Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Technology Options for Restless Sleep-related Troubles

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Technology Options for Restless Sleep-related Troubles

Sleep troubles come in many forms, but fret not –there's an app, dietary change you can make, or a dental solution for that. In this article we are going to explore a number of solutions which will ease those sleep-related troubles and make them a thing of the past.

Why so Sleepy?

Sleep troubles in modern life are as common as depression, anxiety, obesity, health problems, and a whole other host of problems; and they're deeply inter-related, too.

Sleepless nights are a common side effect to modern life for a number of reasons. Our bodies are primarily adjusted in such a way that bright lights after sunset can trick our mental clocks into thinking it's daylight and therefore time to be awake; cell phones, bright lighting in public spaces, and the like all trick our brains into being wakeful long after it is time for our bodies to start winding down on a given day.

Stress at work, or worries related to family, the economy (money) or other challenges we face during the day often come back and hit us when we are most vulnerable –when it's time for bed.

While there is a whole pharmaceutical rainbow which promises us a good night's sleep, we prefer to take a more organic approach. And when we say “organic” we don't mean some hippie incarnation –we're talking about non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical sleep aids such as CPAP machines with mask that are still backed by science.

3 Ways to End Your Sleep Troubles with Technology

1. F.lux

F.lux is an app that you can now get on just about any device, from laptops to smart phones that adjusts the lighting of your screen to mimic the natural light your body is wired for at any particular time.

During the day it keeps your screen bright, and at night it warms up the shade of light to mimic that of a bonfire or the room you are in. It achieves this by removing “blue light” at a ratio that your body is more comfortable with.

The end result is that your brain is no longer tricked into thinking it's daylight, and it doesn't keep you wakeful into the evening hours the way your screen's default settings do. Adjusting screen brightness throughout the day can achieve similar results, but F.lux does it for you.

2. High DHA Fish Oil

Yes, this one is still chalked up to technology because of how it is processed and it can have positive effects on sleep quality and thoughtfulness. Consider it computer RAM for your brain; more processing power, less anxiety, better sleep.

High DHA fish oil contains an omega fatty acid that is responsible for healthy brain function, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and anxiety levels –and is a wonder for those suffering with ADD or ADHD. (And if you're like this blogger and think the latter is simply a symptom of a meagre diet and not an actual condition, high DHA fish oil will change your life).

High DHA fish oil is one of the only health supplements that can come in a “medical grade” format; Nutra Sea being one such company that stands behind their product enough to get it tested by standards typically reserved for pharmaceuticals.

Additional supplements that can assist with restful, uninterrupted sleep include St. John's Wort and Valerian Root. But don't take our word for it; Google them and “own” your findings.

3. Mandibular Advancement Device

Turning things up a notch; we realise stress or the inner workings of the brain aren't the only factors in restless sleep; a snoring partner or a sleep apnoea can wreak havoc on your sleeping hours. For these more troublesome situations, we recommend a mandibular advancement device. These devices work by tightening up the loose soft tissue in the back of your throat to reduce or eliminate vibration (snoring) or reduced breathing ability as suffered by those with a sleep apnoea.

The device used by those with a sleep apnoea is a little different; CPAP machines with mask are usually prescribed by a doctor to help one breathe comfortably while sleeping.

In Conclusion

Lacking sleep on a regular basis is a horrible way to live, and we hope that if you are suffering from sleep deprivation (perhaps you're reading this in the wee morning hours) –chances are a solution is easier to implement than you think.

These are our top 3 solutions for sleep deprivation; what are yours? 
Please share your thoughts with other readers in the comments so everyone can get their fair share of good sleeps and wakeful mornings.

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1 comment:

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