Hemorrhoids and Sleep – a Total Pain in the Butt!

Hemorrhoids and Sleep – a Total Pain in the Butt!

Second behind anxiety, the number one reason why people aren’t sleeping is physical pain. And one of the most difficult types of pain to deal with at bedtime is hemorrhoids – it’s literally a pain in the butt! Yeah, that’s right, we went there. But hemorrhoids are so common that one in three adults I’ll also go there at some point in their lives. Right now, you may be dealing with an acute hemorrhoid outbreak and need immediate relief. Or you may be trying to plan for the future because you’re worried your hemorrhoids will come back. Either way, we have the advice you need to prevent your pain in the butt from ruining your night’s rest.

Fixing Your Hemorrhoid Problems Immediately

Hemorrhoids can strike at any time. This is especially true if you strain a whole lot when you go number 2. Hemorrhoids are the direct result of straining your pelvic floor muscles and putting too much pressure on the blood vessels in your anal cavity. This pressure makes them become swollen and irritated. And since most sleeping positions (more on that in a minute) put even more pressure on these inflamed vessels, the pain can feel especially bad at that time.

Banishing Bedtime Hemorrhoid Pain

When you have a health issue that starts out fine in the morning and gradually gets worse throughout the day, it’s referred to as “sundowning”. This nickname came about because the symptoms become acutely worse after the sun goes down. Hemorrhoids are no exception. Whether you’re walking around all day or sitting upright, you’re constantly putting pressure on those strained vessels. So when you go to bed, you’ll end up trying to sleep through a full day’s worth I’ve accumulated pain and inflammation. Yikes!

If you need help right now, we suggest alternating between a sitz bath and a cold compress. If it’s not too late at night, you can also go to the drugstore and purchase some hemorrhoid cream. Either way, you can use these remedies safely and privately in the comfort of your own home for maximum effectiveness.

For the hemorrhoid cream, be sure to follow the directions on the box. If you’re doing a sitz bath, then pour some warm water into a shallow dish. Some people add a small amount of apple cider vinegar for an extra anti-inflammatory boost. Soak your backside in the bath for 10 to 15 minutes, get out of the bath, and let yourself are dry. Then apply a cold compress for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep alternating these treatments until you start to feel better. If this doesn’t work, or if it takes an excessive amount of time to feel any real relief, that’s something you may need to talk to your doctor about.

Getting Good Sleep Despite Hemorrhoid Pain

So you’re ready to go to bed, despite knowing that your hemorrhoids could flare up and wake you up in the middle of the night. One good strategy for preventing this from happening is to sleep the correct position. Most experts believe that sleeping on your stomach is the best way to go. Putting a pillow under your hip bones to elevate your posterior makes it that much more effective. This helps gravity help you by pulling fluid out of those inflamed vessels so that they aren’t a swollen and painful.

But sleeping on your stomach is uncomfortable for a lot of people. If you’re one of those, then try sleeping on your side. You may have to use extra pillows as bumper guards so that you don’t accidentally roll over onto your back in the middle of the night. Otherwise, your hemorrhoids could flare up and wake you up in the middle of the night.

Sleeping on your back is the last thing you want to do – but for some people, it’s impossible to sleep any other way. If you fall into this unfortunate category, then you’re going to have to use your extra pillows a little more strategically. If you put multiple pillows directly underneath your knees, this can help elevate your posterior so that there’s less pressure on it. You still may experience some hemorrhoid pain, but at least it won’t be as bad as sleeping flat on your back.

Preventing Future Hemorrhoid Pain

If you’ve had hemorrhoid pain on a somewhat regular basis for a while, you’ll probably need some tips and tricks for reducing frequency and lessening the intensity of future flare-ups. Well, you’ve come to the right place! If you want to help protect that booty from bedtime hemorrhoid pain, make sure that you:

  • Talk to your doctor – the more severe and frequent your hemorrhoids flare up, the more likely you will need a little extra medical care in order to prevent them
  • Squat more on the toilet – the 90 degree angle most people create when they sit on the toilet causes extra straining during a bowel movement. Lifting your knees up with a small stool (or really good thigh strength!) Can reposition your bowels in a way that requires less straining
  • Weight loss – hemorrhoids are much more likely to happen When you gain weight – so Lose weight if you can! Light exercise can help you accomplish this goal without straining your hemorrhoids
  • Stay hydrated – most people strain during their bathroom time because they aren’t drinking enough water. So get yourself a nice water bottle and keep it at your side at all times
  • Eat a better diet – for optimal health, you should be eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day; this helps your bowels move waste through more quickly and efficiently, resulting in less training

There are enough things in life which make it difficult to fall asleep at night – hemorrhoid pain shouldn’t be one of them. We hope the tips above can I help you reduce or eliminate your hemorrhoid pain at night. That way, you’ll be that much closer to getting the restful, restorative sleep you deserve! But if you’re still having trouble, we suggest a natural sleep aid to give you an extra edge. There are plenty safe, affordable options out there that are definitely worth a try.

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We Finally Have an Answer to the Question: Why Do We Sleep?

We Finally Have an Answer to the Question: Why Do We Sleep?

Most workaholics and/or insomniacs love to say things like “i’ll sleep when I’m dead” as if the phrase were a badge of honor. Well, as it turns out, that’s the farthest thing from the truth! The human body needs sleep. We’ve always known this, but until recently, we haven’t known why. Today, we’re going to tell you all about why your body needs a healthy amount of high-quality, natural sleep each and every night in order for you to be your best. So get ready to learn something new!

Anatomy of the Sleep Cycle

Most people assume that sleep is a binary condition: either you’re asleep, or you’re awake. But it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. While you are asleep, you actually go through something called a “sleep cycle”. There are five stages in total, and each stage plays an important part in refreshing and rejuvenating your body while you rest.

  • Stage 1: Stage one is the most shallow; in fact, some people may still be partially awake during stage 1 sleep
  • Stage 2: This is the stage where you lose consciousness and your brain waves start to slow down
  • Stage 3: Scientist also referred to stage 3 as “slow wave” sleep. This stage is characterized by slow delta waves taking over your brain and kicking off the rejuvenation process
  • Stage 4: This is deeper but similar to stage 3; the main difference is that your brain waves slow down even more and the regenerative process becomes more potent
  • Stage 5: Even if you don’t know anything about sleep cycles, you’ve probably heard of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This is the sleep stage responsible for our dreams

In a way, you could almost compare your nightly sleep cycle to a washing machine: you fill the basin, you add soap, you jiggle the clothes around, you rinse, and the spin cycle squeezes all the water out. If anything goes wrong during that process, your clothes won’t get clean! Similarly, if anything goes wrong with your nightly sleep cycle, you’ll wake up feeling like a tired, brain-foggy mess the next day.

Sleep Is a Lot Busier Than You Think!

Here’s another misconception people have about sleep: that the body is in a dormant, highly inactive state. In all actuality, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Just because your body isn’t moving doesn’t mean that things aren’t getting done. In fact, there are many very important things that do get done while you sleep at night. Such as:

Hormones Get Regulated

Hormone regulation happens during stages 3 & 4 of the human sleep cycle – and human growth hormone (HGH) is the most important one. Your body needs this growth hormone to restore and replenish every single cell in your body. Without stages 3 & 4 of your sleep cycle, your body can’t produce human growth hormone and it causes horrible things like premature aging. It can even stunt growth in children who don’t get enough healthy sleep.

But those aren’t the only hormones that get regulated while you rest. If you’re on a diet or trying to lose weight, pay very close attention to this next part: your body also resets and regulates its leptin and ghrelin levels during this part of your sleep cycle. Why is this important? Because these hormones are the major players in controlling your appetite. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry when you need food, and leptin tells you you’re full when you need to stop eating. If you don’t get enough sleep, or if you don’t get enough deep sleep, then your ghrelin levels spike and your leptin levels tank. This will leave you feeling hungry all day. Even when you do eat, you’ll never feel completely satiated. Not only can this ruin your diet, but it can cause you to gain weight – even if you aren’t on a diet!

You Lose Weight

Speaking of diet and weight loss, getting a good night’s sleep is the best thing you can do for your body if you are trying to drop the pounds. First, there’s a little bit of superficial weight loss. Just by breathing while sleeping, you can burn off a couple of pounds of water weight at night. This number jumps up if you’re falling asleep in a warm bedroom or covered by heavy blankets because your body will be more likely to sweat. But it’s not all water weight that gets lost.

Your body hits the reset button on your metabolism when you get enough high quality sleep. If you’re getting the 8 to 10 hours most medical experts recommend, you’re putting your body into a fasted state for at least that long. Contrary to the overblown fears about “starvation mode” – which does not actually exist – fasting is extremely good for your body. Unless there is something really unhealthy going on with your metabolism, your body isn’t going to wake you in the middle of the night to go eat when your glucose drops (which is what happens when you’re fasted). Instead, your body runs off of its stored energy – i.e., Its fat cells. You may think you burn the most calories when you’re chugging away on the treadmill, but in reality, most of your fat burning happens when you sleep.

It’s Spring Cleaning for Your Brain

Recent scientific studies have shown that during sleep, the mammalian brain shrinks its cells by up to 60%. Think of it like clearing traffic off the highway; when there’s more space available, the cars move more freely and get to where they’re going more efficiently. Having all this extra interstitial space between your brain cells helps clear away toxins, waste products, and especially the plaques most medical experts believe are responsible for alzheimer’s and other brain disease. This explains why people who don’t get enough sleep suffer from that dreaded “brain fog” the morning after a night of terrible sleep.

How to Get All of These Benefits Tonight

Now that you know why sleep is so important for your body, the next question is: how to get more of it? Well, the best way to get the healthy sleep you need is to do everything you can to make sure you get to sleep naturally. Prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills won’t help with this; you’ll need a natural herbal sleep aid if you really want to get the job done! Look for natural ingredients on the label. These will help you get through all 5 stages of sleep for the best possible rest.

Learn How to Relax Before Bed – the Natural Way

Learn How to Relax Before Bed – the Natural Way

It’s not uncommon for people who are extremely, extremely relaxed to fall asleep. It’s pretty much the deepest possible level of relaxation the human body can reach. Unfortunately, there is a chronic deficiency in our society today: the ability to relax. So how do we fix it? How do we take back our ability to get sleep naturally, instead of relying on dangerous drugs to do it for us? It’s actually not as difficult as you might think. Listed below are the easiest ways to help you get to sleep naturally. We hope you try some tonight!

Start by Creating Your Sleep Cave

Creating the perfect sleeping environment is essential to relaxing before bed. We’ve actually touched on it before when we talked about sleep hygiene. But it’s such an important point that it bears repeating: if you don’t have a relaxing sleep environment, you’re going to have trouble getting to sleep. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Turning down the temperature is a great way to get started. Unfortunately, we understand this isn’t possible for most people. Heating/cooling costs can be expensive, or maybe you’re just uncomfortable trying to sleep when it’s 68 degrees in your room. Either way, you should try and figure something out. The human body evolved to feel sleepy at the end of the day after the sun goes down and the air starts to cool. If you can recreate the same environment, you can help yourself sleep.

Make sure your environment is dark, and spend plenty of time around muted lighting before you turn in. Your bedroom should definitely be free of electronic devices if at all possible. Blackout curtains and non-fluorescent bulbs will also help encourage your body to produce more melatonin at night. Finally, you can invest in a good pair of anti blue light glasses if there’s no way to get fluorescent or electronic light out of your bedroom

Warm baths and aromatherapy are a fantastic way to relax late at night. Not only are warm baths relaxing on their own, but once you get out, you experience a body temperature drop. This drop in temperature is almost identical to sleeping in a cold room. Aromatherapy salts and oils also work really well. The scent of lavender and chamomile are well known for helping people come down. And most bath salts are made from magnesium, which is also known to help induce sleep.

Creating a Calm Space in Your Mind

Science is discovering more and more things everyday about the mind-body connection. No longer is this connection some woo-woo hippy dippy concept which rational people must be skeptical of. There is plenty of scientific proof to suggest it exists, especially when it comes to meditation.

Recent experiments on people – both those who are experienced with meditation, and those who were new to the practice – showed some very interesting results. Regardless of level of experience, fMRI scans showed actual physical changes in the brain which were the direct result of meditation. Specifically, it showed shrinking activity in the parts of the brain which process anxiety. With this hyperactive part of the brain calm down, test subjects reported lower stress levels and – you guessed it – better sleep.

There are plenty of phone apps and websites out there which can help you learn mindfulness meditation. Some of them are free, but others offer extra guidance and variety for a small monthly fee. Speaking of monthly fees, you should also exercise more at a gym or wherever you can find space to do it. You can exercise almost anywhere for free if you’re on a tight budget, though. The important thing is getting it done, and getting it done earlier in the day if you can. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon gives you the added bonus of sun exposure. This exposure helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle so that it’s easier for your body to relax when the sun goes down.

Lots of people like to drink herbal tea when they’re having trouble sleeping. We wholeheartedly support and stand by this practice. Do you remember us mentioning chamomile and lavender earlier? Well, they work just as well in an herbal tea as they do in your favorite bath oils or salts. Some people believe they even work better when imbibed as opposed to adding them to a warm bath. There are other herbs you can add, too. Valerian root is a very popular ingredient in herbal teas which are designed for relaxation and sleep. Lemongrass is another. Some people even add hops – it’s one of the ingredients in beer that makes you feel sleepy after you’ve had a glass or two.

The most important thing to consider is how much stress you are caring with you to bed. Are you anxious about what you have to do tomorrow, and feel completely unprepared? Or are you holding onto a lot of anger, resentment, and stressful thoughts? Well, there are things you can do in order to try to lighten your mental burden.

For starters, you can keep a journal in order to write down all of the stressful, unpleasant thoughts you have which are keeping you awake. Think of it as a cathartic way of releasing those thoughts so that they are no longer in your mind while you are trying to relax. Next, if you are intimidated by the day ahead, make yourself a to-do list. At the very least, it’ll give you a sense of empowerment and control – feelings which are the antithesis of anxiety. Secondly, it can make your chores that much easier to tackle the next day! When you feel accomplished and satisfied, you can’t feel stressed or anxious. That’ll make it easier to get to sleep.

Taking Natural Sleep Supplements to Help You Relax

Have you ever tried taking a natural sleep aid in order to help you relax before bed? They’ve always been around, but they’re starting to make a comeback in popularity. We highly recommend natural sleep aids because they are safer, gentler, and sometimes even more effective than prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills. They’re usually cheaper, too! It may take a little work to find a natural sleep aid that’s right for you, but when you do, it’ll be worth it.

Are There Beauty Products Out There Which Can Also Help You Sleep?

Are There Beauty Products Out There Which Can Also Help You Sleep?

For most of us, life runs it a hectic pace. It would be wonderful if we didn’t need as much sleep as we do in order to stay healthy. Unfortunately, a good and restorative nightly rest is essential for our health and wellness. It helps us live longer, feel healthier, and even improves our mood! So how do you get better quality sleep? Do you take drugs, or invest in expensive sleep gizmos that promise to help you sleep better?

Or could you invest in beauty products which are designed to help you sleep and kill two birds with one stone? In essence, you’re spending half as much money and getting double the value out of products that both help you look and sleep better. We put together a stellar list of such products and decided to try them out. We got some amazing results, too. If you want to make wrinkles less visible, improve your complexion, and banish dark circles from under your eyes, take a look at the products we found. We promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Beauty Products That Are Good for Your Sleep and Your Face

Nighttime is the right time to get down with beauty creams. Yes, many anti-wrinkle serums and similar products instruct you to put them on in the morning; however, you can get as good if not better benefits form using them at night. This can be in addition to the morning application, or instead of. Unfortunately, only applying your beauty creams in the morning can hamstring their effectiveness. They may help protect you from some of the daily wear and tear that your face absorbs during the daylight hours, but these screams are juggling more than they can handle by protecting your skin while also trying to repair it. Night creams, on the other hand, do not have this problem.

So what products should you invest in if you want to get better sleep and better beauty? For starters, any product you can apply to your face with natural fragrances of lavender, chamomile, or lemon balm will help you relax with aromatherapy and rejuvenate your beautiful skin. If you’re applying an eye serum in order to combat dark circles, you should pair it with a satin sleep mask. The mask helps seal in the serum to your skin without absorbing it. Your skin absorbs more of the product that way. You’ll also want to switch from a cotton pillowcase to a statin one. Much like the sleep mask, a satin pillowcase will not soak up the natural, moisturizing oils from your hair the way I cotton pillowcase well. This helps protect against split ends, frizz, and dryness.

The Nose Knows How to Look (and Sleep) Better

When you think about it, it’s amazing how powerful the human sense of smell is. The sweaty T-shirt experiment proved that another person’s smell plays a significant role in human attraction. Specific scents can instantly take us back in time to a very specific memory that that associate with them. Aromatherapy treatment can cure a number of elements, both physical and mental. Aromatherapy is especially helpful when it comes to your sleep – and we’re not just talking about lavender-scented beauty creams, either. You can use the following scented products to help encourage your body to get the beauty sleep it needs to stay healthy:

  • Scented sleep sprays are like a perfume for your bedroom. There are many different aromatic sprays on the market which combine natural essential oils like citrus, lavender, and more. Millions of people instantly feel relaxed, calm, and sleepy when they inhale these beautiful aromas. It’s perfect for spritzing around the room or on your sheets at bedtime.
  • If you can’t find a sleep spray that you like, or if you often forget to spray it at bedtime, consider investing in a scent diffuser. This will help keep those relaxing aromas lingering in your sleep cave so that just walking into your bedroom makes you feel instantly soothed.
  • Essential oil pulsepoint serums are also great for sleep. Much like the sprays and the diffusers, these scented aromatherapy serums are infused with plant extracts that promote relaxation. Applying them to your skin adds an extra personal touch and works with your own body heat to make the serum more potent.
  • Bath bombs will add some fizzy fun to your bath while also improving your sleep quality. Like many of the other products we’ve mentioned so far, they are infused with aromatic scents to help you feel relaxed and sleepy. Plus, they give you an excuse to take a warm bath at night! What more reason do you need?
  • Bath salts work great, too – and no, we’re not talking about the kind that make you want to eat someone’s face off. We’re talking about the kind that improve the condition of your skin and help you feel relaxed while you soak in a tub full of warm water. Just like the bath bombs, these salty soaps contain essential oils and moisturizers designed to alleviate the main causes of sleeplessness: anxiety and stress.
  • If you don’t get yourself some scented candles, you’re doing it wrong. We’ve suggested many bathtime beauty accessories already, so why not up the romance factor and add a scented candle or two to the list? Just be sure to practice proper fire safety as you fill the room with calming scents of orange peel, peppermint, or whatever fragrance soothes you to sleep.

Natural Sleep Aids for the Beauty Sleep You Need

At the end of the day, getting as much natural, restorative sleep as your body can is the best beauty treatment you can do for yourself. When your body goes through a healthy, normal sleep cycle, it rejuvenates every single cell in your body. This means brand new skin cells for your face and hands, reducing the visibility of the blemishes you have and slowing down the development of new ones. In addition too sweet smelling extracts like chamomile and hops, any natural sleep aid which includes ingredients like melatonin, valerian root, and essential amino acids like 5-HTP is great for both your look and your sleep. Trust us, it’s worth the investment!

Is Lemon Balm Better at Sedation Than Prescription Drugs?

Is Lemon Balm Better at Sedation Than Prescription Drugs?

Prescription sedatives are a powerful and effective option when dealing with things like anxiety or insomnia. But in a lot of ways, this can be like trying to kill a fly on the wall with a cannon when what you really need is a flyswatter. If you’re suffering from insomnia and nighttime anxiety is interfering with your sleep, you should do yourself a favor and look into natural solutions before you go for the big guns.

Lemon balm is one such natural solution that many people swear by. But how effective is it, really? After all, there are plenty of effective natural herbs and botanicals which can help you relax before bed. What’s so special about lemon balm? Well, the short answer to that question is: a lot! Today we’re going to discuss lemon balm and it’s calming, relaxing properties. And if you need a little calm and relaxation to help you get to bed, there’s a very good chance that it can help you, too.

Lemon Balm: What it Is, and How it Works

There are many different health benefits you can get from taking lemon balm in one form or another. Many people like to make it into a tea, but it is also distilled into an essential oil and can even be taken in supplement form. Lemon balm has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Some of the more common uses for lemon balm include:

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Wound healing
  • Improving sleep
  • And much more

Despite the fact that “lemon” is in the name, this plant is actually a member of the mint family. It naturally grows in southern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. However, it is a very resilient plant and has the capacity to be grown in many different climates around the world.

Lemon balm can have protective benefits for the heart, liver, thyroid, and joints. It is well known as an anti-inflammatory agent, an antioxidant, and it’s antibacterial compound, too. It can even prevent or slow the development of diabetes and herpes outbreaks. Many people swear by its ability to ease PMS symptoms and aid digestion. Of course, the most important benefit people can get from lemon balm is its capacity to improve concentration, mood, and sleep.

Lemon balm has been used as an anti-anxiety treatment for centuries. But it does more than that. Studies on elementary school children show that it reduces signs of hyperactivity while helping them concentrate better. There’s also evidence to suggest that ingesting lemon balm can boost your mood and even enhance cognitive performance. From where we are sitting, it looks as though lemon balm is the whole package – and then some.

Is Lemon Balm More Effective Than Prescription Pills?

We wish there were a definitive answer to this question – unfortunately, there isn’t. The difference between the effectiveness of lemon balm and prescription pills is largely subjective. And let’s not forget that every body is different and will process these substances in different ways. Lemon balm may have some profoundly helpful, relaxing effects on most people; others, on the other hand, may not notice any effect at all. But just because you’re worried that it might not work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least give it a chance. After all, there is legitimate scientific evidence to suggest that it has relaxing, sleep inducing properties. So we see no reason why you should exclude it from your sleep regimen.

Is Lemon Balm a Healthy Alternative to Prescription Sleep Drugs?

As far as we can tell, yes. We’re sure you’ve seen the alarming commercials on TV advertising all of the dangerous and scary side effects of prescription sleeping pills – and these commercials are intended to promote the product! So if that’s what they’re saying in order to convince you to ask for a prescription from your doctor, what are they hiding? These side-effect warnings aren’t just words uttered on a commercial, either. There are hundreds of horror stories about people doing dangerous things like driving or walking around in their sleep and harming themselves or others because they were under the influence of a prescription sleeping pill. These pills can be downright terrifying.

Over the counter drugs aren’t much better, either. Whether it’s a prescription or a drugstore sleep aid, you won’t be getting the same quality rest that you would if your body could fall asleep on its own. These drugs alter your sleep cycle and ways that can deteriorate your brain health and even speed up the development of age-related brain disease. Even in the short term, these drugs can hamper your cognitive function, give you memory problems, and slow down your reflexes.

How to Take Lemon Balm for Sleep

There are many different ways you can supplement with lemon balm in order to help get to sleep. One of the most popular methods is to purchase some lemon balm tea, or to purchase an herbal tea mix which contains lemon balm. This isn’t a bad idea, especially if the lemon balm is just one ingredient in a calming tea that also includes things like chamomile, valerian root, or orange peel, among others.

But not everyone likes tea. Not to mention that boiling water and drinking a cup takes time. That’s why some people prefer to just take a lemon balm supplement like a capsule, a tablet, or even a tincture. Neither of these are bad methods either; but they are not without their flaws. It’s hard to know for sure whether or not the lemon balm supplement you are buying is of pure, high-quality lemon balm extract. Even if you find one, supplementing with pure lemon balm on its own may leave you missing out. It’s well-documented that lemon balm has potent synergistic benefits when mixed with other relaxation inducing herbs.

The best way to get the most out of your lemon balm is to make sure it is one of many natural ingredients in a potent and effective sleep aid. These supplements are far and away much safer than something dangerous like a prescription drug or an over the counter sleeping pill. They’re usually more affordable to – and some of them are even more effective than regular drugs! Best of all, unlike pharmaceutical solutions, natural sleep aids will enhance the quality of your rest as opposed to compromising it. We strongly suggest you start searching for one – and if it has lemon balm in it, don’t hesitate to try it out!

Did You Know That Eating Before Bed Takes YEARS Off Your Life?!

Did You Know That Eating Before Bed Takes YEARS Off Your Life?!

Have you noticed the increasing number of magazines, websites, and news outlets warning you that eating right before bed is bad for your health? It has been connected to weight gain, poor sleep quality, and even a contributing factor to insomnia. Unfortunately, eating late at night is a common custom for the vast majority of people. Many others simply cannot sleep while their stomach is growling. Regardless of your reason, we can understand why it’s so difficult to avoid food right before bed.

As intractable as the problem may seem, you shouldn’t give up hope yet. There are compromises available. You can find a way to reconcile late-night munchies with your desire to get better sleep, lose weight, and get healthier. We’ll be happy to give you all the details – including the “why”, the “how”, and the “what” – all you have to do is keep reading!

Lifespan and Healthspan – Eating Before Bed Ruins Both

The wonderful thing about science is that there are new and fresh discoveries about many things – human health and wellness included – everyday. We have a much better understanding of how the human body works than we did a year, or ten years, or even a century ago. One of the things health experts are focusing on right now is something called autophagy. It’s actually a pretty complicated process, but the long and short of it is that small, moderately uncomfortable amounts of physical stress will make your body stronger and more resilient against larger, unhealthy amount of stress. During the Cold War, spies would develop an immunity to a very common undetectable poison called arsenic by exposing themselves to extremely small doses of it overtime. Autophagy is basically the same process – but the good news is that you don’t have to swallow poison in order to trigger it!

One of the most helpful things autophagy does is to recycle old and damaged cells. Your body rebuilds stronger, healthier ones with those recycled components automatically. And you don’t need a fancy prescription medication or some exotic woo-woo homeopathic remedy in order to reap the benefits. You can trigger autophagy all on your own for free. The simplest way is to put your body into a fasted state for at least 12 hours out of the day. And yes, those 12 hours do have to be consecutive.

This may sound really difficult, but it’s actually quite easy to accomplish. After all, most adults are supposed to get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night, right? Obviously, if you’re sleeping, you’re not eating. So that means you’re fasting. All you have to do to make it a full 12 hours is to stop eating within 2 to 4 hours of your head hitting the pillow. It’s that simple! And when you accomplish this task, you’ll get the benefits of younger-looking skin, more energy during the day, a sharper mind, and more.

Unfortunately, failing to do so and giving in to your late night food cravings will have the exact opposite effect. Your skin will look dull, dry, and wrinkle more easily. You will feel groggy and lethargic the next day, no matter how much sleep you get. You may even suffer from brain fog, memory problems, or have trouble concentrating. The longer this goes on, the worse these symptoms will get – so you need to take this seriously.

The Deadly Connection Between Sleep and Late Night Meals

When you eat late at night, you trigger an inflammatory response in your body. The closer you are to bedtime when you eat, and the larger your meal, the greater the inflammatory response. But the news only gets worse: this inflammatory response creates a positive feedback loop which only gets worse over time. And when we say “positive”, we don’t mean “good”. We mean that the effect becomes stronger – in a bad way – like a tiny snowball rolling down a mountain.

First, the late-night meal raises your blood sugar. This causes your pancreas to release more insulin. An hour or two into your rest, this insulin spike causes a sugar crash. And do you know what happens to your body when you have a sugar crash while you asleep? It does the same thing it does when you’re awake – it panics! In panic mode, your body starts to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels are high, your body turns into Inflammation City, population: you.

The Silent Killer: Adrenal Fatigue

A late-night cortisol spike doesn’t just cause inflammation. It can have a detrimental effect on your adrenal glands, too. These glands are the ones which produce cortisol in the first place. A small amount of cortisol, in fact, necessary for a long and healthy life. But as with most other things, if you take it to the extreme, it becomes something terrible. That terrible something for your adrenal glands is called adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue can make you feel tired all the time, give you brain fog, lead to premature aging, and it can even have a negative effect on your mental health. If you neglect your adrenal health over an extended period of time, you can develop a severe medical condition called secondary hypothyroidism. In a way, your thyroid and your adrenal glands are like conjoined twins. What is unhealthy for one will also hurt the other. If cortisol is dragging your adrenals down, it won’t be long before it takes your thyroid with it. The good news is that you can avoid all of this – but it does require you to overcome the challenge of giving up your late night meals.

How to Stop Eating Right Before Bed

We know that all of the information we’ve shown you so far can seem really scary. But don’t let that stress you out; on the contrary, let it fuel your fire and make you more proactive. You can start trying to wean yourself off of nighttime meals by eating a very small snack before bed with a good combination of protein and carbs. A glass of warm up milk and half a banana is the perfect example, but feel free to experiment with your own. Next, try adding a nighttime sleep aid to your sleep hygiene regimen. The natural herbs and botanicals in most sleep aids have have helped get people to sleep for centuries. And it can work for you, too – even on an empty stomach!

The 7 Most Surprising Reasons Why You Aren’t Sleeping

The 7 Most Surprising Reasons Why You Aren’t Sleeping

If you’re constantly having problems getting to sleep at night, it can be seriously bad for your health. Unfortunately, though, we as a society don’t place as much importance on a good night’s sleep as we should. And because we are so unfamiliar with how sleep works, this can make it Extremely difficult to figure out why we can’t get to sleep in the first place.

If you’re some sort of certified sleep expert, many of the items in this list may feel like common sense – but for the average Jane or Joe, they can seem like mind-blowing revelations. For anyone struggling to sleep at night, keep reading and see if you can check off any of the boxes on this list. If so, then we have good news: you can dramatically improve your nightly rest with just a few simple lifestyle changes.

Reason #7: Exercise…You’re Doing it Wrong

When trying to solve your sleep problems, take a closer look at your health and wellness routine. Are you exercising enough? Are you doing the right kind of exercise? After all, plenty of physical activity during playtime helps little kids literally sleep like a baby when it’s time for them to go to bed. Just because you stopped “being a kid” many years ago doesn’t mean that this doesn’t work equally well for adults.

Reason #6: The Caffeine Crutch

It’s a vicious cycle: you get a poor night’s sleep the night before, you barely manage to drag your butt out of bed the next morning, and you immediately reach for the caffeine. Then you get an afternoon crash after a big lunch and you reach for yet another cup of coffee. Later that night, you’re lying wide awake in bed with no idea what happened. Well, caffeine happened, unfortunately. Trust us when we say that we know how hard of a habit this is to break. But you should try to restrict your caffeine to the mornings only if you really want to toss and turn all night.

Reason #5: That thing you’re Not Doing Between the Sheets…

It doesn’t matter if you’re not getting enough, if the quality is subpar, or if your sex life is simply non-existent. A lack of activity between the sheets can lead to an abundance of activity when you should be sleeping. And yes, single ladies, this applies to you too. Whether it’s a passionate (but safe!) fling or weather you have to double-click your own mouse, being single is no excuse not to take your sex life into your own hands – and enjoy a better night’s sleep in the process.

Reason #4: Naps Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore

Believe it or not, taking a power nap in the afternoon can be an effective way to help you sleep better at bedtime. Usually 20 minutes is a good amount, but for some it can take up to an hour to get that effective recharge. An afternoon nap can give you a boost of energy which should help carry you through the rest of your day. With any luck, you’ll be able to time your second “crash” of the day right when it’s time to go to sleep.

Reason #3: Oh, Those Summer Niiiiiiiiights…

Speaking of sleep and amorous intimacy a minute ago, one of the reasons Summer Lovin’ is so popular during the warmest season of the year is because those hot nighttime temperatures make it more difficult to sleep. Your body has evolved over thousands of years to feel sleepy when the temperature goes down. Specifically, anything below 70 degrees fahrenheit (or 21C) works pretty well. Hopefully you can find a way to cool your bedroom at night without breaking your electric bill, though!

Reason #2: Getting Your Mind Right

Get ready for some tl;dr, because this section is going to be a little bit longer than the previous ones. That’s because this item in particular revolves around your mental health. As much as that may make some people cringe, it is definitely worth talking about. So we strongly suggest that you not skip ahead to number one just yet!

There are a number of mental health issues many of us struggle with on a daily basis, even though we are too proud or too embarrassed (or both) to admit it. Chronic stress, anxiety, constant worry, depression, and loneliness are ever-growing problems in our society today. The consequences of not addressing them can manifest themselves in strange places – and one of those places is your sleep.

If you’re lucky, these mental stressors are only occasional problems for you and you won’t necessarily have to pull out the big guns in order to get them treated properly. You can keep it simple by scheduling girl time with your besties at least once a week or learning how to meditate to keep anxious thoughts out of your brain. And if you have any emotional vampires in your life, banish them as best you can (spray optional, of course).

But if it’s more serious than that, first of all, don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel ashamed. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about any non-physical concerns which may be keeping you up at night. They can recommend you to a therapist who can give you the tools you need to take back control of your thoughts and help you get the sleep you need to keep your mind right.

Reason #1: You’re Refusing Help From Mother Nature

They say it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. It’s also not very polite to refuse her help, either. People these days are quick to rush towards synthetic methods to get to sleep, like over the counter sleeping pills or prescription sleep aids (which we have already discussed to death here on this blog). But at the end of the day, the cure for your sleep problems could be as simple and easy as something which has existed in nature for thousands of years.

There are dozens of plants and Botanical extracts which have helped people get better rest for hundreds of years. Lots of natural sleep supplements out there contain these ingredients (like chamomile, lemon balm, and melatonin, just to name a few). Best of all, they don’t contain any of the synthetic chemicals which can actually do more harm than good when it comes to improving your sleep. We strongly suggest you look into trying at least one of them, along with checking off the other seven items on this list.