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Breathing Tricks to Help You Sleep

Posted on: April 2nd, 2015 by vgmforbin
If you have problems sleeping at night, breathing exercises could be the solution.

If you have problems sleeping at night, breathing exercises could be the solution.

Most of us would like to improve the quality of our sleep each night. Even if we can drift off, our cycle is often interrupted by tossing and turning. There are many subconscious habits that can leave us alert rather than calm and relaxed. But one of the best ways to bring our body to a relaxed state is one that we don’t usually think about: breathing. Taking the time to be mindful of getting proper inhales and exhales could be the solution to shutting down your stress and solving your sleep problems. Give these breathing tricks a try tonight:

1. Take it slow

Many of us don’t know what it feels like to really use the diaphragm, abdominals and lungs to take a full breath, hold it for a moment, and then slowly let it go. Focusing your mind and body on these deep breaths will calm down your entire system. Lie on your back in bed and try breathing slowly for 10 minutes before dozing off.

2. Use a traditional meditative breath

If an anxious mind is robbing you of sleep, give meditation a try. Connecting with the rise and fall of your breath can help you relax tense muscles. This can also help you let go of any negative or stressful thoughts.

3. Alternate nostrils

Alternating between each nostril for the inhale and exhale of each breath is said to help the body and mind achieve a sense of balance and neutrality. Breathing through the nose sends signals of relaxation and homeostasis while mouth breathing subconsciously tells your brain that the body is in a state of stress. Find a comfortable sitting position with your eyes closed. Close off your left nostril with your right ring finger to inhale. Then close off the right nostril with your right thumb for the exhale.

4. Double down on the exhale

Many breathing techniques rely on an exhale that is twice as long as the inhale to bring calming and restorative benefits. The focus used to count the length of each breath keeps us from thinking stressful thoughts.

If you are struggling to drift off each night, maybe it is your breathing! Something as simple as breath control could help you find the relaxed state that is necessary for a quality night’s sleep. LA Medical knows the benefits that good sleep habits have on overall wellness. Visit us online or give us a call today!

Sleep Better Tonight! 8 At-Home Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Posted on: July 29th, 2014 by LAMedicalBlogger
Give these ideas a try and say goodbye to restless nights.

Give these ideas a try and say goodbye to restless nights.

August is one of the warmest months and sleeping in the heat can feel nearly impossible. You flip your pillow, turn on a fan, buy cotton sheets, and do a multitude of other tricks to stay cool. While it may be difficult to sleep in the heat, some people struggle sleeping every night, in every condition. Insomnia is caused for a multitude of reasons, the most common being depression, anxiety, obesity, change in schedule, stress, caffeine, and nicotine. While insomnia begins for different reasons in every individual, it can be eased with the use of these eight at-home natural remedies. LA Medical hopes you give these a try and discover a better night’s rest.

  1. Meditation is a practice that can be performed before bed to slow breathing and reduce stress hormones. Mindfulness meditation focuses all your energy and thoughts on the present. Focus on breathing or an object in front of you and stay present in the moment. Visualization involves all your senses as you picture yourself in a specific setting, acknowledging the sounds and sights around you.  Either practice can help calm your body and mind to prepare for sleep.
  2. Aromatherapy involves essential oils that are used to relax the mind and body. English lavender is traditionally used to help a person sleep. With a drop of lavender oil on a pillow or in a warm bath, it can provide a soothing smell and trigger the body to relax.
  3. Limit the intake of caffeine and nicotine. Both stimulate the body and brain and make falling asleep more difficult. Stop consuming caffeine six to eight hours before bed.
  4. Foods rich in magnesium have a natural sedative that can be found in almonds, cashews, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.
  5. Use your bedroom strictly for sleep. Avoid watching television, eating, or working in your bedroom.
  6. Establish a bedtime routine to trigger your body when it’s time to wind down. A hot bath taken two hours before bedtime is a great way to relax your body and mind and prepare it for rest.
  7. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the biological clock. Research shows taking a supplement 2 hours before bedtime will aid in falling, and staying asleep.
  8. Exercise done before bed can release adrenaline that make sleeping more difficult. However, regular exercise can improve mood and sleep, if done at appropriate times.

With a good night’s rest, you will have improved focus, mood, and energy. We value you and your health and hope you take the steps necessary to ensure your best physical state. LA Medical has bathroom safety equipment, walking aids, and other health and safety equipment available for your needs. We invite you to visit us online and give us a call today!

Sleep Disorders that May Affect You

Posted on: August 6th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Everyone likes to get a great night’s rest.  It helps us feel refreshed and ready to take on the day’s challenges.  Most people would think that common sleeping disorders deal with breathing during sleep and drinking beverages that keep you up at night.  These problems are true, but there are actual muscle and movement disorders that cause people to lose sleep at night.    LA Medical Retail encourages you to be aware of sleep disorders that may affect you.

Insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring are the three main sleep disorders that may affect the way you sleep and the overall quality of sleep you get.

Insomnia affects adults 60 and older and the most common reason they wake up at night is to go to the bathroom.  Other pain and discomfort people suffer from is heartburn and arthritis which causes you to wake up at night.  The downside to waking up at night with pain or discomfort is trying to get back to sleep.

Sleep apnea is caused by airways being blocked and the soft tissue in the back of throat collapsing during sleep. The lack of oxygen in your body causes your body to wake you up, sometimes when you don’t even realize it, to allow your body to breathe. Snoring is a common cause linked to sleep apena.  Snoring affects 40 percent of adults and is caused by a partial blockage of the passage from the nose and mouth to the lungs. This causes tissues to vibrate leading to the sound of snoring.

Another condition that causes people to stay awake at night is restless leg syndrome (RLS).  Very common with older people, RLS causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs like pins and needles, causing someone’s leg to jerk at night.

Take a look at LA Medical’s homecare beds and mattresses to help with a better night’s sleep today!

Not enough sleep at night may cause you to feel drowsy or get headaches.

Not enough sleep at night may cause you to feel drowsy or get headaches.

Disrupted Sleep- What’s Keeping You Awake?

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

Do you often wake up tired? Do you wake throughout the night? Good sleep is the foundation of good health, but good sleep is hard for many of us disrupted sleepfor reasons we may not even be aware of. There are many common potential “sleep stealers” causing disrupted sleep and LA Medical wants you to be aware of some of them so you can be well–rested and healthy.

Potential sleep stealer #1 is alcohol

While it’s true that alcohol is a depressant and a sedative at first, when the effects wear off and  your blood alcohol returns to normal, the effects wear off and you wake up.

It’s still okay to have a glass of wine or a drink or two, but make your “last call” early in the evening. Don’t rely on alcohol as a sleep aid and be very careful about mixing alcohol with any other sleep aid or medication.

Potential sleep stealer #2 is exhaustion

What? How can being exhausted be bad for sleep? Being exhausted doesn’t necessarily make people sleep better. Being sleepy or tired is a natural and good thing. It’s our body’s way of telling us we need rest. Being exhausted is when the body and brain are overworked and overwhelmed. We can crash into bed and then not be able to get the sleep we really want and not get the sweet relief of sleep. What can you do? Unwind. Experts say it’s best to let yourself relax before going to bed. Sit quietly, listen to some calming music, take a hot bath or shower, watch some TV. Give your brain and body a chance settle before hitting the sack for better sleep.

If incontinence is keeping you awake, talk to the experts at LA Medical. We carry a wide assortment of pads, briefs and other related products to help you deal with incontinence that can put your mind at ease and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep Disorders As We Age: Sleep Disorder Causes

Posted on: June 20th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

There’s an old phrase that says growing older is not for the faint of heart. As we age, we experience many things that never thought about before sleep disorder causesand never really wanted. One of those things may be trouble sleeping and sleep disorders.

Some sleep problems are just part of aging and are nothing to worry about. But there are some potential sleep disorder causes that should not be ignored. There are, however, potential problems that affect our sleep as we age. Some of the more common causes to sleep disturbances in older adults include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease- Of all of the horrible things that Alzheimer’s does, one of the most common is hurting our sleep. Many people with Alzheimer’s have extreme sleep disturbances and have their nights and days mixed up. This can prove troublesome for caregivers who have their own sleep interrupted.
  • Alcohol can cause sleep problems. Even though alcohol is a depressant and helps us relax initially, once the alcohol is processed by our bodies, the affect is gone and we wake up again.
  • Chronic disease, such as congestive heart failure and liver and kidney problems can affect our sleep. What our bodies are experiencing sends messages to the brain and either keeps us awake or wakes us up when we are trying to sleep.
  • Depression is a common cause of sleep problems in people of all ages, but especially in older people. Long-term depression and short term sadness causes havoc in our brains. Insomnia, restless sleep, sleeping too much, and stressful dreams are just some of the ways depression steals our sleep. Ironically, getting enough sleep is vital to fighting depression.
  • Not being active enough also has a negative effect on our sleep. When we sit around bored or camped in front of a TV and are inactive during the day, we don’t sleep as well at night. The body in neutral tends to stay in neutral. Experts recommend getting some physical activity and mental stimulation during the day. Don’t overdo it, start slow and notice the results in your sleep.

LA Medical cares about all aspects of our customer’s health. We carry a full line of products to improve your life and health while you’re awake and while you’re sleeping. From incontinence care products to orthopedic supports, see LA Medical first.

Sleep Disorders As We Age

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

We are a country of bad sleepers. Children fight naps, teenagers sleep until the afternoon, and grown-ups are chronically sleep deprived and livingsleep disorders on coffee! Ironically, by the time we enter our “golden years” and have enough time to really enjoy our sleep, we develop trouble sleeping.    Sleep disorders in older people are very common. Many people experience a growing problem with disrupted sleep patterns, such as problems falling or staying asleep, sleeping too much, or other abnormal behaviors with sleep.

If you are an older American (or have an older parent), what are some of the symptoms you have experienced? How often do you have difficulty falling asleep at night or when you want to? Are you having difficulty telling the difference between night and day?  Are you experiencing early morning awakening (too early, middle of the night) or do you find yourself waking up often during the night and then have trouble getting back to sleep? These are just some of the many troubles people have with sleep as they age. There are even more potential causes for these sleep troubles.

First of all, don’t assume that something is wrong with you. Sleep problems are common in older people. In general, older people need 30 to 60 minutes less sleep than younger people. Quality of sleep also declines as we age and our sleep is less deep and choppier than sleep in younger people. You can expect that even a healthy 70-year-old may wake up four times during the night. That doesn’t mean you are abnormal or sick; that means you are in your 70’s.

LA Medical cares about all aspects of our customer’s health. We carry a full line of products to improve your life and health while you’re awake and while you’re sleeping. From walkers to hospital beds, see LA Medical first.

Next time we’ll talk about some of the potential health related issues that may be affecting your sleep.

Sleep: The Why’s and How’s of Getting More

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by LAMedicalBlogger

How better sleep impacts your health

May is Better Sleep Month and LA Medical wants to stress how important it is to your overall health and how you can get better sleep.

Get 6-8 hours of sleep

The amount of sleep you get has an affect on many aspects of your health.

Here are some tips from LA Medical and Health Magazine on the many proven benefits to getting good sleep:

  • It can improve memory
  • It can help you live longer
  • It curbs inflammation
  • It spurs creativity
  • It helps athletic performance
  • It can improve your school (and work) grades
  • It sharpens your attention span
  • It helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • It lowers stress
  • It can help you avoid accidents
  • It reduces depression

No that you know why you need better sleep, here are some pointers from the Better Sleep Council on how to get a good night’s rest:

  • Make it a priority by keeping a consistent bedtime and wake schedule, including weekends.
  • Create a bedtime routine that is relaxing. Experts recommend reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
  • Create a room that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best possible sleep.
  • Evaluate your mattress and pillow to ensure proper comfort and support. If your mattress is five to seven years old, it may be time for a new one.
  • Keep work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.
  • Exercise regularly, but complete workouts at least two hours before bedtime.
  • If you sleep with a partner, your mattress should allow each of you enough space to move easily. A queen mattress is ideal for two people sharing a mattress.
  • Avoid eating, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. These can lead to poor sleep, keep you awake or disrupt sleep later in the night.

If incontinence is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, LA Medical specializes in products to help you sleep more comfortably. See our online store for a full list of products and supplies to not only help you sleep better, but live an overall better life!