We are living in a 24/7 society where everything is fast-paced and life is run with the push of a button. But the irony of it is that at the end of the day, when your mind and body ache to retire for a much needed rest, sleep becomes elusive.

While some people can sleep and snore as soon as their bodies hit the bed or even as their heads rest on a bus seat, others find it very difficult to keep their eyes shut despite of their tiredness. There is more to sleep than just lying in bed and closing your eyes, then opening them the next day. Sleep is a dynamic activity. It is something goes on while you’re asleep, such as regeneration of the brain and consolidation of memories.

Most people experience having insomnia from time to time. But if insomnia lasts for a month or longer with no relief, it becomes chronic insomnia. People with chronic insomnia can often get help for their condition from a doctor, therapist, or other counselor.

Modern technology, however, has come up with a number of sleep aid products to help sleep problems. There’s an herb-scented “insomnia relief” face mask, a specially rigged pillow with soothing music, or a bracelet massage for your wrist as you lull yourself to sleep. Some people who can’t sleep with a light on may opt for eye masks. Light on the eyes affects the biological clock in our brain, which drives wakefulness or might make for a disturbed sleep.

There are white-noise generators aimed at providing stimulus control. These replicate the sounds of sea waves or waterfalls at a constant low level and mask other noises that may be picked up by the brain. These sounds actually help promote calmness and eventually, better control over one’s emotions and thoughts.

Aside from these sleep aid products, mushrooming around the country are several rent-by-the-minute sleep aid services such as “snoozing suites” or “catnap rooms” that are available for weary travelers and shoppers. Getting a good night sleep requires several sleep cycles consisting of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the four stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep. Each complete cycle lasts about 90 minutes. Should this pattern get interrupted, drowsiness will be experienced the next day.

Inducing a comfortable and restful sleep is a matter of personal comfort. Some kids can manage by hugging a teddy bear, while there are adults who get by listening to a relaxing music. Other sleep aid treatments are more common such as a glass of warm milk before going to bed. Milk is known to contain trytophan, a chemical that helps induce sleep. Another beverage that is good for dealing with sleeplessness is Chamomile tea which is an herbal alternative that is considered safe and approved by FDA. Getting regular exercise in the morning can help induce sleep in the evening. Do not engage in any strenuous activity before bed time. While relaxation and meditation can tame intrusive thoughts and tension, acupuncture, on the other hand, is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat insomnia. Avoid worrying as it hampers a good night sleep and allows you to produce stress hormones that can make you awake.

With regards to sleep aid pills, always discuss the nature of your condition with your doctor before taking any sleeping medications to avoid side effects and drug dependency.

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