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Sleep is essential to the repair of you blood vessels and if you skip the 7 to 9 hours experts advise, you can increase your risks of a host of illnesses from developing heart disease and diabetes. Persistent lack of sleep can lead to both physical and mental heath. Sleeping also restores your brain chemicals and allows the brain to organize and store memories.
Everyone experiences sleep problems and restless nights at one time or another. When stress becomes severe enough, it can affect your daily life and as well as your sleep and we all know how important sleep is. Stress isn’t the only issue associated with sleep issues: chronic illness, drinking alcohol too late, menopause, your room isn’t dark enough, caffeine is still in your system, pregnancy, exercising too late and aging can also affect how good of a rest you get.
Pain caused by chronic illness is enough to keep a sufferer up at night but people may also experience a loss of sleep due to the medication prescribed for chronic illness. If a woman is going through menopause, she may have trouble sleeping due to hot flashes. As for pregnant women, hormonal changes and physical discomfort will hinder their ability to sleep properly.
Stress is probably the most common reason for disrupted sleep, it can impair your ability to compete sleep cycles making it hard to fall or stay asleep. It can be hard to rest adequately when your mind is racing with thoughts and worry but it’s important that you find techniques that get you to sleep. Try these:
Smell some lavender.
Studies have shown that the floral scent relaxes the body and can even help with insomnia.
Practice relaxation techniques.
Whether it be a few yoga poses, progressive relaxation or meditation, engaging in a few calming exercises before bed can help quiet your mind so you can drift off to dreamland.
Discard your thoughts.
Grab a pen and paper and write down what you’re feeling — then physically throw them away. Research shows this trick will help clear your mind of negative thoughts. A clear mind = a more sleep-ready mind.
Take some deep breaths.
If specific exercises aren’t your thing, try just taking a few deep breaths before you nod off. The inhalation and exhalation activates the body’s naturally-calming parasympathetic system.
Consider seeing a sleep specialist.
If absolutely nothing works, it might be helpful to seek insight from a professional. Therapists can help you sort through stress, as well as employ techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy to address insomnia.