Insomnia or sleeplessness has become an epidemic in today's high-pressure world. More and more people are finding themselves unable to sleep and are turning to prescription sleep-aids to help them get a good nights rest. It seems that sleep is yet another casualty of the 'modern lifestyle'.
While prescription sleeping aids may seem like a magic cure for insomnia they often make the problem worse in the long run. People find themselves becoming dependant on a pill to get them to sleep and what's more, the medication begins to lose efficacy as the body becomes use to it. This means a higher dose is needed to get a good nights rest and with that phenomena comes the ever present chance of an overdose.
The better way to deal with insomnia is to take a look at the things in your life that are causing your sleeplessness in the first place. Granted there are, in rare instances, people with major neruochemical imbalances that require specific drugs to allow them to fall asleep, but that is far and away the exception rather than the rule.
For the average person stress is the thing that keeps them up at night. Stress about work, about money, their personal life, their kids and just about anything else you can imagine. Stress is what we comit to living with when we decide we 'need' a modern lifestyle. It is the flip side of the 'always on' instant access revolution that is sweeping across the world. So what can be done about this? The key is to get the balance back in your life.
The first step to a well balanced life is, you guessed it, a well balanced diet and exercise. If you fuel your body with proper food it will provide you with the energy to get through the day and deal with the stress life throws at you. Getting through you work day and 'turning it off' and the end of it all is key to a sound nights sleep. Sadly, although proper diet and exercise are the pillars of whole body health, many people today are wrongfully unaware of what they should eat, when they should eat it and above all, what they are missing from their diet.
Supplements: for many, it conjures up the image of a muscle-head working out in the gym, pumping iron and consuming vast amounts of chemicals. Other find the idea uninteresting because of the artificial aspect of getting your nutrients from a pill.
A good way to think about supplements are as a delivery system. They are nothing more then a convenient way of making sure you get all your vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds in a day.
If you are a bit overwhelmed by the choice of supplements on store shelves, you're not alone. For insomnia, I'd recommend a proper acai supplement. Acai will lay the foundation for whole body health, it is reported to give a large increase in energy to those who take it (an absolute must if you want to hit the gym after a hard day at work). It contains a significant amount of fibre, protein, omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9 as well as vitamin B—a proven stress reducer.
I touched on the topic of exercise a bit in the beginning of this article and I want to go back to it now. Nothing will promote a good nights sleep more than a vigourous exercise program. Ideally, you should strive for a balanced program that incorporates stretching, a cardiovascular routine and strength training.
Stretching, both before and after exercising helps the muscles heal quicker and prevents injury. It can also have quite a relaxing effect on the body as it triggers the release of endorphins (your body's natural painkiller). Strength training and cardio routines also trigger this release of endorphins, but because of the increase of adrenaline and other steroids as well as the activation of the 'aggressive' side of the nervous system they are as outright relaxing as stretching (which is another great reason to stretch both before and after you exercise).
Remember, if you're trying to achieve a good nights sleep naturally you need to exhaust your body's energy stores while at the same time giving it the nutrients and the 'building blocks' to fight stress, wind down and recuperate.
With a healthy diet and exercise as well as proper Acai supplementation, you'll be hitting the pillow before you know it.
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