Causes of Numbness in Arms and Legs …

A person may feel numbness in their arms, legs, and feet due to sitting in a position that puts too much pressure on the nerves or reduces blood flow.


When limbs seem to fall asleep, it can feel as if they are going numb, or as if a person has pins and needles. The medical term for this feeling is paresthesia, and it refers to the “pins and needles, numbness, or crawling skin”. This experience can happen at any time, with little to no warning.


Often, this is due to the position the person is sleeping in, where they are lying directly on a nerve in the limb. The idea that this experience occurs because of cut off blood flow does not appear to account for it completely. We’ve heard many people say this happens when they lie on their back with their arms crossed over their chest, and especially if they are a side sleeper.


But beside these positional factors, there are several medical conditions which have paresthesia as a symptom, let’s talk about the most common:

1. Diabetes

People who are struggling with diabetes know that they are at risk for diabetic neuropathy. If your blood sugar levels are high, there are chances of possible damage to the blood vessels that circulate blood to peripheral parts of the body.

Shortage of oxygen in the blood can also lead to nerve damage that causes numbness. But this numbness is first experienced on the feet and then on the hands.

2. Sleeping in a bad posture

When you sleep in a bad posture or sleep resting on one arm for too long, it creates excess pressure on the arm. This pressure compresses the nerves in that area and causes numbness.

3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel syndrome is where you are doing a highly repetitive motion (typing is the most common) where you put too much pressure on a particular nerve (the median nerve), which runs through the wrist. This can cause pain or numbness in the arms and hands, and an early sign is this tingly feeling at night.

4. Toxins and medication

Medical treatment like chemotherapy or medicine used to treat conditions like heart ailments or blood pressure can result in peripheral neuropathy. Being exposed to toxins in insecticides or other toxins such as mercury, arsenic, and lead can damage nerve cells.

5. Deficiency of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 performs the function of nerve signal transmission in the body. People who are deficient in Vitamin B12 can develop anemia, and will often experience numbness in the arms and legs.

It may be worth a blood test or a trip to the supplement aisle in your health food store for sure.

6. Alcohol abuse

Consuming alcohol in excessive amounts can cause numbness in the hands. Alcohol adversely impacts the nervous system. Alcohol abuse for a long period of time can cause permanent damage to nerve cells. This damage can be halted by reducing alcohol intake or giving up on it entirely. Nutritional deficiencies created by alcohol can also lead to peripheral neuropathy.

7. Other diseases

Other health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and lupus can cause peripheral neuropathy.



Ways to treat numbness in hands and legs:


1. Address the underlying cause

Finding out the real reason behind numbness in hands is important to understand what kind of damage there has been to peripheral nerves. Functional loss caused by damage to peripheral nerves can be treated if the damage is not too severe.

2. Live a healthy lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyle and habits like smoking and drinking are some of the leading causes of a condition like peripheral neuropathy. Adopting a healthy lifestyle which involves regular exercising and eating healthy can help in reducing the effects of peripheral neuropathy.

Doing stretching and strengthening exercises like nerve and tendon gliding exercises can help in reducing pressure on the wrists.

3. Try changing your starting sleep position

If you notice there is a particular position (your side) when it happens, then try sleeping on the opposite side, or on your back.

Don’t sleep on your arms at night – wrap a towel around your elbow to prevent you from bending it while you sleep.

Avoid raising your arms above your head while sleeping; this could reduce blood circulation and cause numbness.

4. Change your mattress

There is no other mattress that provides the same kind of even pressure relief as memory foam.

Memory foam mattresses conform perfectly to the shape of your body, totally eliminating the possibility of blocking your pressure points.

Basically, foam mattresses are made of a material that softens in response to heat and pressure. A good quality foam mattress should distribute weight evenly and support the body where it needs it most.

WHISPER’s DNA core provides support throughout the mattress that not only keeps you comfortable but also keeps the body in proper alignment. This means that all the lumpy bits of your body can sink in instead of taking undue pressure. On top of that, the Quantum foam in the WHISPER mattress is hypersensitive like memory foam, minimizing the risk of pressure points being disturbed.

5. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin is responsible for the hotness in peppers. The substance is believed to ease down the pain messages sent to your brain. Using a capsaicin cream can help in dealing with numbness in hand and feet. Use the cream cautiously because it may cause irritation and burning initially

6. Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels

Diabetics should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels to avoid numbness in hands and feet. Consuming foods like extracts of jamun, garlic, and fenugreek can help in controlling diabetes.

7. Alternative tips

Apply sesame oil on the wrist at least 3 times a week. Also, soaking hands and wrist in hot water every night before sleeping can help in relaxing muscles and relieving pain.

Applying a mixture of turmeric and honey on sore points can help in dealing with numbness in hands as well. Adding ginger to your diet can help in easing out pain because of ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties.


Ultimately, nothing replaces a visit to your doctor so please take any advice found online with a grain of salt and visit your physician should the symptoms persevere or worsen.

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The Nutrients That Can Help You Get …

Not being able to get to sleep can be a waking nightmare, particularly if it carries on night after night.

When it comes to getting the nutrients you need to keep your body and sleep healthy, remember this: food first.

Of course, there are occasions to strategically add in some smart supplementation to help fill in the nutritional gaps and get things back in line from a lifetime of deficiency, but the reason food is so paramount to getting these nutrients is that your body has evolved to “recognize” the nutrients that it can extract from whole foods.

There’s no guarantee that your body is going to readily assimilate the vitamin C from a supplement just because the pill bottle says it’s in there. Your cells and healthy gut bacteria are more likely to play nicely with real food than any fancy supplement.

So what should you be eating to ensure a great night’s rest? Here are some of the most important good-sleep nutrients and the best foods to find them in:

Vitamin C

Some research suggests that people with low blood levels of vitamin C have more sleep issues and are more prone to waking up during the night.

Excellent sources of vitamin C are superfoods like acerola cherry, as well as more everyday foods like bell peppers, green leafy vegetables, kiwifruit, strawberries, citrus fruits, and papaya.

Vitamin D

The ‘sunshine vitamin’ is thought to influence both sleep quality and quantity, and studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with less sleep overall and also, with more disrupted sleep.

While the majority of our vitamin D is made through exposing the skin to sunlight, small quantities can be found in oily fish, egg yolks and fortified foods.


A hormone naturally produced in the body, melatonin helps determine sleep and wake cycles. Light affects its production, with levels normally rising in the evening, remaining high during the night, and dropping in the early morning.

Very small amounts of melatonin are found in meat, grains, and fruit and vegetables.


Being iron deficient can lead to restless leg syndrome, where people feel they constantly have to move their legs when they go to bed, making it hard to fall asleep. Iron-deficient women tend to have more problems sleeping.

Iron-rich foods include liver, nuts, dark chocolate, beef, lamb, beans, whole grains, and dark leafy green vegetables, or you can buy iron tablets.


As well as strengthening bones and teeth, calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture melatonin, which induces sleep. This explains why a glass of warm milk is thought to help you get to sleep, as dairy products contain both tryptophan and calcium.


Known for its ability to relieve insomnia, magnesium helps you release tension and relax, preparing you for sleep. One study found the mineral, which can be found in foods including dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, and whole grains, helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol that can keep you awake.

Vitamin E

This antioxidant helps combat restless leg syndrome, thus making it easier for sufferers to fall asleep. Studies have also shown it can help relieve hot flushes and night sweats for menopausal women, and improve sleep quality. It’s found in many foods, including dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish and fruit.

B vitamins

Research suggests good levels of vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 may help achieve good sleep, as they help regulate the body’s level of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body produce sleep-inducing melatonin.

B vitamins are found in many foods, including fortified foods.


Used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans as a sedative and anti-anxiety treatment, valerian root is thought to increase the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a compound in the brain that prevents transmission of nerve impulses. If used over an extended period, valerian can help you fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.


The herb chamomile is usually drunk in a tea and has been used for centuries to help with sleep and reducing anxiety. There’s little research to prove its effectiveness though.


An amino acid found in green tea, studies show that while theanine, which is available as a supplement, isn’t a sedative, it does significantly improve sleep quality through its calming effects.


A deficiency in selenium could play a role in sleep abnormalities. It’s also critical for your immune system function and thyroid function.

With selenium, a little bit can go a long way. Great sources are Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, beef, oysters, chicken, and cremini mushrooms.


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8 Tips on How to Sleep Better While …

Traveling can be an incredible experience. Whether you’re traveling for work or flying overseas on an exotic vacation, there are things to see, foods to try and experiences to be had wherever you’re going.


But few things can derail your enjoyment of time spent away from home like the exhaustion that inevitably results when you don’t sleep well. And unfortunately, traveling is one of the times when interrupted sleep occurs most frequently.


To maximize the time spent on your trip by getting the best possible rest while you’re gone, follow these tips to enjoy better sleep while traveling:


1. Sleep strategically


Three days before you’re scheduled to travel, begin moving your bedtime an hour earlier (or later, as appropriate) than you normally would. Add another hour the second evening, and a third hour on the third day. It takes one day per time zone for your body to adjust, so planning ahead can help ease the transition.


2. Book your room carefully

While you can’t always ensure that your hotel room will be quiet, there are ways to hedge your odds. When you book your room, ask to avoid the lower floors, as well as hallways near the elevator or vending machines. Avoiding these areas will decrease your odds of getting kept up at night by outside noise. But packing noise-cancelling headphones or a pair of ear plugs just in case is always a good idea, regardless of where you’ll be staying.


3. Get exercise

Even if you’re on a luxurious vacation, making time for exercise is a must. Being active during the day will help you fall asleep faster at night. If you have the chance, consider walking to a nearby destination rather than taking a cab. Or if your hotel has a gym, you might want to throw on your sneakers and spend some time on the treadmill. Regardless of what you choose, avoid exercising right before bed. That will likely keep you awake – the exact opposite of what you want.


4. Drink water

When traveling, hydration is critical. Dehydration is a cause of fatigue during travel. This is especially true when you fly. The cabins of planes can become fairly dry, so be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your flight. Not only will this help you sleep better, it will also give you more energy during the day to enjoy the activities you have planned.


5. Pamper yourself

Traveling can take a lot out of you. Whether you had to deal with the hassle of a delayed flight or lost luggage, that stress can keep you from enjoying a pleasant night’s sleep. Get rid of that tension by taking time to pamper yourself. Depending on the options offered at or near your hotel, schedule a massage or indulge in a spa package to help you get the proper sleep you need to make the most of your trip. Even if you’re traveling for work, finding time for yourself will likely make you more productive when it’s time for meetings.


6. Personalize your room

Being away from home can make things a little disorienting when it’s time to sleep. Make your room feel a bit more like the space that you’re used to by bringing a few select touches. Choose items that are easy to pack, like a picture of your family, a favorite pair of fuzzy socks or your personal alarm clock. Having these items on hand at bedtime may help you relax and fall asleep. If you usually use a certain type of pillow, such as memory foam, call the hotel in advance to see if it can send one to your room or invest in a WHISPER pillow, which comes with a travel bag.


7. Keep a bedtime routine

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, chances are that you have a packed itinerary. While it might be tempting to stay out until the last possible moment to make the most of your time away, you should be sure to give yourself enough time to indulge in your normal bedtime routine. If you usually read for half an hour before falling asleep or grab a quick snack prior to getting in bed, try to stick as closely as possible to those habits. Your body is likely accustomed to your normal routine, so altering that routine may make it harder for you to fall asleep.


8. Skip the alcohol

When you have trouble falling asleep a nightcap might be tempting, but stay away from alcohol. While it’s true that an alcoholic beverage will make you sleepy, it’s also a REM sleep inhibitor, which means you won’t rest well even when you fall asleep. If you want a drink before you climb into bed, consider a glass of warm milk or herbal tea instead. Your body will thank you in the morning.


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How to Manage Your Sleep Around a N …

We all know that new born babies have a different sleeping pattern and it only changes as they grow.  You need to adjust to your baby’s sleep patterns but you also need to have the right amount of rest. To deal with having a newborn baby in the house, you’ll need more information about your little one.


What are the sleeping patterns of a newborn baby?

The body clock of most newborns is confusing during the first few days and nights. Most wake up during the night and sleep during the day.

There are no set sleeping hours for a newborn, but generally they sleep about eight to nine hours during the day, and eight hours during the night.

Your baby has a small stomach, and would get hungry every few hours. Expect that your baby would not sleep eight hours straight, but would need feeding every few hours.


How can you balance your sleep hours and caring for a newborn baby?

From birth to about age four to five months, babies innately possess a startle reflex, in which they feel as if they are falling. The sensation of falling causes jerking movements, and the baby will incidentally wake up. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, helping the newborn baby sleep both better and longer.

Limit the length of naps during the day

I know it’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long of a stretch during the day can rob nighttime sleep. If the baby sleeps past the 2 – 2.5 hour mark, you should go ahead and wake the baby up, feed them, keep them a wake for a bit, and then lay them down for another nap. If you feel the baby truly needs longer naps, feel free to increase the nap limit to 2.5 hours. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your newborn baby sleep better at night, and this way you can rest easily.

Use white noise

No one wants to miss a party, so if your baby is listening to all the fun going on in the house it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Place a fan on medium in the baby’s room rather than directly next to the baby, so it does not blow directly on him or sit too close to his sensitive ears. Using white noise also helps immensely when you are traveling!

Follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle

The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep.

This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings. Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically the only feeding before sleep.

Use pre-nap and bedtime routines

It is well known that babies thrive on routine, structure, and predictability. Creating consistent routines for your baby will help bring order to a very chaotic world. Choose a pre-nap routine that works for you. A pre-nap routine may include taking the baby to their room, closing the blinds or curtains, placing the baby in their sleep sack or wearable blanket, turning on the white noise, singing a quick song, giving a few cuddles, and saying your sleepy words.

Change your baby’s diaper strategically

Changing the diaper before the middle of the night feeding prevents the baby from waking up too much after a feeding is finished. When the baby wakes up, change the diaper and re-swaddle to prepare them for sleep immediately following a night feeding. If you change the diaper after the night feeding, the baby may become too awake, making it more challenging for them to fall asleep.

Understand how a baby sleeps

The more your baby sleeps, the more they will sleep. Keeping a baby awake in hopes of tiring them out will actually result in over-stimulation, and they will experience both difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. It is very likely an over-tired baby will sleep shorter, not longer.

Don’t rush in…

We may inadvertently encourage the start of a bad sleep habit by rushing in when a baby cries or rustles during the night. Often times, babies wake up, babble, and go back to sleep. The baby may even cry briefly or babble and still be asleep. Give the baby some time and see if they will resettle by themselves. Avoid rushing in and disturbing this process in order to help your newborn baby sleep better.

Lay the baby down awake, but drowsy

The most important way to encourage your baby to sleep well in the long run is to teach them to fall asleep independently, which is essentially the beginnings of teaching independent sleep.

Babies, like adults, will naturally wake up during the night. Without knowing how to get back to sleep, a baby will cry out after waking regardless of actual need, resulting in night waking droning on for much longer than is actually necessary. Once a baby gets older, falling asleep independently enables a baby to drift back to sleep after waking in the night, ultimately helping your baby sleep better in the long run.

Catch a nap

New moms shouldn’t try to be more productive during a baby’s nap time. A 20 to 30 minute nap will refresh you without causing sleep inertia, that groggy, out-of-it feeling when you wake up. Most people, not just new moms, could benefit from a short afternoon nap. But don’t sleep any later than 2 or 3 PM that may interfere with your bedtime. If your baby isn’t on a regular nap schedule, take advantage of offers of help from friends and relatives. Let your mother hold and entertain the baby while you crash for a while.

Make the most of the sleep that you do get

Once you finally do manage to squeeze in a few minutes of sleep, do yourself a favor and ensure it is quality sleep. Feel free to take a risk-free trial of the WHISPER mattress which is guaranteed to lull you into a deeply relaxing sleep faster than any other mattress. You should go for the best in these exhausting times.


Other Sleep Problems

Perhaps most frustrating of all is that sometimes we just can’t nod off, despite the fact that we’re desperate for sleep. Here are some strategies for dozing off.

Practice good timing

To help prevent insomnia, avoid eating heavy meals right before bed, don’t do stressful tasks at night, don’t exercise in the two or three hours before sleep (although early in the day is beneficial), and avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime. A glass of warm milk may help — warming the milk releases the tryptophan, which helps some people sleep.

Set the mood

Your bedroom should be a quiet, dark, temperate haven to induce sleep. Use light-blocking window shades, turn a bright alarm clock away from you, and invest in a new mattress. A memory foam mattress is a fairly low-maintenance commitment in terms of upkeep. These types of mattresses can benefit from rotating a few times per year and from occasional vacuuming, saving you time for the newborn.

Establish a sleep ritual

Doing the same thing each night before bed, such as reading a book or taking a bath, signals to your body it’s time for sleep. Try to make bedtime and wake time the same each day.

Seek professional help

Tell your doctor about any sleep difficulties you’re having. Some problems, such as insomnia, may be a symptom of a physical or emotional illness.


The baby becomes the top priority of any parent.  It is human instinct to take care of your baby but you have to understand that you need to be strong and healthy for you to be able to care for your baby.  You will not be able to give your baby the best care if you are always tired and lacking sleep. Make sure to try and manage getting enough rest within the day. Ask your doctor and talk to fellow moms about your baby’s needs and sleep patterns to better understand and care for your little one.


Make the most out of periodic naps by ensuring they are of the highest quality. Check out our WHISPER mattress with a 100-night risk-free trial.


Hosting Holiday Guests: How Everyon …

The many demands of the holidays can bring on some serious stress. Along with the obvious pleasure of having visitors, comes the challenge of ensuring all your guests are comfortable and happy.


To guarantee that your holiday is not spent chasing your tail and tending to their every need, here are some workable tips to get your home guest-ready. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy the festivities without being run off your feet. You’ll find these quick tips easy enough to tackle before everyone arrives, and your guests will appreciate that you went out of your way to make their stay special.


Be a good host: Act like a guest

Try spending the night in your guest room. It’s the best way to identify any shortcomings of the space that could use some attention. You might not realize that the sheets are scratchy, the pillow is lumpy and that old alarm clock has an irritating, low-level humming noise until you actually try sleeping in that environment yourself.


Cover all the essentials

One vital part of getting quality sleep is the bed. So start there when outfitting your guest room:

  • Lay out an extra blanket after you freshened it up with a fine mist of linen spray or placed it in the dryer on fluff cycle for a few minutes
  • Go the extra mile by making the bed with several pillows of varying firmness
  • How old is that mattress in the guest room again? If it’s at least 7 years old, it may be time to update it. Why not take a look at one that cleans itself to make your life infinitely easier – the WHISPER mattress
  • Take a good look at the window dressing in your guest room too. Blackout drapes keep the room dark and more conducive for sound sleeping. Insulated curtains cut down on any nasty drafts common at this time of year
  • Clean, comfortable sheets are a must
Add a few creature comforts

Your guests will come with baggage. Clear some closet space or empty a drawer in the guest bedroom if you can. If that’s not feasible, put a luggage stand or garment rack in the room. It’s a small touch that makes a big difference.


In a dream world, electronics would stay out of the bedroom to prevent blue light brain stimulation, but your guests will most likely end up taking their smartphones and tablets to the bed with them. Place a power strip on the night stand to put a charging station within easy reach. Write down your Wi-Fi password on a card as well. No one will have to feel like they’re bothering you to ask for it.


Admit it

You sometimes stub your toe on the way to the kitchen or bathroom at night. Imagine having to navigate a dark and unfamiliar home. Spare your guests the hassle and the dangers. Put a few bottles of water in the guest room the day your guests arrive. And to make those inevitable trips to the bathroom easier, install a nightlight with a yellow- or orange-hued lightbulb that illuminates the path without a jarring blast of bright light.


Be attentive to their schedule, especially if they are sleeping in the living room.

Remember that the common area is their bedroom; be sure they aren’t struggling to stay awake while waiting for everyone to clear out so they can go to sleep. Be considerate of their privacy, schedule, and space, even if that means having to turn in early because they are ready for bed.


Put some bedroom-like touches in your living room. Making a living area into a guest room can be tricky, but think of the few things that make a bedroom convenient and cozy, a lamp next to the sleeping area, a place to plug in cell phones and laptops, and a set of extra pillows, towels, and quilts close at hand.


Let some things go

Let the house get messy, be okay with losing a little bit of privacy (and possibly sleep), put some of your daily routines on the back burner while guests are there. Trying to keep everything going as normal while trying to entertain guests can be very frustrating, so keep the things that keep you sane (your morning run, for example) and let everything else go temporarily. Focus on enjoying your time with guests and ensuring they are comfortable, and everybody wins.


No guest bedroom? More than one guest?

You may not have the luxury of having a dedicated guest bedroom for everyone who will spend the night. So you’ll have to be a bit more creative to ensure everyone can get some rest.


If you’re feeling generous, give up your bedroom to your guest and you take the sofa. You probably fall asleep watching tv shows out there a lot already.


Set up a temporary bedroom using an airbed or feather bed that is easily stored when not in use. You may even have room for an extra WHISPER mattress under your bed that you can slide out when company comes. All these options benefit from the addition of a mattress topper.


It’s the thought that counts

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect holiday. There’s no such thing as a perfect host, either. Focus on enjoying the extended time you get to share with family and friends when they spend the night. Regardless of how well everyone sleeps, your guests will be grateful that you went out of your way to open your home for the holidays.


For a mattress that guarantees to keep everyone happy and comfy, check out the WHISPER with a 100-night risk-free trial.


Is It Possible to Learn Through Aud …

The idea of learning as you sleep was once thought very unlikely, but there are several ways, both low- and hi-tech, to try to help you acquire new skills as you doze. While there is no method that will allow you to acquire a skill completely from scratch while you are unconscious, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use sleep to boost your memory. During the night, our brain continuously processes and consolidates our recollections from the day before, and there could be ways to enhance that process.


Given that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, it is not too surprising that sleep learning has long captured the imagination of artists and writers. In most incarnations, it involved the unconscious mind absorbing new information from a recording playing in the background.


Bad Science

In reality, this particular kind of sleep learning is almost certainly impossible. Although some early studies suggested that subjects could pick up some facts as they slept, the researchers couldn’t be sure that they hadn’t just awoken to listen to the recording.


To test those suspicions, scientists attached electrodes on the scalps of their subjects, allowing them to be sure that they only played the tapes once the subjects were dozing. As they had suspected, the subjects learned nothing once they had dropped off.


On the other hand, some more recent studies in which students were asked to listen to new vocabulary words in a foreign language, showed that you might be able to improve your language skills by listening in your sleep. In this study, half the group went to sleep while the words were played back. The other half stayed awake and listened to the words. The group that slept remembered more of the vocabulary words. It’s difficult to say whether these results are indicative of actual sleep learning, the ability of sleep to solidify recent learning, or just the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, but it certainly is an interesting study to take into consideration.


In summary, the verdict is still out on whether sleep learning is possible. But regardless of the existing research, there actually are a few things you can try. Most of them depend on one thing: sound. Here are some of the skills you may be able to sharpen in your sleep.


1. Foreign words

One of the best reasons to try learning a language while you sleep is that you won’t be wasting time. Even if you learn nothing, you would have been sleeping regardless, so you won’t have wasted any valuable time that you could have used for something else.

Additionally, sleep learning might improve vocabulary retention. While the science isn’t there to support this yet, some studies do hint at the possibility.

Finally, exposure to your target language is beneficial. Even if you don’t learn anything in your sleep, you might wake up for a few minutes during the night and make the most of those moments by learning more vocabulary or improving your pronunciation.

In a recent experiment, scientists had their subject start learning a new language, beginning with some basic vocab. Then they asked them to go to sleep.

While they slept, the researchers played the sound of some of those basic words to the test group. The control group was exposed to no such sounds. Later on, when they were tested on the words, the group that had listened to them overnight was better able to identify and translate them.

To make sure the findings were tied to sleep and not just the result of people hearing the words, they had another group listen to the words while they did something else while awake, like walking. The walkers didn’t recall the words nearly as well as the sleepers.

2. Musical Skills

In another study, researchers taught a group of people to play guitar melodies. Afterwards, all the volunteers got to nap. When they woke up, they were all asked to play the tune again.

One group was played the same melody they’d just learned as they slept. The other group was not. The volunteers who’d been played the sound while they napped, even though they had no memory of it, played the melody far better than those who didn’t hear it as they snoozed.

3. Where You Put Something

In another study, researchers had healthy adults use a computer to place a virtual object in a particular location on the screen. When they picked a location and placed the object there, they heard a specific tune. Then, they did two experiments in which they had the participants nap for 1.5 hours.

During the first nap, participants dozed as usual, with no sounds playing. During the second nap, the tune that was played when they were placing the object was played again, though none of them reported hearing it.

Not surprisingly, after either nap, people’s memories faded. But their memories faded less when they’d been exposed, even sub or unconsciously, to the sound that had been played when they’d placed the item. Interestingly, their memories were sharper still when they’d been told the virtual object was of ‘high value’.

4. How to protect special memories

Scientists think our brains use a special tagging system to separate critical memories from less-important ones. Those the brain flags as ‘important’ get sent straight to our long-term memory, while less-important memories are washed away by new ones. But researchers think there may be a way to hack this system to our advantage.

In a recent study, they found that people who listened to a sound they’d linked with a memory, even an unimportant one, were better able to hold on to it.

First, they had a group of volunteers place icons on a computer screen in a specific location. The computer was programmed to play a specific sound when each object was placed. Placing a cat icon played a meowing noise; placing a bell icon prompted a ringing sound. Then, they let participants nap. While one group slept, the scientists played the sounds of some of the icons. The other group heard nothing.

People who listened to any of the sounds were better able to recall all of the objects: One sound appeared to help trigger multiple memories.



Our brain activity slows down in specific shifts overnight, with some of us spending more time in a special phase called slow-wave sleep (SWS) than others. But slow-wave sleep is also the phase of sleep when scientists believe some of our short-term memories are moved into long-term storage in our prefrontal cortex.


In some of these experiments, when researchers were able to study brain wave activity on the dozing volunteers, they noticed that those who were exposed to sound overnight, be it the foreign words played during the first study or the guitar tunes played as part of the second, also tended to spend more of their sleeping time in slow-wave sleep.


In other words, perhaps the more slow-wave sleep we get, the better – both for learning new skills and preserving important memories.


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How Do Dreams Work and What You Can …

Dreams are notoriously difficult to recall. In fact, if a dream ends before we wake up, we will not remember it. The processes that allow us to create long-term memories largely lie dormant while we sleep, which is why most dreams are forgotten shortly after waking.

For instance, an important neurotransmitter for remembering – norepinephrine – exists at very low levels during dreaming, as does electrical activity in areas key to long-term memory, such as the prefrontal cortex.

As the brain awakens, it starts to turn on processes needed for long-term storage. Thus, if we wake straight out of a dream, we have a greater chance of remembering it.

Studies show that people who have more theta brain-wave activity in their prefrontal cortex after waking from REM sleep have better dream recall. Theta activity indicates a slower-paced, more relaxed brain state, and greater theta activity has been linked to enhanced memory while awake.

The emotional content and logical consistency of a dream also affect how much of our dreams we remember. One study found that less coherent dreams were harder to recall than ones with strongly felt content and organized plot lines. The dreams we are likeliest to retain, nightmares and other vivid, emotional dreams, are accompanied by greater arousal of brain and body and are therefore more likely to wake us up.

When we fall asleep, not all the brain’s regions go offline at the same time. Researchers have found one of the last regions to go to sleep is the hippocampus, a curved structure that sits inside each brain hemisphere and is critical for moving information from short-term memory into long-term memory.

If the hippocampus is the last to go to sleep, it could very well be the last to wake up. So, you could have this window where you wake up with a dream in your short-term memory, but since the hippocampus is not fully awake yet, your brain is not able to keep that memory.

While this might explain why dream memories are so fleeting, it doesn’t mean that your hippocampus has been inactive throughout the night. In fact, this region is quite active during sleep and appears to be storing and caring for existing memories to consolidate them, instead of listening for incoming new experiences.


Capturing our dreams

The objective, therefore, is to remember what we dream about so that we can learn the meaning of our nighttime wanderings. Take a look at 9 ways to remember your dreams. Maybe these steps will guide you into those magical realms of sleep and give you the answers you seek.


1. Develop the habit of recording something every day upon waking

All new habits take about 21 days to develop, so you must record something every morning for 21 days. Even if you do not remember your dreams, write something as soon as you wake up. Remember that feelings are equally important for the interpretation of dreams as images and words, and can help reveal a large part of the dream.

But if you do not remember anything, then write something, even as simple as “I don’t remember my dream today.” Things you write are not as important as the act of writing because you make your subconscious work. This gives you something to write.

2. Always have a pencil, notebook or sound recorder next to your bed

When you start working on a method to remember your dreams, it is necessary to record them immediately upon waking. Dreams quickly slip out of the memory, often within seconds after you wake up. Jotting down your dreams will help you remember to repeat this action until you are recording something every time you wake.

3. Learn to wake up before the alarm

The shock from sound, music or radio can easily cause you to forget what you dreamed. Alarms are just that, they are shocking and horribly loud noises designed to rip you right out of your reverie.

Try to give yourself a command to wake up at a certain time which causes the subconscious to wake you before the alarm. This will help you avoid the loud deterrent.

4. Try to remember your dreams after a nap

Set your alarm clock for 20 or 30 minutes. It is believed that it is easier to remember dreams after a quick nap because in this case, the brain does not enter the phase of deep sleep where there are fewer dreams. Some physicians even say that shorter sleep times are actually healthy.

5. Give your memory the command to recall your dreams upon waking up

This is an exercise that needs practice. Think of your memory as a muscle that should be trained in order to grow stronger. Repetitively speak strength into your memories in order to recall things better.

6. Mattress matters

When you lie on a bed, you apply pressure on the network of thin blood vessels called capillaries just under your skin, in the area of your body which is in contact with your mattress.

This results in restricted blood flow in those particular capillaries. A message gets sent to the brain through nerve cells and pain sensors, telling the brain that you need to shift your position.

Unfortunately, this shifting, commonly known as “tossing and turning”, causes an interruption in the sleep pattern, so it needs to be minimized.

A good mattress reduces force on the pressure points, which results in better blood circulation and in turn, a sounder sleep with satisfying dreams.

7. If these techniques do not work on you, try reverse psychology

Give yourself the command not to remember any dream. Sometimes the subconscious is “reverse” and refuses to do what you are saying. So try telling it not to do what you really want to do.

8. Read something spiritual at bedtime

This can help provoke the emergence of a few subconscious visions related to your daily life. These will appear in your dreams and help you interpret.

9. If you finally recall a particular feeling, try to connect this feeling to an image or situation.

In this case, try to find traces of the dream in your memory. This technique can bring back a piece of the dream. If you’ve had these dreams before, they will return more often than not. When this happens, remember to write down all the details before they are forgotten.


Dreams are fleeting

Dreams come and disappear quickly. Some may return in what’s called repetitive images or sounds, but many of them never do. In order to understand how to remember dreams, think fast and utilize these steps. Maybe, after a bit of practice, you can fill a journal and decipher their meaning.

Although many people are predisposed to remembering their dreams due to a heightened sensitivity, you too can remember your dreams with a little practice.


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What Medical Risks Are Associated w …

Sleep is a biologic process that is essential for life and optimal health. Sleep plays a critical role in brain function and systemic physiology, including metabolism, appetite regulation, and the functioning of immune, hormonal, and cardiovascular systems.


Loss of sleep is a common problem these days. It affects a lot of individuals at some point in their lives. People vary in how much sleep they need and there is not a set amount of sleep to be considered sleep-deprived. Some people such as older adults seem to be more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation, while others, especially children and young adults, are more vulnerable.


Although casual sleep disruptions are generally no more than an annoyance, ongoing lack of sleep can lead to excessive daytime drowsiness, emotional difficulties, poor job performance, obesity, and a lowered perception of quality of life. Overall, low quality sleep or no sleep at all shortens your life expectancy.


How much sleep do we need?

Normal healthy sleep is characterized by sufficient duration, good quality, appropriate

timing and regularity, and the absence of sleep disturbances and disorders.


Most of us need around eight hours of good quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it. As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.


A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnea. But in most cases, it’s a matter of bad sleeping habits.


What happens to your body and mind when you don’t sleep?

Everyone has experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep. An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.


After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will cloud, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and will start to lose your ability to form new memories. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road increases.

If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.


What are the medical risks associated with low quality sleep/lack of sleep?

Immunity –  Sleep boosts immunity, so if you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.


Weight – Sleeping less can make you weigh more! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more. It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone.


Mental well-being – Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.


Diabetes – It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose, the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.


Sex drive and fertility – Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in having sex. Men who suffer from sleep apnea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido. Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation – in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can impair fertility by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.


Heart – Sleep wards off heart disease. Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.


Risk factors contributing to sleep deprivation and disruption

Risk factors for sleep disruption are vast and involve a combination of biologic, psychologic, genetic, and social factors.


Lifestyle factors include consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and drinking alcohol. Performing shift work or being a college student is also a risk factor for sleep disruption. Exposure to excessive nighttime light pollution and underexposure to daytime sunlight can lead to disruption of circadian rhythms.


Stressful life circumstances, such as being the parent of a young infant or serving as a caregiver for a family member with a chronic, life-threatening, or terminal illness, are also contributors to sleep problems.


In addition to the stress and worry associated with caregiving, caregivers of patients with complex medication schedules may experience sleep disruption due to the requirement to wake themselves during the night to administer medication.


How to catch up on lost sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.


Starting on a weekend, try to tack on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired and allow your body to wake you in the morning.


Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night, at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.


Find the mattress that best suits your needs and will prove to be the most comfortable. There are a lot of people who can’t get enough sleep because of their mattress, their pillows, or any number of factors.


Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.


And, for the end, here are some terrifying facts on sleep deprivation
  • When you fail to get your required amount of sufficient sleep, you start to accumulate a sleep debt. This cumulates and makes all the other side-effects more likely and more intense.
  • Sleep loss alters the normal functioning of attention and disrupts the ability to focus on environmental sensory input, meaning you underperform at work and have trouble with memory.
  • Lack of sleep has been implicated as playing a significant role in tragic accidents involving airplanes, ships, trains, automobiles, and nuclear power plants.
  • Children and young adults are most vulnerable to the negative effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Sleep deprivation can be a symptom of an undiagnosed sleep disorder or other medical problem.


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How to Use Music and Sounds to Help …

Whether a sound is relaxing or disruptive depends a lot on the individual. Sometimes we find sounds pleasant because of positive emotional associations, so the sound of man’s best friend barking can be relaxing for a dog person. But there are lots of sounds out there, and it can take some time to figure out which ones work for you. Neuroscientists recommend we try specific sounds for at least a few nights to find out if they are really helping us get a better night’s rest.


Rumor has it that music helps people sleep better. Most of us have dozed off to a serene tune, but how would it affect us, if we purposefully slept with the sound of music on? Does it really help us sleep?


The short answer is “yes”, at least for some kinds of music. A smooth relaxing tune does indeed help our bodies hit the snooze button, but on the flip side, volatile and unpredictable sounds can liven us up.


Make some (white) noise

White noise combines all noise frequencies to mask other sounds and sometimes helps treat insomnia. But be wary of white noise apps that can cause auditory nerve damage, especially for those who use headphones or have sensitive hearing. Instead, you can use a white noise machine, similar to a fan stand, or sites that provide this kind of sound.


Embrace nature

Ocean waves, rain-forest animals, thunderstorms, can all be pleasant sounds to fall asleep to. Natural noises are less likely to annoy us than some other sounds because they usually include fluctuations in amplitude and frequency. But those using rain and ocean sounds should make sure there’s a toilet nearby since we warn that the sound of water can trigger the need to use the bathroom.


Soak up the silence

Some people find no noise is good noise since it doesn’t have any associations with stress or negative emotions, so give silence a shot.


Play that music

When a head full of worries is keeping us awake, music can help us relax a little. Avoid music with lyrics that may keep the mind active, and instead try classical, folk, or slow-paced contemporary styles. But if you are using the radio or TV for music, use a timer, since the noise may disrupt sleep as the night progresses, whether we realize it or not.


It has long been known that music is a powerful universal language. Apart from lifting and guiding us through workouts, inspiring us through life it also helps us relax and reduce anxiety, as “the cherry on top.”


Music has the power to slow your heart rate and breathing, lower your blood pressure, and to send signals to your muscles to relax. These biological changes mirror some of the same changes that your body undergoes when you’re falling asleep, making music the perfect preparation for therapeutic slumber.


The music-sleep connection has been supported in studies all over the world. It works in young people and elderly men and women. Music even helps people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders get some shut-eye. A recent meta-analysis of music-sleep studies found that music helps people with both short-term and chronic sleep problems. It has also been found that music reduces blood pressure and decreases blood levels of cortisol (“the stress hormone”).


What should you do?

Choosing the type of music is a personal preference, and you’re most likely to relax while listening to familiar music that you enjoy. But keep this tip in mind: Slow tunes are ideal. Look for a rhythm of about 60 to 80 beats per minute (BPM). As you are falling asleep, your heart rate begins to slow, and starts to move toward that 60-beats-per-minute range. To put it differently, slow music “tunes” your heartbeat toward the sleep zone.


Familiar songs tend to work well, as do “easy listening” picks like classical, and folk music. It may help to experiment to see what works best for you.


It’s fine to fall asleep listening to music, but don’t wear earbuds or headphones to bed. They can be uncomfortable, and if you roll over wearing earbuds, you could hurt your ear canal. Instead, use pillow speakers. These devices are exactly what they sound like: pillows with speakers inside them.


Once you integrate music into your bedtime routine, stick with it. The benefits may not happen overnight- it can take as many as three weeks to see improvement- but listening to music pays off. Putting on some tunes can help you fall asleep faster, wake up less during the night, and feel more rested in the morning. Music can help sleepers of all ages, from toddlers through the elderly, at nap time and nighttime alike.


Can music and sounds make you fall asleep in seconds?

The honest truth is that sounds could potentially help you relax quicker. It all depends on your current state of mind and the way that you feel in general– that’s what’s important. Music can only facilitate the process if the circumstances are right.


Can music change your brain?

A melody can’t change your brain, but it can provide you with new and fresh perspectives. It can help you trigger emotions which are relevant to your mood or it could help you change the way you see things in general.


How does music affect infants?

Lullabies do have seriously relaxing effects on your infant. But it doesn’t have to be a lullaby; any soothing sound to fall asleep would help.



It seems that lullabies aren’t just for babies, after all- they’re great for adults, too.


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14 Great Tips to Help Your Children …

Healthy sleep is vital, especially in babies, toddlers, young kids, and teens. That’s because inadequate slumber and low-quality snoozing threaten healthy development and growth. In addition, poor sleep in children has been linked to behavioral problems, obesity, high-risk activities, and other serious issues.

Sleep deprivation in children can increase the risk of some common problems such as sleep talking or walking, sleep terrors and nightmares, and confused arousal (when your kids wake up confused and disoriented.) Ensuring your child gets enough sleep can help decrease or completely eliminate these episodes.


Signs Your Child Is Sleep-Deprived


Children can often have trouble verbalizing they are sleepy and letting you know about it by themselves. Parents need to look for contextual cues that mean their child is sleepy.


Interestingly enough, children present completely different symptoms of sleep deprivation to adults. Adults get sleepy and groggy, but children often react to sleep deprivation in one of two ways: they’re either cranky, clingy, crying a lot and throwing temper tantrums or just the opposite, they’re overactive and hyper because their bodies are running on adrenaline. In the latter instance, a child will often resist sleep, which misleads the parent into believing that the child isn’t tired.


Overtiredness causes the following disturbances in children: frequent night wake-ups, early wake-ups, short or broken naps, resisting naps (excessive crying or extreme giddiness), night terrors, or bedtime battles.


Overtiredness can also cause behavioral issues such as meltdowns, hyperactivity, clingy behavior and/or being unable to play independently, refusal to eat.


Setting healthy sleep habits when your child is young is the key to their wellbeing.


But, before you start adjusting your nightly routine, it helps to know how many hours of rest to aim for. Here’s how much sleep most people need at different ages:


Infants:                        Nine to 10 hours at night, plus three or more hours of naps.

Toddlers:                     Nine to 10 hours at night, plus two to three hours of naps.

School-age children:   Nine to 11 hours.

Adults:                         Seven to eight hours.


Good sleep for children

A good night’s sleep is about getting to sleep and staying asleep. Most children wake up by themselves in the morning if they’re getting enough good-quality sleep.


Getting to sleep


Most children fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. How long it takes to get to sleep can depend on how sleepy your child’s body is, and also on their daytime and bedtime routine.


Some bedtime routines help your children wind down before bedtime so they can fall asleep more easily.


Staying asleep


During the night, your child cycles between light sleep, deep sleep, and dream sleep.

Your child gets most of their deep sleep during the first few hours after falling asleep. During the second half of the night, their sleep consists of light sleep and dream sleep.


Your child wakes briefly as they cycle between light and dream sleep, but might not be aware of being awake. To stay asleep, your child needs to be able to fall back asleep by him/herself after these brief waking episodes.


Here are 14 tips to help your child get enough sleep and avoid being overtired:


1. Create a bedtime routine

Having a proper bedtime routine is essential to both kids and adults. A bedtime routine includes phasing out any arousing activities in favour of more relaxing ones. Physical activity can also get kids energized and more awake, so refrain from letting them run around too much before bed.

A routine of bath, story, and bed can help younger children feel ready for sleep. For older children, the routine might include a quiet chat with you about the day then some time alone relaxing before lights out.

A bedtime routine should be just that – a routine. So try to keep it consistent night after night. This will let your child know that it is time for bed.

2. Get everyone involved in the routine

One reason kids stay up is because they are afraid of missing out on things while they sleep. One way to fix this is to have the whole family get ready for bed together. Dimming the lights, brushing your teeth together, and getting into your pyjamas can all help kids go to sleep instead of suffering from FOMO.

Show them it’s dark outside, there is nothing to do now and everyone is sleeping.

3. Keep regular sleep and wake times

Keep your child’s bedtimes and wake-up times within 1-2 hours of each other each day. This helps to keep your child’s body clock in a regular pattern. It’s a good idea to maintain it through weekends and holidays, not just on school days.

4. Avoid daytime naps for older children

Most children stop napping at 3-5 years of age. Daytime naps might make it harder for children over five-years-old to fall asleep at the beginning of the night. If older children are getting enough sleep overnight, they shouldn’t need a daytime nap.

5. Check noise and light in your child’s bedroom

A quiet, dimly lit space is important for good sleep. Check whether your child’s bedroom is too light or noisy for sleep. Blue light from televisions, computer screens, phones, and tablets might suppress melatonin levels and delay sleepiness. It probably helps to turn these off at least one hour before bedtime and to keep screens out of your child’s room at night.

6. Create a comfortable bedtime setup

First things first when it comes to a sleep environment: you must have a good-quality and safe mattress for your baby and child.

Some kids may have trouble falling or staying asleep because of allergens that cause itching, overheating and congestion. Have your child tested for allergies if you suspect this to be the case, and put them to bed in breathable, hypo-allergenic mattress.

7. Turn off electronics

Remove televisions, computers, games, and other electronic devices from their rooms. These devices promote wakefulness through both stimulating content as well as light which mimics daylight and tricks the brain into thinking it needs to stay awake.

Electronics should be turned off or taken away at least an hour before bedtime.

Allowing TVs and computers in their rooms provides them with possible distractions that you won’t be able to control once you’re out of the room.

8. Don’t use sleep as a punishment

Some parents tend to make sleep seem like a punishment, for example, “If you don’t do this, you’re going to bed.” This creates the wrong kind of association in your child’s mind since sleep should be perceived as positive.

Parents should stress the benefits of sleep to their children – how it will make them grow big and strong and help them have energy to have fun the following day.

9. Don’t get in bed with your child

Getting into bed with your child until they fall asleep teaches them that they cannot do it without you and creates an unhealthy dependency on the parent.

10. Teach your kids to self-soothe

Parents need to help their children learn to fall asleep on their own. Letting your child fall asleep on you and then taking them to bed can cause kids to react badly when they wake up. Singing or talking to them before sleep is fine, but then gradually leave the room and let them fall asleep on their own.

11. Give them a transitional object

Kids like to have something comforting to cling onto, so giving them an object like a stuffed animal can help comfort them. This way the parents do not need to be involved and present at all times for the child to fall asleep.

12. Make sure your child feels safe at night

If your child feels scared about going to bed or being in the dark, you can praise and reward them whenever they are brave. Avoiding scary TV shows, movies and computer games can help too. Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light.

13. Eat the right amount at the right time

Make sure your child has a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make your child more alert or uncomfortable. This can make it harder for them to get to sleep. In the morning, a healthy breakfast helps to kick-start your child’s body clock at the right time.

14. Get plenty of natural light in the day

Encourage your child to get as much natural light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Bright light suppresses melatonin. This helps your child feel awake and alert during the day and sleepy towards bedtime.


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