In National Use of Prescription Medications for Insomnia, appearing in Volume 37, Issue 02 of the journal SLEEP, Harvard Medical School reports that approximately 3.5 percent (nearly six million) U.S. adults admitted to the use of sleeping pills within a one-month period of time. The study, conducted for the years 2009 and 2010, showed an increase over a similar study conducted in 1999-2000 which reported only 2 percent of adults.
Are you a shift worker who needs to sleep during the day but have a difficult time doing so due to the sunlight peeking in your windows? Can you not get your room dark enough despite room darkening blinds or blackout curtains? Is your sleep mask not blocking out enough light? If so, there’s another alternative in blackout window film.
Most people envision pampered debutantes when they think of sleep masks. The truth of the matter is that the people who need them most are often hard working people just like you. No one will argue the necessity or benefits of a good night’s sleep. It’s important to your overall health and well-being. However, many people around the world struggle to get the very sleep they need. A sleep mask can provide a great deal of help in that regard.
As far as most people are concerned, the sleeping cap is a historical item rather than something that’s relevant to people in need of a few hours’ worth of sleep in the modern era. In some ways, they’re correct. Most people do not need them in today’s world filled with modern conveniences such as central heating and air conditioning. That doesn’t mean, however, that they aren’t at all useful today. Many retailers still sell them today.
The History of the Sleeping Cap
While it’s not exactly known when or, specifically, where the sleeping cap (often referred to as a nightcap, sleep hat, or sleep bonnet) originated, at one time, sleeping caps were worn because fires died down and homes were incredibly cold during the late hours of night or wee hours of morning. Since the thought was a large chunk of a body’s heat escapes through the head, it made perfect sense to keep the head covered in an effort to retain body heat so you can remain warm throughout the night.
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health report, Effects of Drugs on Sleep, states that: “Chronic use or abuse of certain drugs may lead to the development of substance-related sleep disorders. Primary sleep disorders, such as apnea, periodic movement disorders, and parasomnias, may be exacerbated by various drugs.”
According to a Harvard Report on how External Factors Influence Sleep, the impact of prescription medications on sleep varies from one type to the next. For instance, beta blockers, which are commonly used to reduce blood pressure, cause decreased slow-wave sleep and in important REM sleep, while increasing sleepiness during the daytime hours. Alpha blockers, also used to reduce blood pressure and to treat some prostate conditions, also lead to decreases in REM sleep as well as boosts to daytime sleepiness. Some antidepressants, known as SSRIs, are believed to actually promote insomnia. The long-term impact of other antidepressant drugs on sleep are, as of yet, unknown.
When one thinks of natural ways to sleep better, usually the first thoughts to come into mind have to do with an all natural mattress, or natural sleeping aids. While these options are very important and crucial to the sleeping cycle, there is another option that might get overlooked. This option is plant therapy. It may sound a little strange, but there are certain plants out there that can actually help a person sleep better when placed in their bedroom at night. Want to know what plants are best suited for sleep? Let’s find out.
We’ve all had those nights where no matter what we try, sleep just doesn’t come easy. You try natural remedies and even your dreamlike latex mattress can’t help you. You’re not sick and therefore can’t take NyQuil or other cold medicines that serve a dual purpose and you don’t want to be on prescription sleeping pills. This is a dilemma many people face and until now, there has never really been a solution for them other than to stare at the clock or count sheep until they finally pass out. Now, we can all find relief with several top of the line over the counter sleep aids, including ZzzQuil, by the makers of NyQuil (of course), Doxylamine, and Valerian. These sleeping aids promise to have the same effect on a sleepy person as NyQuil, without the cold and flu remedies. But do they all really work? Let’s find out more about these supposed saviors for the sleep-deprived.