Sleep for Better Respiratory Care!
Living with a lung condition brings enough problems of it's own, so we don't need any added probs because of lack of sleep! So hit the sheets! Well, not until you've read this post first! :()
Often those of us with Asthma and other lung conditions suffer from nighttime breathlessness, coughing or wheezing that can disrupt and outright obliterate any quality sleep!!
Researchers believe that some asthmatic symptoms can be partly due to circadian rhythms that's termed nocturnal asthma describing the phenomenon of symptoms of asthma becoming worse at night. Not every asthmatic experiences nocturnal asthma but if you feel that you are check with your doctor so that a treatment plan can be made to address the situation.
Airway resistance increases during the nighttime, and airway function is best just before onset of sleep and proceeds to decrease as sleep progresses. So, the more someone with asthma sleeps, the greater the chances of impairment of the lungs. Now this happens for everyone but for those with lung disabilities, the effects tend to be greater.
However, sleep is still extremely important for our overall health and ability to heal. Those with breathing issues need sleep not only because it can be exhausting when dealing with asthma and such; but our cells replenish themselves, and protects themselves from illness. Healthy sleeping effects every function from immune , liver, fertility and skin health to heart function [ less sleep makes the heart work harder because greater amounts of adrenaline gets released into our nervous system sending it into overdrive.]
So let's figure out how we can get more sleep!! Here are a few sleep remedies that have been backed by since to help us to catch those z's!
Melatonin Supplements which are available in liquid and pill form ( even gummies, but those may not be that effective! LOL ). A good quality melatonin can be purchased at your local pharmacy or a health market. All of our technology is causing a major sleep jam within our body!
[ It's important for kids to also put away all 'screens' an hour or two before bed for better sleep, many kids have trouble sleeping too. ]
Our tech backlit screens, tablets, phones, tv's trick the brain into believing that it's light out so our body doesn't produce the amounts of melatonin needed for a good sleep.
Check out of screen time an hour or two before bed to get your natural melatonin reset. I know that may be a challenge for most of us :() but getting better sleep for better breathing is certainly a prize worth reaching for!!!
Lavender's relaxing effects really does serve to help us unwind. It's powerful effects have been looked into for treating people with anxiety issues to calming people before surgery (love that! ), to being used as an alternative to sleeping pills.
Lavender oil and creams can be rubbed onto the skin ( feet, temples, wrists ) and inhaled which draws the scent into our amygdala gland in the brain ( where our emotions live ) for an immediate calming effect on the whole body. Making a lavender oil spray with a good quality essential oil pure water and even a carrier alcohol (I use pure Vodka to keep the oil and water from separating ) makes a great spray for bedding or anywhere else you want lavender's calming effects. An essential oil diffuser is another good way to permeate lavender oil into the environment for a restful
[ For your relaxing enjoyment or restful sleep, here's 8 hours of nature sounds. ]
Noise machines that recreate nature sounds triggers a relaxation response in the brain. A sound machine that has a Pink Noise option which a mix of frequencies that sound more natural than white noise is a great option. Neuroscience suggest that pink noise can also aid in improving overall sleep. If a noise machine isn't in the budget, there are many apps for phones and videos to be found online that are recorded beautiful and relaxing sounds of nature.
Chamomile tea is well known for aiding in sleep and reducing stress and has been a favorite option for thousands of years. Just drinking a warm beverage period elicits a relaxation response, so before hitting those sheets, grab a cuppa and sip your way into sweet dreams! [ If you have pollen allergies, chamomile tea may not be a good option because it comes from the camomile flower ], but there are so many varieties of non caffeinated herbal teas, like lavender or rooibos tea, even decaf green tea to get in those healing antioxidants and help to relax and rejuvenate!
Meditation a tried and true method for distressing, relaxing and also for better sleep! Mindfulness Meditation which is shutting out your environment by simply 'ignoring' it but being subtly aware of what's going on around you. Just sitting quietly or laying and breathing normally, and being... You will of course notice your thoughts, feelings and sounds but that's the point, just notice allow them to come and go without reacting to any of it.
I personally like to sit in complete silence or listen to the birds outside my window; but if you're uncomfortable with that level of quiet :() put on some soothing relaxing music or nature sounds and enjoy your time in this space beginning with 10 - 15 minutes and work your way up to more when you're ready.
There are plenty of mobile apps and audio programs to help to guide you through breath work and learning how to relax. That's one good thing about our tech age, we have help at a fingertip when we need it! LOL
[ Zone Out for your sleep health! ]
You will over time find yourself more relaxed overall with mindful meditation and you'll have this ready for action (or non-action!) whenever you're feeling like life's getting the better of you. A more relaxed state prior to bedtime will make for an easier time getting some quality shut eye!
So we have our arsenal of sleep tools for some serious z-catching! :() Try all or just a couple of these, because if you aren't sleeping, what have you got to lose? I love mindful meditation! It instantly relaxes me and gets me out of my own head! [ even when my thoughts are running around in there like the mad hatter, I can gently ignore them and relax into nothing, even if for a few minutes...
Sleep well! Our health depends on it!!
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