View Full Version : Sweet dreams - tips for having a good sleep

Apr 9, 2009, 02:00 AM

Sounds like a lullaby...;)

Apr 27, 2009, 09:01 AM
Thanks for the article!
I often have problems with sleeping well. I often drink tea to calm down but I haven't tried out all of the tips given in the article yet.

May 2, 2010, 05:18 AM
Sleeping positions and personalities... interesting!

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Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the UK Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service analysed six common sleeping positions - and found that each is linked to a particular personality type.


What your sleeping position says about you ...


Those who curl up in the foetus position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41% of the 1,000 people who took part in the survey. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position.


Lying on your side with both arms down by your side. These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.


People who sleep on their side with both arms out in front are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it.


Lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don't like a fuss, but set themselves and others high standards.


Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don't like criticism, or extreme situations.


Lying on your back with both arms up around the pillow. These sleepers make good friends because they are always ready to listen to others, and offer help when needed. They generally don't like to be the centre of attention.

The remainder of those in the poll said the position they fell asleep varied or did not know.

Professor Idzikowski also examined the effect of various sleeping positions on health. He concluded that the freefall position was good for digestion, while the starfish and soldier positions were more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night's sleep.

Professor Idzikowski said "Lying down flat means that stomach contents can more readily be worked back up into the mouth, while those who lie on their back may end up snoring and breathing less well during the night. "Both these postures may not necessarily awaken the sleeper but could cause a less refreshing night's sleep."

The research also found that most people are unlikely to change their sleeping position. Just 5% said they sleep in a different position every night.

http://www.flatseats.com/images/ARR-RT-0106-ORG.gif Sitting up straight not good for you ? (http://www.flatseats.com/General/sitting.htm)

http://www.flatseats.com/images/ARR-RT-0106-ORG.gif Sleeping on your stomach can lower blood pressure! (http://www.flatseats.com/General/sleep_down.htm)

May 2, 2010, 11:33 AM
Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the UK Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service analysed six common sleeping positions - and found that each is linked to a particular personality type

Another hungry professor churning out another useless article from another useless "research " institute. If he must steal, why can't he just get a job with the World Bank?

And when our Yahozz boys do their own , people begin to dey shout O.

And so, what of those of us who sleep with one leg up and one eye open?

May 2, 2010, 11:44 AM
Another hungry professor churning out another useless article from another useless "research " institute. If he must steal, why can't he just get a job with the World Bank?

And when our Yahozz boys do their own , people begin to dey shout O.

And so, what of those of us who sleep with one leg up and one eye open?
There is so much rubbish said in the name of research! Sleep clinics are useful when they stick to proven science and avoid silly things like predicting personality from sleeping position.

enna inot
May 3, 2010, 09:57 AM
When I saw the same article on Yahoo,I also had a Laugh because I know a couple of people whose dominant sleeping position does not reflect the personality types portrayed by Professor Chris.

May 5, 2010, 07:49 PM

Lack of sleep linked to early death: study

Wed May 5, 9:44 am ET

LONDON (AFP) – People who get less than six hours sleep per night have an increased risk of dying prematurely, researchers said on Wednesday.
Those who slumbered for less than that amount of time were 12 percent more likely to die early, though researchers also found a link between sleeping more than nine hours and premature death.
"If you sleep little, you can develop diabetes, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol," Francesco Cappuccio, who led research on the subject at Britain's University of Warwick, told AFP.
The study, conducted with the Federico II University in Naples, Italy, aggregated decade-long studies from around the world involving more than 1.3 million people and found "unequivocal evidence of the direct link" between lack of sleep and premature death.
"We think that the relation between little sleep and illness is due to a series of hormonal and metabolical mechanisms," Cappuccio said.
The findings of the study were published in the Sleep journal.
Cappuccio believes the duration of sleep is a public health issue and should be considered as a behavioural risk factor by doctors.
"Society pushes us to sleep less and less," Cappuccio said, adding that about 20 percent of the population in the United States and Britain sleeps less than five hours.
Sleeping less than six hours is "more common amongst full-time workers, suggesting that it may be due to societal pressures for longer working hours and more shift work"
The study also found a link between sleeping more than nine hours per night and premature death, but Cappuccio said oversleeping is more likely to be an effect of illness, rather than a cause.
"Doctors never ask how much one sleeps, but that could be an indicator that something is wrong," said Cappuccio, who heads the Sleep, Health and Society Programme at the University of Warwick.
Research showed no adverse effects for those sleeping between six and eight hours per day.

Nov 29, 2010, 12:43 AM
Still on sleep.... http://www.lifescript.com/Health/Conditions/Sleep/Why_You_Need_More_Sleep.aspx?p=1

Why You Need More Sleep
By the National Institutes of Health
Published November 28, 2010

Anyone who has ever felt tired in the morning or dozed off in a meeting knows that sleep is important. In fact, getting enough is vital to your well-being. Here's why you need more shut-eye, along with tips to help you get it...

Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives. We now know that our brains are very active while we sleep. In fact, getting enough shut-eye affects our daily functioning and our physical and mental health in ways we're just beginning to understand.

The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours.

For most adults, 7-8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some may need as few as 5 or as many as 10. Women in the first three months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if she's been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a "sleep debt," which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid.

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood.

About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems, such as insomnia, and deep sleep stages in many elderly people often become very short or stop completely. This change may be a normal part of aging, or it may result from medical problems that are common in elderly people and from the medications and other treatments for those problems.

The Importance of Sleeping Enough
We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need. While we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time and other functions are still impaired. Yet the widespread practice of "burning the candle at both ends" has created so much sleep deprivation that what is really abnormal sleepiness is now almost the norm.

Experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven't had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within five minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder.

Microsleeps, or very brief episodes of sleep in an otherwise awake person, are another mark of sleep deprivation. In many cases, people are not aware that they are experiencing microsleeps.

Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous. Sleep-deprived people who use a driving simulator or perform hand-eye coordination tests perform as badly as, or worse than, those who are intoxicated.

Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since drowsiness is the brain's last step before falling asleep, driving while drowsy can – and often does – lead to disaster.

Sleep deprivation also magnifies alcohol's effects on the body, so a fatigued person who drinks will become much more impaired than someone who is well-rested.

Caffeine and other stimulants can't overcome the effects of severe sleep deprivation. The National Sleep Foundation says that if you have trouble keeping your eyes focused, if you can't stop yawning, or if you can't remember driving the last few miles, you're probably too drowsy to drive safely.

What Does Sleep Do For Us?

Although scientists are still trying to learn exactly why people need sleep, animal studies show that sleep is necessary for survival.

For example, while rats normally live for two to three years, those deprived of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep survive only about five weeks on average, and rats deprived of all sleep stages live only about three weeks. Sleep-deprived rats also develop abnormally low body temperatures and sores on their tail and paws, possibly because their immune systems become impaired.

Sleep appears necessary for our nervous systems to work properly. Too little leaves us drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It also leads to impaired memory and physical performance and reduced ability to carry out math calculations. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop.

Some experts believe sleep gives neurons used while we're awake a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Without it, these brain cells may become so depleted in energy or so polluted with byproducts that they begin to malfunction.

Deep sleep coincides with the release of growth hormones in children and young adults. Many of the body's cells also show increased production and reduced breakdown of proteins during deep sleep.

Since proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth and for repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays, deep sleep may truly be "beauty sleep."

Activity in parts of the brain that control emotions, decision-making processes and social interactions is drastically reduced during deep sleep, suggesting that this type of sleep may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning.

Sleep and Disease
Sleep and sleep-related problems play a role in a large number of human disorders and affect almost every field of medicine. For example, problems like stroke and asthma attacks tend to occur more frequently during the night and early morning, perhaps due to changes in hormones, heart rate and other characteristics associated with sleep.

Sleep also affects some kinds of epilepsy in complex ways. REM (which often accompanies dreaming) seems to help prevent seizures that begin in one part of the brain from spreading to other brain regions, while deep sleep may promote the spread of these seizures. Sleep deprivation also triggers seizures in people with some types of epilepsy.

Neurons that control sleep interact closely with the immune system. As anyone who has had the flu knows, infectious diseases tend to make us feel sleepy. This probably happens because cytokines, chemicals our immune systems produce while fighting an infection, are powerful sleep-inducing chemicals. Sleep may help the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to mount an attack.

Sleeping problems occur in almost all people with mental disorders, including those with depression and schizophrenia. People with depression, for example, often awaken in the early hours of the morning and find themselves unable to get back to sleep.

The amount of sleep a person gets also strongly influences the symptoms of mental disorders. Sleep deprivation is an effective therapy for people with certain types of depression, while it can actually cause depression in other people.

Extreme sleep deprivation can lead to a seemingly psychotic state of paranoia and hallucinations in otherwise healthy people, and disrupted sleep can trigger episodes of mania (agitation and hyperactivity) in people with manic depression.
Sleeping problems are common in many other disorders as well, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer and head injury. These issues may arise from changes in the brain regions and neurotransmitters that control sleep, or from the drugs used to control symptoms of other disorders.

In patients who are hospitalized or who receive round-the-clock care, treatment schedules or hospital routines also may disrupt sleep. The old joke about a patient being awakened by a nurse so he could take a sleeping pill contains a grain of truth.

Once sleeping problems develop, they can add to a person's impairment and cause confusion, frustration or depression. Patients who are unable to sleep also notice pain more and may increase their requests for pain medication. Better management of sleeping problems in people with other disorders can improve their health and quality of life.

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Set a schedule. Go to bed at a set time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. "Sleeping in" on weekends also makes it harder to wake up early on Monday morning because it resets your sleep cycles for a later awakening.

Exercise. Try to exercise 20-30 minutes a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep. For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 5-6 hours before going to bed.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake. (Sources include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs and some pain relievers.) Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal. Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep.

Relax before bed. A warm bath, reading or other relaxing routines can make it easier to fall sleep. You can train yourself to associate certain restful activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime ritual.

Sleep until sunlight

If possible, wake up with the sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of morning sunlight for people having problems falling asleep.

Don't lie in bed awake. If you can't get to sleep, don't just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television or listening to music, until you feel tired. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia.

Control your room temperature. Maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures may disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.

See a doctor if your sleeping problem continues. If you have trouble falling asleep night after night, or if you always feel tired the next day, then you may have a sleep disorder and should see a physician. Your primary care physician may be able to help you; if not, you can probably find a sleep specialist at a major hospital near you.

Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively, so you can finally get the full night's sleep you need.

Adapted from "Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm)" by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

Jan 7, 2012, 06:35 AM
Thanks but shared link is not working properly. Can you see the problem. Actually, I was curious about
that and wanted to visit it.
So, if you could fix it.

Link works just fine, check your network connection or computer. See http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/6-natural-tips-deep-sleep

6 Natural Tips for Deep Sleep By Dr. Maoshing Ni Apr 07, 2009

Health Experts Main (http://health.yahoo.net/experts) Dr. Mao's Secrets of Longevity by Dr. Maoshing Ni (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/bio/maoshing-ni)

[URL="http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/top-3-longevity-secrets-2012"]Top 3 Longevity Secrets for 2012 (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/top-3-longevity-secrets-2012)
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5 Secrets of Digestion (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/5-secrets-digestion)
Less Stress And a Long Life: Just Breathe (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/less-stress-and-long-life-just-breathe)

More Articles » (http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao)

Would you like to sleep like a baby (http://health.yahoo.com/nervous-resources/sleeping-better/healthwise--af1001spec.html) without taking drugs? Americans spend upwards of 3 billion dollars a year on sleep medications, but to avoid the side effects, there are a number of natural remedies you can try first. Read on to learn some of the ways to get a good quality night's sleep.

1. Relaxing Rituals to Rest Easy
In Chinese Medicine, nighttime is yin timeâ€"or, simply, when the body takes care of itself instead of your desires. Proper sleep is required for your body to repair itself and regenerate. To reach deep, restful sleep, your spirit and heart must be calm. Excessive worry, anxiety, and depression can all disturb the spirit and activate the mindâ€"making it near impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep. Rituals to sooth your spirit and induce a sleep response before bed include soaking your feet in Epson salts for 15 minutes, writing all of your thoughts in a journal to get them out of your head, and practicing relaxation before bed, like the Stress Release meditation below.

2. When Food Disturbs Sleep
When you eat late, you wake up tired. Your body will be busy digesting your dinner while you are trying to sleep, so you won't feel rested in the morning. Do not eat anything for at least three hours before bedtime. Also, cut back on eating bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, tomatoes, and sausage, especially before bed. These foods contain tyramine, which inhibits neurochemicals like norepinephrine and can cause insomnia. And, of course if you have sleep problems, caffeine should be cut out.

Eat for sleep! Try eating more grains at dinner; carbohydrates tend to make people sleepy. Another snooze snack is a warm cup of milk; because milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan (http://health.yahoo.com/tips/a-little-bite-before-bed/realage--2722.html), it can sometimes aid in deep sleep. Mix in natural vanilla flavoring for a soothing snack. Or if you prefer, eat 1 cup of natural yogurt an hour before bedtime.

3. A Peaceful Place for Sleep
Your sleeping environment makes a huge difference to the quality of your sleep. Do everything you can to create a quiet and cozy atmosphere. Ideally, your bedroom should be located in the quietest area of your home. Keep the décor minimal. Lighting should be dim and any music (http://health.yahoo.com/tips/sounds-of-slumber/realage--2636.html) that is played should be soothing. Research has found that lavender, vanilla, and green apple are among the best scents to help lower anxiety and induce sleep, making these smells a good choice for a scented candle or heated essential oil. Try to limit your pets to outside of the bedroom because their movements will keep with your body from fully relaxing into deep R. E. M. sleep. As much as possible, your bedroom should be only for sleep.

4. Exercise Enables Sleep
People with regular exercise routines often sleep better and have fewer incidents of insomnia than those don't get regular physical activity. Exercise promotes sleep (http://health.yahoo.com/tips/a-surefire-sleep-saver/realage--2421.html) and improves sleep quality by altering brain chemistry. Exercising moderately for 20 to 30 minutes three times a day, combined with meditation or tai chi (http://health.yahoo.com/alternativemed-therapies/tai-chi-and-qi-gong/healthwise--aa106255spec.html) in the evening, will not only help you fall and stay asleep, but will also increase the amount of time you spend in R.E.M. sleep. In fact, for some people, exercise alone is enough to overcome sleep problems. Exercise in the morning or afternoon, but do not exercise for at least two hours before bed.

5. Herbs to Sleep Tight
A calming tea (http://health.yahoo.com/nutrition-overview/chamomile/healthwise--ug1993spec.html) before bedtime can ensure a good night's sleep. Drink valerian or passionflower (or passiflora) tea before bedtime every night for one month. Simply steep 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dried herbs in one cup of hot water and drink just before bed. Or look for one with the traditional Chinese herbs zizyphus or jujube seed, bamboo shavings, and oyster shell, which soothe the mind and spirit.

You might also try Calm-Fort/Sleep formula (http://askdrmao.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=65) with useful herbs like lily bulbs, polygala and turmeric that help manage stress and calm the spirit while relieving restlessness and insomnia.

6. A Sleep-Friendly Meditation
I had one patient with insomnia who also felt anxious and even a little depressed. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies, I decided to teach her a stress release meditation that she could do before bedtime to help with her anxiety. I am happy to report that she is now sleeping like a baby.

Try this Stress Release meditation, which works for the majority of my patients who have sleeping problems:

Sit comfortably or lie down on your back. Slow your respiration to deep, abdominal breathing. Utter the word "calm" in your mind with every exhalation. Focus on relaxing each area of your body in sequence, from the top of your head to your toes. Starting with the top of your head, inhale and then exhale while visualizing your scalp muscles relaxing. Say "calm" in your mind. Repeat this with each body part as you move down through all body parts, front, back, and sides, in succession: your face, throat, chest, arms, stomach, abdomen, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, until finally you reach your feet. When you've relaxed your feet, visualize all the tension in your body leaving through your toes as dark smoke. Practice this for at least 15 minutes before bedtime.

It will have you sleeping in no time. If you do better with meditative visualizations that are narrated, try my Stress Release CD (http://askdrmao.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=65).

I hope you find the ways to resting easy and waking up refreshed!

May you stay healthy, live long, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao