herring, lake trout, mackerel, sablefish, whitefish, bluefin tuna, salmon and sardines.

In the case of arthritis, the omega-3 oils do “lubricate” the joints by reducing painful inflammation.  Omega­3 oils “unquestionably are anti-inflammatory agents.”

There are three villains lurking deep in side our bodies that cause heart attacks and strokes. They are the plaque that can clog arteries and dangerously restrict blood flow; the accumulation of platelets (sticky pieces of blood cells) that clump together and form clots; and the sudden, unexplained spasms of blood vessels that can throw the heart out of kilter or halt the flow of blood to the brain, causing strokes.

Studies on fish oil show it works wonders in reducing or eliminating all three risks. People who eat lots of fish seem to have thinner blood, which is less prone to clotting. Omega-3 oils also reduce triglycerides and dangerous LDL cholesterol and that may be why fish is such a powerful ally in the battle against heart disease.

Eskimos eat about 13 ounces of omega-3 rich seafood a day and rarely suffer from heart attacks. The same is true of Japanese fishermen and their families who consume, on average, at least 7 ounces of fish daily.

Norwegian scientists recently discovered that a mere three ounces of mackerel in the daily diet thins the blood within six weeks, significantly reducing the risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes.

In Britain, a study involving hundreds of participants revealed that those on a heavy fish diet developed higher concentration of “good” HDL cholesterol than even vegetarians.

Experts warn that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the red light warning us that a life-threatening heart attack may be headed toward us like a runaway train. To stop it, they say, get that blood pressure under control!

The higher the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, the more the blood pressure dropped. The conclusion: A minimum of only three ounces of mackerel a week lowered blood pressure about 7% - and eliminated the need for medication.

A change in diet in which omega-3 fish oils replaced animal fats also dramatically slowed down the rate of deterioration in people suffering early kidney disease.

Apples

According to many scholars who "studies the botany of the Bible" -- the forbidden fruit was more likely an apricot, maybe an orange, or some central Asian fruit that resembles a hard-fleshed yellow apple.

In other parts of the Bible, the apple gets high marks for its healthful, healing powers that modern science has since confirmed.

The Ancient Greeks who lived during Bible times believed the apple healed all ailments. An Arabic author from the same era wrote: "Its scent cheers my soul, renews my strength and restores my breath."

One article praised the apple as: "therapeutically effective in all conditions of acidosis, gout, rheumatism, jaundice, all liver and gall bladder troubles, nervous, and skin diseased caused by sluggish liver, hyperacidity and states of autointoxication."

Modern researchers call the apple "the all-round health food."

Here are some of the potent healing powers of apples:

  • Apples lower both bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Apples help stabilize blood sugar, an important factor in controlling diabetes.
  • Apples suppress the appetite without robbing the body of necessary nutrients, so they're great for dieters.
  • The juices in apples are highly effective virus fighters.
  • Depending on the need, they prevent constipation or help treat diarrhea.

Nutritionists suggest that eating 2 or 3 apples a day can boost the body's protection against heart disease -- thanks to the fruit's amazing ability to reduce blood pressure and lower dangerously high cholesterol levels.  

Apples also contain chemicals that scientists believed are vital in stopping cancer, and apples also prevent tooth decay.

The pectin in the apple -- that soluble fiber that is usually squeezed out to make jelly, acting with Vitamin A and other natural chemicals in the apple, also forms a fortress-like shield around the heart that prevents cardiovascular disease.

Apples are an excellent food source for diabetics and others who need to control blood sugar levels. They rank high among foods that best control blood sugar. Even though the apple is a rich source of natural sugar, it does not cause a rapid or dangerous rise in blood sugar.

Whole apples -- as opposed to just the juice -- are great for dieters. The rise in blood glucose that occurs when you eat an apple makes you feel fuller.

In addition, the apple juice helps keep you healthy and it helps during the healing process -- especially if you are suffering from colds or viruses. People who eat apples regularly have far fewer colds and upper respiratory problems.

Remember that to get the best health benefit, you have to eat the whole thing, skin and all. The skin contains the high level of pectin fiber, which seems to be the basis for the fruit's amazing powers.

The apple may also be the only healing fruit capable of taking care of two opposite complaints at the same time -- constipation and diarrhea. Apples or applesauce have been used for centuries to help people get back on a regular diet after suffering a bout of diarrhea. The pectin in the apple fiber is apparently the healing factor, which explains why it is included in Kaopectate, an over-the-counter diarrhea remedy. That same fiber is what dietitians have been telling us for decades is absolutely necessary to keep us regular and to prevent constipation.

Finally, apples are nature's original toothbrushes, and may even prevent cavities. The people of Bible times probably learned that through trial and error, but scientists found that children who ate apples had cleaner teeth than those who did not. They also had significantly less risk of tooth decay.

The Bible's wise King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said, "Comfort me with apples, for I am sick..."

The apple is one of the Bible Foods that heal ... if you want to know more -- get your own FREE copy of BIBLE FOODS THAT HEAL at Star Online -- Look for the Free Books Section.

Stress: Its Many Physical Effects


The following physical effects of stress are all the more reasons for us to manage it. These effects may  not be true for everyone but awareness is not a bad thing:

1.  Infections.  When you are stressed out, your immune system becomes weak and  you are prone to picking up an infection, which may be able to combat when you have strong resistance.

2.  Fatigue. Stress can make you tired and complain of various muscle pains. 

3.  Headaches.  Stress causes blood vessels in the head region to constrict which  leads to headaches. The most common type is tension headache but stress can even trigger a migraine for those susceptible to it. 

4.  Ulcers. Stress causes the release of  hydrochloric acid from the stomach, which contributes to acidity  and in the long run may cause peptic ulcers to form.

5.  Stomachache. A stomach ache which comes on and off and interferes with your daily activities may be caused by stress.

6.  Asthma and Eczema.  Chronic illnesses, like asthma which causes narrowing of the air passages in the lungs and some skin conditions like eczema -- extremely dry skin associated with itching -- have been linked to stress.

7.  Hyperthyroidism. Stress affects the hormones in the body and a common effect is hyperthyroidism. In this condition the thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormones, which lead to symptoms like palpitations, tremors and insomnia.

8.  Sleep Problems. Stress interferes with normal sleep patterns and may keep you tossing and turning in bed.  You may be unable to go to bed or may wake up earlier than normal because of the stress.

9.  Breathing Problems. Stress hampers your breathing and, therefore, the amount of oxygen entering your body. Lack of oxygen to the brain leads to inability to concentrate and focus on mental tasks and productivity at work may suffer.

10.  Hypertension. Stress causes the blood pressure to go higher thus causing uncontrolled hypertension.

11.  Heart Ailment. Stress may directly or indirectly contribute to heart ailments. Direct stress may cause heart attacks while indirectly, it may cause heart failure and arrhythmias.

12.  Obesity. To deal with stress you may reach out for unhealthy and high-calorie foods, which leads to obesity.

13.  Diabetes Mellitus. Stress affects insulin production by the pancreas which in turn controls blood sugar. 

 14.  Sex Problems. A stressful lifestyle is definitely to blame for lack of desire for sex, erection problems and low sperm count, which may lead to infertility in the long run.

15.  Arthritis. Stress also plays a role in arthritis. Most people having arthritis will remember a stressful event that brought in the ailment on or at the time they were diagnosed.

16. Mouth and Dental Problems. Stress is blamed for poor oral hygiene which in turn may cause dental plaque formation and gum disease. Mouth sores may also result from undue stress.

17. Hair Loss. Hair loss increases in stressful times. Male pattern balding or alopecia areata, as well as telogen effluvium — where multiple hair cells enter the resting phase and cause significant hair loss are both associated with stress.

Anxiety: How to Manage It


Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations.  When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life.  This is the fight or flight syndrome.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself.  Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late.  Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks.  You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways.  Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life.  In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops but for someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening.  If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it. Unchecked anxiety can lead to depression.

There are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. Seek professional help.  This is always a good first step.  Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous.  A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Sleep well.  During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself.  You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage.  Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise regularly.  Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently.  It helps to get more oxygen to the brain.  It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate.  Meditation is more than chanting mantras.  Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing.  Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry.  When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten.  As you count, focus on the situation.  What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Don’t use alcohol.  You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant.  In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities.  Stress can rob you of your energy.  On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety is normal, it can come into your life at any time.  When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions.  If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately.  There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.