How Do You Know If You’re Getting Enough REM Sleep?

Do you know what REM sleep is? Do you know how important it is for your overall health? And, most importantly, do you know whether or not you’re getting enough of it? It’s only in recent years that we’ve become aware of what REM sleep is and how important it is so the overall health and wellness of the average person. So we’re dedicating some time and space to talking about this important topic today. Get ready to learn all you’ve ever wanted to know – and then some – about REM sleep.

REM Sleep: the Basics

You sometimes hear people talking about it and TV or movies, but the way they discuss it only really scratches the surface. REM is an acronym for rapid eye movement”. In a way, this name is a little bit funny. This particular stage of sleep got its name because – surprise, surprise – one very common characteristic of REM sleep is that a person’s eyes tend to dart back and forth rapidly. But the funny thing about it is that the rest of the human body in a healthy individual is completely paralyzed. It’s a physical state called atonia.

The human body slips into atonia during REM sleep because this is the stage of sleep where most people experience dreams. And when people dream, if something somehow inhibits the atonia process, there’s a high likelihood they will get up and start to physically act out what they are experiencing in their dream world. This phenomenon has been shown in animal experiments where scientists have purposely inhibited the atonia process. Examples of it in humans are what many believe to be instances of sleepwalking. The reigning theory is that atonia is the body’s natural defense mechanism to protect us from ourselves while we dream. If we didn’t have atonia, who knows – we could end up walking straight off a cliff in our sleep!

The brain is very active during REM sleep, contrary to what most people believe. Another funny name for REM sleep is called paradoxical sleep because brain wave activity spikes to the point where in almost resembles that of a waking person. But there may be a reasonable explanation for this. Scientists firmly believe that REM sleep is the portion of your sleep cycle where your brain is processing and storing new memories. It’s almost like running a defrag program on your hard drive – except for your brain!

Why Does the Human Body Need REM Sleep?

The body requires REM sleep for optimal mind-body health and wellness. If it weren’t for REM sleep, you would have some serious memory problems – especially when it comes to long-term memories. Studies show that people who get a good, healthy amount of REM sleep have better and more reliable long-term memory. They also do better when remembering recently learned things, like cramming before a final and getting an A instead of a B on the test. And if you have been working hard to learn new information recently, then your body will very likely spend more time in a REM sleep state during your nightly rest.

People of every age need REM sleep – but certain ages need it more than others. Infants, children, and teenagers spend the greatest amount of time in REM sleep. The younger your brain is, the more things it has to learn as you grow. It was completely understandable why the body would dedicate so much of its sleep resources to getting enough rem. As you get older – and this is especially true the less time you spend learning new things and/or practicing the skills you have – the less time your body will spend in REM sleep. And the less REM sleep you get, well…That brings us to our next section.

What’s the Harm in Getting Less REM Sleep?

Two words: cognitive decline. And we’re not just talking about memory or tripping on your own tongue or being able to do Sudoku less quickly. We’re talking about a myriad of different symptoms, such as:

  • Migraines
  • Decline in coping skills
  • All day fatigue, especially in the morning
  • Very low energy levels
  • Age-related brain diseases and symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Forced rebound REM sleep and delirium tremens (in extreme cases)

There’s a chance you could also experience weight gain, inflammation, and poor immune responses as a result of too little REM sleep. It’s during this stage of sleep and the slightly deeper stage – delta sleep – that your body cleans house and repairs most of the damage you received from your daily activities. But if your body never hits these sleep stages, those repairs never happen. And it screws up everything in your body from your immune system to your metabolism to your brain function and beyond.

How to get the healthiest possible REM sleep

The best way to make sure the most REM sleep you can when you need it most is to avoid drinking alcohol too close to bedtime. Alcohol is a strong and well-known inhibitor of REM sleep. Benzodiazepines have a very similar effect, which is problematic seeing as how often they are prescribed for conditions like insomnia and anxiety.

There are other drugs which also inhibit REM sleep, but not nearly as profoundly as alcohol or powerful narcotics. Cannabis has been shown to depress the REM sleep cycle, although there isn’t enough scientific data to suggest whether certain strains create this affect more than others – or whether there may actually be strains of the plant which can help encourage and improve REM sleep. Prescription sleeping pills which are not benzodiazepines, as well as off-label prescription sleep aids and over the counter sleeping pills can also inhibit REM sleep. Your best bet is to stay away from these drugs if you can.

So what should you do instead of relying on hard drugs to help with your sleep problems? Try to find a safe, natural sleep aid to help you get the rest you want and the REM sleep your body needs. Avinol PM is great for that. It has the perfect mix of natural ingredients that are potent enough to give you the sleep you need but gentle enough that they won’t produce any negative side effects or leave you groggy the next day. You should try ordering some Avinol PM now!

You Might Want to Start Supplementing With Melatonin at Night

Supplementing with melatonin in order to help you get better sleep is a very popular habit these days. If you haven’t tried it yet, you may be skeptical about whether or not it actually works. Is it just a placebo? Does it really help people get to sleep faster, and sleep better through the night? Are there other health benefits besides improved sleep quality? If you keep reading, you will find out all of the answers to these questions and more. You may even decide that a nightly dose of melatonin is right for you.

Explaining Melatonin’s Role in the Human Body

Melatonin is one of the most important hormones in the human body. Yes, you read that right; melatonin is a hormone. And it has a very strong connection to your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a series of biological reactions in your body which happen as a result of the rising and setting of the sun in any 24-hour period. If you have a healthy sleep cycle and healthy melatonin production, this means you will feel awake and energized in the morning and tired and ready for bed at the end of the day. Unfortunately, for most of up these days, this is not the case.

Melatonin is an extremely important component of the human circadian rhythm. It becomes most active and most potent what’s the sun begins to set. Daylight is full of what scientists refer to as “blue light”. The reason the human body tends to wake up and feel active during the daylight hours is because this blue light flip a switch in your brain with shuts off melatonin and produces other, wakefulness hormones to get you going. Before the invention of electricity – especially many of our modern electrical appliances today – the only time the human body was exposed to this blue light was while the sun was up. Unfortunately, these days, we are exposed to it 24/7.

When your body is constantly bombarded with blue light, your internal switch never flips. Your body doesn’t get the hint that the sun has gone down and that it is time to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) so that you can get ready for a restorative night’s rest. This leaves many people feeling restless, anxious, and wide awake at bedtime. The best solution to this problem is to avoid electronic light within a few hours of bedtime so that your body knows it’s time to pump out melatonin. Unfortunately, for some, this is easier said than done.

How to Produce More Melatonin

It may be difficult, but it is not impossible to retrain your brain to produce melatonin at night and slip back into a healthy circadian rhythm. Here are some simple steps you can take in order to encourage nighttime melatonin production:

  • Spend as much time in the presence of natural light – especially during the early morning hours – as you possibly can. Early morning light exposure helps prime your brain to be more wakeful earlier in the day and more relaxed in the evening
  • Make small investments in blackout curtains and/or a thick, comfortable sleep mask which blocks out ambient light. Sleeping in complete darkness (or as close to complete darkness as you can get) helps your body produce more melatonin
  • Either limit your exposure to electronic light in the evening hours (this includes computers, tablets, smartphones, televisions, and the like) or buy yourself some blue light blocking glasses to help your brain produce melatonin before you go to bed
  • Mindfulness meditation in the evening has been scientifically shown to promote relaxation and shift brain waves into a more relaxed state

We hope that making one or several of these changes can have a positive impact on your ability to sleep well at night. But if you’re still having trouble, it’s understandable to reach for a melatonin sleep supplement. And you’ll be happy to know that there are even more benefits to melatonin supplements than just better sleep!

Melatonin Supplements Have Whole Body Benefits

The most popular reason to take a melatonin supplement is to promote relaxation, drowsiness, and better sleep quality at night. But that’s not all melatonin can do for you. There are other secondary benefits which you can enjoy with a daily dose of melatonin. You may be surprised at some of these!

Melatonin Is a Strong Antioxidant

We’ll bet money you just learned a new fact that you didn’t know before. For those who are out of the loop, antioxidants are natural compounds which protect human cells from oxidative damage. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid oxidative damage. It’s a common byproduct of your cells performing their day-to-day functions in order to stay alive and healthy. Cells can’t avoid oxidative damage any more than a human being can avoid going to the bathroom. But an excess of oxidative damage can I have some very serious consequences if you don’t clean it up by infusing your cells with antioxidants.

Antioxidants protect against DNA damage which, over time, can cause deformed cells and may even lead to cancer. Antioxidants also protect your mitochondrial health which scientists are now starting to discover has a direct effect on youthfulness and anti-aging. Healthy cellular mitochondria are also responsible for making you feel energized during the day.

Other Health and Wellness Benefits of Melatonin

So those are the microscopic benefits of melatonin. But what about the macroscopic ones? Well, melatonin improves your immune system function. It helps protect against harmful levels of inflammation while also enhancing your T-cells ability to neutralize viruses and bacteria. There are also strong correlations between melatonin supplementation and reduced severity of chronic anxiety, ADHD, and autism symptoms. To be clear, melatonin is not a cure for these conditions nor should this article replace competent middle advice from your doctor. But if you or someone you know is suffering from any of these conditions, it may be worth discussing melatonin supplements with your physician. Lastly, melatonin supplements have helped people with chronic headaches.  Melatonin is exceptionally appropriate when you’re talking about cluster headaches. It has been shown to both reduce the severity and the frequency of these types of migraines.

Is Melatonin Safe?

Melatonin is absolutely safe. There is no such thing as “overdosing” on melatonin. No one has ever died or gotten sick from taking melatonin supplements. And it doesn’t have anything close to the horrible side effects which prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills do.

Oh, did we mention Avinol PM contains a generous amount of melatonin? Along with the other herbs, botanicals, and amino acids, melatonin makes up an essential component of this natural sleep aid. We hope you at least consider giving melatonin a try. And if that works well for you on its own, just imagine how much better it will work as a part of the Avinol PM formula.

Does Your Sleep Diet Suck? Improve Your Bad Sleep Diet Starting Today

Did you know that your diet could be having a detrimental effect on your sleep? And it’s not just what you’re eating – it’s how and when you’re eating it, too. As a matter of fact, those last two factors are much more important than scientists and Sleep Experts used to believe. Below, we’ll get into the how and when of your diet that you need to change in order to get better sleep. We’ve talked previously about what goes into a good sleep diet – but if you don’t improve upon your bad sleep tight, you may still have issues with your sleep.

The What, the When, and the Why of a Poor Sleep Diet

If you’re having trouble getting good sleep, then you may be eating/drinking things that are contributing to the problem. You may not have to completely eliminate them from your dad and lifestyle if you consume them at the right times. However, you should still know about the dangers they pose if you really want to improve your nightly rest.

The What: Alcohol

The when: too close to or immediately before bedtime  

The why: Look, we get it. Whether it’s a recommended dose of powerful cold medicine or a good, stiff drink (if not several), it feels like it’s easier to get to sleep when you’ve got some alcohol in your system. It does a great job of knocking you out, especially if worries and anxieties keep you up at night. But over the long term, this is a terrible thing for many reasons.

Alcohol only knocks you out – not unlike some prescription sleeping pills. But it doesn’t keep you asleep all night. Most people who fall asleep while intoxicated sleep fewer hours and experience a more shallow sleep cycle than they would have had they gone to bed sober. On top of all that, most people report having more difficulty getting back to sleep. This makes sense, especially with excessive intoxication that can leave you feeling miserable and hungover when you wake. Lastly, the reason we sleep is to restore and regenerate our bodies after the damage of our day. but this doesn’t happen if you fall asleep and your body has to divert resources to metabolizing the alcohol in your bloodstream. This causes cumulative damage over time which not only disrupts your sleep, but causes harm to your overall health.

The What: Caffeine

The when: anytime during the afternoon or evening hours

The why: Caffeine is perfectly fine in moderation and when you restrict it to the morning hours only. But excessive caffeine intake and/or ingesting it at the wrong time of day can wreak havoc on your sleep. Caffeine can continue circulating in your bloodstream from anywhere to 6-8 hours after you drink it (or take a caffeine pill). It may take even longer for your body to process it if your metabolism is slower than average. This means that at bedtime when you should be relaxing, the caffeine is spiking your cortisol levels. High cortisol levels make you feel stressed out, anxious, and alert. The evening hours are the worst possible time for your cortisol levels to spike.

The What: Spicy Food

The when: late at night

The why: Because it can cause you pain and other unpleasant symptoms of indigestion. Falling asleep is difficult for many of us for non-physical reasons. But experiencing acute pain on top of that? Say hello to tossing and turning all night! Worst of all, spicy foods can aggravate your stomach lining and even relax the stomach valve that keeps your food from rolling back up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn or force you to sleep in an uncomfortable inclined position, make it harder for you to fall asleep.

The What: Processed Food

The when: 24/7

The why: Your body needs specific micronutrients, amino acids, and minerals in order to produce happy, relaxing neurotransmitters in your brain. When you don’t get enough of these nutrients, you suffer from things like serotonin imbalances, poor melatonin production, and hormone dysregulation. This will completely throw your circadian rhythm out of whack and throw a wrench in your daily sleep cycle.

We know we probably sound like a broken record by recommending that you eat more fruits and vegetables, but it really does work. Fresh produce gives you things like B vitamins, magnesium, and certain types of whole food fatty acids which are essential for producing sleep hormones at night. The more processed food you eat – anything that typically comes out of a can, a box, or the freezer section of your supermarket – the more excess sodium, processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats you end up digesting. Not only are these foods scarce in nutrients, but there are notorious for causing the type of hormone dysregulation which makes you gain weight, feel depressed, and promotes sleep deprivation.

The Upside Down Food Pyramid (and How it Affects Your Sleep)

Take a look at the eating schedule most people typically follow on the standard american diet: a small or non-existent breakfast in the morning, intermittent snacks between late morning and early evening when they should be eating lunch, and a large, calorie-dense meal sometimes within an hour or two of going to sleep. As it turns out, this is the exact opposite way we should be eating. Our bodies evolved and adapted to a completely different eating schedule.

A healthier eating regimen looks like an upside-down pyramid. You start out by eating your largest, most calorie-dense meal soon after waking up. This is just like filling your tank with gas right before starting a long road trip. You load your body up on the fuel it needs to get through a day. Eating a moderate lunch in the middle of the day helps give you an extra boost if your energy levels start to drop. Finally, a small meal in the evening which is eaten (at most) two to three hours before bed can give you a little nutrition to help your body reset and restore itself while you rest. The fewer calories you ingest, the sooner your body will start fasting while you sleep, which triggers all sorts of great health benefits.

On top of everything, you should add a natural sleep aid to your daily sleeping and eating schedule. It helps enhance and improve the benefits you get from following a healthier sleep diet. It’s amazing what just a few simple lifestyle changes can do for improving your rest and overall health.

Start Following a Good Sleep Diet Today

Start Following a Good Sleep Diet Today

You may not have heard of the good sleep diet – but that’s because it’s a relatively new phenomenon. Yes, there is a type of diet you can and should be following if you want to get better sleep. But it’s not all about what’s on your plate. It’s a series of lifestyle choices you need to follow if you want to make quality sleep an important priority in your life.

First, Get Yourself on a Regular Sleep Schedule

One of the most important circles in the good sleep diet – even more important than your plate – is your clock. Your internal clock especially is very important when it comes to getting a healthy amount asleep when you need it. And if you want to sync your internal clock with your daily schedule, you need to stick to a regular sleeping schedule. Otherwise, you may leave yourself tossing and turning at night, failing to sleep at all, and always feeling tired the next day.

It’s not just the schedule where you rise with the sun and sleep in the evening, either – it’s the schedule around how your feed yourself which also plays an important role. The past few decades have shoved this idea down people’s throats that eating little to nothing in the morning and a big dinner in the evening is the healthy way to eat. This is SAD – the Standard American Diet – and it is exactly what the acronym implies. Take a look at the checklist below and make a mental note of which ones apply to you:

  • Do you eat a small breakfast each morning, if you eat one at all?
  • Do you skip lunch often, usually in favor of grazing on small snacks throughout the day?
  • Do you eat a large meal late in the day, sometimes within an hour or two of your bedtime?

Doing any or all of these things are likely causing problems with you getting enough sleep. But there are ways to change your habits in order to conform to a good sleep tight. Those, according to science, are:

  • Take your meals like an upside-down pyramid and eat most of your calories in the morning
  • Polarized eating can confuse your body, making it hard to sleep at night – so don’t skip lunch!
  • Swap your eating habits between your breakfast and your dinner – eat the fewest calories in the evening instead of at night
  • Do not eat a single crumb of food if you are 2 hours away from your bedtime or less
  • Nighttime snacks are only allowed if it is absolutely impossible for you to sleep on an empty stomach

We understand that nighttime discomfort can be a huge source of sleep distress. If you do need a late-night snack in order to calm your stomach, keep it very small and very simple. A glass of warm milk with a banana is a good example; it provides you with both the protein and the natural, complex carbs that you need to unlock the sleep hormones in your body.

If you sit down and think about it, this upside down pyramid strategy makes more sense than eating the other way around. You’ll get most of your calories in the morning when you need to fuel your body the most. You can ride those calories out during the day and taper off in the evening when you don’t need energy because you’re getting ready to sleep. This can also help you lose weight because if you burn through your daily calories earlier in the morning and afternoon, you won’t have very many calories to store as fat when you go to sleep in the evening.

A Good Sleep Diet Includes Good Sleep Hygiene

A good sleep diet, if you’re looking at the big picture, is a small but essential part of overall good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is the name for the series of events you go through in order to perfect your bedtime routine. We plan on releasing a much more detailed post on sleep hygiene in the near future. But until then, start small with these tips:

  • The blue light from your electronics can sabotage your sleep because it stops your brain from producing melatonin – so turn off your electronics right before bed
  • Sleeping in a cooler room helps signal your body that it is time for bed; but we wouldn’t recommend anything below 68 degrees, or whatever you can afford on your energy bill
  • You can use certain things like blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out all the problematic ambient light; this light can also disturb your circadian rhythm at bedtime

We’d also like to add that manufactured sleeping drugs can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, too. Sure, they feel like they help. But they also make physical changes to your brain which causes many problems when she tried to stop using them. And even if you get off them successfully, the long-term damage will compromise your natural ability to get high quality sleep. so don’t do it! Go for a natural sleep aid instead.

The “Diet” Part of the Good Sleep Diet

Eating a diet that is also healthy for your sleep is actually fairly simple. It’s all about adding more healthy foods and cutting out the unhealthy ones from your meals. We’re sure we sound like a broken record when we say that you need to eat more whole foods from the produce section of the grocery store; but the reason everyone is repeating that sentiment over and over again is because it’s true! The more fresh, whole foods you eat, the more nutrients you will get. And the more nutrients you have circulating through your body, the easier it will be for your body to produce sleep hormones like melatonin when you need to get your rest.

When it comes to unhealthy foods, what should you cut out? Simple carbs, processed grains, and processed fats. Basically, anything that comes out of a box, a bag, or a can should be kept to a minimum. These foods are very light on nutrients, which interferes with your ability to produce sleep hormones. Furthermore, they’re abnormal molecular structure causes toxic build up in your system. This toxic buildup can eventually travel to your brain and make it difficult for you to feel sleepy when you should.

We hope you’ve gleaned a lot of valuable information on a good sleep diet from reading this article. Keep checking back for a follow-up about the bad sleep diet, and ways to avoid it.

If You’re Not Afraid of Off-label Prescription Sleeping Pills, Maybe You Should Be

Is your doctor thinking about prescribing you an off-label prescription sleep aid? Or do you already have a prescription filled? If the former scenario applies to you, then it’s not too late. If you’ve already had the script filled, you might want to call your pharmacist and ask if you can get your money back. In this article, will explain why.

Which Medications Do Doctors Prescribe Off-label for Sleep?

It’s okay if you don’t know off the top of your head which medications doctors usually prescribe off label for sleep. Heck, most people don’t know the names of medications that do get prescribed on-label for sleeping problems. But the fact that you’re on the internet right now searching for information is a good sign. It means you care about your health and your quality of sleep. It also means you understand the importance of a second opinion.

You should ask your doctor for as much information as possible about any and all medications you’re taking. You should ask for the name of it, you should ask about common side effects, and you should definitely ask whether or not it’s being prescribed on- or off-label for you. If your doctor tells you it’s an off-label prescription, be sure to follow up and ask him or her why they feel that’s the best option for you. It’s good to know all of this information to confirm that the medication isn’t being given to you irresponsibly.

After you get all of that information from your doctor, you can compare that to the information we have here for you in this article. Below is a brief summary of the top three off-label sleeping pills which doctors usually prescribe if their patient is having trouble sleeping. If you recognize any of these names, then you should pay especially close attention. Because you may learn about something your doctor hasn’t told you yet.


If you have a Mirtazapine prescription, you should be wary of the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Fast and significant weight gain
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • High triglyceride and cholesterol levels
  • Dry mouth


For some people, This drug may go by its prescription name Remeron. But it also goes by other names depending on what country you live in. When this drug was originally invented it was used as an antidepressant. Unlike most antidepressants, however, it is not an SSRI. Most psychiatrist believe that mirtazapine is especially helpful for people with anxiety disorders. It is also typically prescribed on-label for nausea or for people who are vomiting so uncontrollably that they can’t keep food down. Doctors prescribe this medication to stimulate appetite in such cases. But since it is capable of inducing fatigue, it is a very popular off-label sleep aid.


For patients who are prescribed amitriptyline, the most common side effects they experience include:

  • Nightmares, or increased frequency of nightmares they were already having
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Decreased libido  
  • Impotence
  • Drop in blood pressure upon standing
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches  
  • Dizziness

Some can argue that amitriptyline is the most popular off-label prescription sleep aid. How did it become that? It’s a very good question. When drug companies originally started marketing the drug, they claimed it was most helpful for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. It was also prescribed for other, less clinical mental health issues. It is perhaps one of the oldest antidepressant medications out there. There has been some reported success and patients using amitriptyline for ADHD, but there isn’t as much evidence for that disorder as others. And it’s even considered an off-label script when it comes to ADHD. Still other doctors will write a prescription for amitriptyline to patients with fibromyalgia, posturepedic neuralgia, and other forms of miscellaneous nerve pain.


We’re starting to notice a pattern here: all of these off-label prescription pills, trazodone included, are antidepressants. Also, just like the other antidepressants on this list, trazodone is known to help patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. And what keeps most people awake at night? If you guest anxiety, you get a gold star. It makes sense to an extent to prescribe antidepressants for sleep if a) they are also designated for anti-anxiety purposes, and b) they have side effects which include drowsiness.

But there’s something about trazodone – and the other antidepressants on this list – which raises red flags. Specifically, it’s the dosing instructions patients get. It’s especially bad with trazodone because when it’s used off-label for sleep, patients can choose to take anywhere from 1 to 3 pills before bed as needed. “As needed” means they don’t need to take it on a daily basis. And if you’ve ever had an antidepressant prescribed to you, this will sound very strange.

Most doctors and pharmacists insist that antidepressants must be taken at the same dose every single day in order to avoid serious adverse reactions. They also advise titrating up slowly until reaching the most effective dose, and titrating back down slowly if you need to get off the medication for any reason. So which is it: are doctors being unnecessarily cautious when instructing their patients had to take their antidepressant medication, or are they being negligent and reckless when they tell patients to take these off label sleeping pills willy-nilly, whenever they want? At the end of the day, the answer to that question lies between you and your doctor. And it’s up to you to make the best decision for your health and wellness.

As an extra precaution, be sure to watch for the following side effects if you do decide to take trazodone to help with your sleep problems:

  • An erection lasting longer than 4 hours (a dangerous condition called priapism)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Hepatotoxicity of the liver
  • Worsening depression or thoughts of suicide
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Orthostatic hypertension

The One Natural Cure Which Doesn’t Require an Off-label Prescription

There’s one sure-fire natural cure for sleeplessness that we know of – and it’s called Avinol PM. Between melatonin, 5-HTP, lemon balm, hops, and more, it has everything you would want in an herbal sleep aid. There are no known side effects – unlike the other pills we talked about so far – and it has a very high success rate as reported by satisfied customers. Many people who take this supplement report sleeping through the night more frequently, falling asleep faster, and waking up refreshed. Most prescription sleeping pills can’t produce those same results – whether on label, or off.

Is Your Doctor Being Honest About the Potential Dangers of Prescription Sleep Medication?

We’ve all had our problems getting the rest we want. Sometimes, when we struggle with this problem more often than not, those commercials on TV advertising prescription sleeping pills are very tempting. But if you have the means to get one of these scripts from your doctor, take pause for a moment to really think about the consequences before you rush to the pharmacy.

There are some very good reasons why you can’t just pick up these pills over the counter. If the drugs were safe as the drug companies want you to believe, why would you need both a pharmacist and a medically trained doctor to give you permission? The truth is that these powerful drugs are given out more often than they’re actually needed these days. And this wanton disregard for people’s safety in exchange for profit is doing more harm than good for people who probably don’t even need prescription sleep medication in the first place. Before you take a prescription in order to help you sleep, make sure you know about all of the risks. Otherwise, the treatment can become worse than the disease.

Prescription Sleep Aid Side Effects 101

Whether it’s for legal liability reasons or because there are very real concerns, the warning leaflets for most medications these days are the size of a small dictionary. And that’s just the information the drug manufacturers want you to know. There are some other things that they would rather keep secret, such as…

The Correlation Between Cancer and Prescription Sleep Aids

A recent scientific study analyzed the relationship between mortality rate, positive cancer diagnosis, and prescription sleeping pills. And this wasn’t published in some fly-by-night journal – this was published in BMJ Open, which is both indexed and well known for its scientific integrity. According to the study, people who took prescription sleeping pills on a regular basis had both higher mortality rates and were more likely to develop cancer in their lifetime. On top of this, there is some buried data conducted by FDA studies which may show that this BMJ study is evidence of not just correlation, but possible causation as well.

Sleeping Pills Have Withdrawal Symptoms

There are many reasons why someone may decide to quit sleeping pills cold turkey. Maybe they are forced to because they lose their health insurance or the medication suddenly becomes too expensive. Maybe they have to switch primary care doctors, and this new caregiver cares enough about their health to take away their script. Maybe a person up and decides on their own that they’ve had enough. Regardless, there are many unpleasant if not downright dangerous side effects you may experience from sleeping pill withdrawal. Some of those include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Panic attack
  • rebound insomnia, which can lead to sleep deprivation

There are a number of people who are taking prescription sleeping pills right now not because they want to or still need to, but because they are afraid of how miserable the withdrawal will be. This creates a cycle of dependence and addiction not unlike that of the opioid epidemic.

Performing Unhealthy, Dangerous, and Even Deadly Activities in Your Sleep

You’ve probably heard a funny story about somebody sleepwalking or sleep eating or sleep tweeting racist comments while under the influence of a prescription sleeping pill. You may have just laughed it off in passing; but the truth is that doing any activity (other than sleeping) while under the influence of prescription sleep medication can be extremely dangerous. Eating late at night – and most likely eating very unhealthy foods – is both bad for your waistline and your long-term health. Walking around while not conscious enough to remember it the next day often leads to serious falling injuries like fractures and concussions. Some people have even been known to drive a car or engage in sexual activity while still technically asleep. these extreme examples are incredibly dangerous for obvious reasons.

Of course, the potential lethality of prescription sleep aids isn’t limited to what you do out of bed while unconscious. They can kill you in your sleep even if you stay in bed all night. Sleep apnea is a serious condition where a person’s airways become blocked and they stop breathing while they sleep. Prescription sleeping pills have been clearly shown to exacerbate symptoms of sleep apnea. This cuts off oxygen to your brain and the other major organs of your body, potentially leading to death.

Prescription Sleeping Pill Alternatives

Some people may read this and decide never to touch a prescription sleeping pill. Others may feel conflicted. After all, if your insomnia problems are very serious, it may feel like these drugs are the only answer. But if they’re too dangerous to take the risk, what else is there? Is the small chance of injury or death really that much worse than chronic insomnia? And if so, what else can a person take to alleviate their sleep troubles?

Some people may be tempted to reach for an over the counter sleeping pill. Since they’re sold in pharmacies and don’t require a prescription, they should be safe, right? Wrong. We’ve talked about over-the-counter sleep aids before, so we strongly urge you to read our report there. But to make a long story short, over the counter sleeping pills have their own inherent dangers and risks. They are only a slightly less unappealing option then a prescription.

Instead, you should try natural methods first. Many people are unaware how poor their sleep hygiene is and how much relief they can find from practicing better habits. Others may be surprised to find out that there are plenty of natural, herbal sleep aids on the market which can be just as effective as any drug. Better yet, these herbal remedies don’t come with the horrific side effects that you would experience from a prescription sleeping pill. Some of the most popular ingredients include melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile – just to name a few. You can relax naturally and get deep, restorative, high-quality sleep by using a natural sleep aid instead of a dangerous medication.

Poor Sleep Isn’t Just Annoying – It’s Leaving You Wide Open and Vulnerable to Dangerous Diseases!

Most people are well aware of how annoying it is to wake up groggy and tired after a night of little or no sleep. What’s even worse is that everyone can tell when you haven’t slept well. You’ll be cranky, you’ll have dark circles under your eyes, you’ll suffer from a serious case of brain fog, and just be miserable in general. But it’s not going to kill you, right?

As it turns out, missing out on quality sleep is more than just annoying. Not getting enough sleep and/or getting poor quality sleep can have some serious consequences when it comes to your overall health. While it’s common sense that driving or operating heavy machinery while sleepy can have some disastrous health consequences, most people aren’t aware of the more insidious ones. The most dangerous of all – the one you’re least likely to notice until it’s too late – is the way poor sleep or lack of sleep damages your immune system.

How Does Poor Sleep Destroy Your Immune System?

It has been proven time and again that your average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night in order to be optimally healthy. But what most people don’t know is that the quality of your sleep cycle is just as important as how many hours of sleep you get (if not more so). We will address the issue of your nightly sleep cycle in a future blog post because it is to important and to nuanced to simply discuss in passing. But the long and short of it is that you need to devote sufficient time to the shallow sleep, REM, and deep sleep stages of your cycle if you want to stay healthy. And if you don’t, there are a multitude of negative health consequences that can come from it. Immunosuppression is only one of them.

Unfortunately, for most of us, getting enough hours of sleep or completing a healthy sleep cycle doesn’t happen all the time. And when you fail to get that sleep you need, it causes more problems than you think. According to recent scientific studies, researchers have exposed something previously unknown: a lack of quality sleep has the same as subjecting yourself to excessive and unhealthy levels of stress.

Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there. On top of sleep deprivation being the same thing as exposure to excess stress, your lack of sleep produces a stress reaction of its own. When this happens, your body gets confused and thinks that it’s sick. When the body believes that it is under assault from an infection or a virus, it ramps up its immune system. And this effect can happen after even as little as one night of poor sleep.

A lack of proper rest can send your T-cell levels plummeting. T-cells are like the foot soldiers of your immune system – they are the cells responsible for cruising through your bloodstream on a search and destroy mission for pathogens. No matter how hard you work to protect yourself from exposure to pathogens, your efforts can be rendered moot if even a single bacterium sneaks into your body. When you don’t have enough T-cells to find the infection and neutralize it quickly, it is free to multiply en masse. When this happens, you start to feel sick. If you can’t prevent the infection from multiplying before it reaches a critical mass, it will take over your whole body and cause massive damage which could leave you crippled or even dead.

Before you say to yourself “well, I always get my flu shot every year, so I’ll be safe, right?” The answer to that question isn’t always a definitive “yes”. In reality, getting your flu shot after a restless night can do more harm than good. Some flu vaccines include a weakened form of the virus as opposed to a completely dead one in order to help your body build and boost its immunity to the pathogen. If that weakened virus gets into your system and your T-cells don’t eliminate it quickly, it’ll basically be the same thing as someone injecting you with a live, active strain of flu.

Boost Your Immune System by Getting Better Sleep

As horrible as it feels to struggle to get to sleep at night, it’s actually easier to get the rest you need than you think. You can use special techniques to change the way you wind down for bed in the evening. These techniques help make it easier for your body to relax so that you can get the rest you need. Many of them fall under the umbrella of sleep hygiene, and we will be happy to tell you all about them in a future blog post.

We feel like it’s important to take a minute and provide you with a cautionary warning. Prescription sleeping pills and over the counter drugs aren’t a very good solution to the problem. They make most people feel as if they’re getting sleep, but this is merely an illusion for the most part. Over the counter sleeping pills are particularly insidious since they cost less than prescription pills and they are easier to obtain.

Unfortunately, these drugs interfere with the ability of your brain and your body to get truly restorative rest. When your brain doesn’t get the restorative sleep it needs, certain regions of the brain (such as the pituitary gland, among others) can’t regulate your hormones correctly. This can have a very direct and detrimental effect on your sleep. So we strongly recommend against using over the counter sleeping pills in order to alleviate your sleep problems.

For now, though, you should focus on trying to find natural solutions to your nightly restlessness. We highly recommend an herbal sleep aid – especially one with a good amount of melatonin – for sleep problems. Products which contain not just melatonin but compounds like 5-HTP and lemon balm are excellent for helping you fall asleep safely and naturally. There are plenty of products out there, too – it’s just a matter of doing the right research and finding the sleep aid that works for you.

OTC Sleeping Pills Are More Dangerous Than You Think

There are millions of people all over the world who struggle to get good sleep at night. And if you’re reading this right now, odds are that you are one of them. In many countries, all you have to do if you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep is drive down to your local pharmacy, walk down the medicine aisle, and pick up the bottle of over the counter sleeping pills.

Or do you? For the longest time, TV commercials and labels on sleeping pill boxes have been telling us that sleeping pills are “safe”, “non habit forming”, and that you won’t wake up feeling groggy or fatigued the next morning. But science is now starting to confirm something which most people have known anecdotally for a very long time: almost all of these claims are 100% false. Below, will tell you everything about OTC sleeping pills that the companies who make them don’t want you to know. Starting with their biggest secret…

All Sleeping Pills Are the Same. Seriously.

You know how there’s basically an entire wall of sleeping pills in the medicine aisle at the drugstore? You would think that because there are so many different brands on the shelves, they would all be different in one way or another, right? Unfortunately, you would be wrong. And if you don’t believe us, we strongly suggest you take a closer look at their active ingredients the next time you’re in a drug store.

The pharmaceutical compound in sleeping pills that makes you feel drowsy is something called diphenhydramine. Historically, when diphenhydramine was originally discovered, doctors and scientists thought that it would make an effective allergy medication. But as more and more people started taking the drug in order to alleviate their allergy symptoms, doctors started noticing their patients reporting the same symptom: extreme drowsiness.

After enough anecdotal evidence had established a substantial connection between diphenhydramine and it’s a sedative effects, drug companies everywhere pounced on this knowledge in order to make a quick buck. They took whatever allergy medications they had patents on, redesigned those drugs, and rebranded them as sleeping pills. Sure enough, they sold like hOTCakes. After all, why spend the time and money going to the doctor for a prescription sleeping pill when you can just pick one up at your local pharmacy? Well, as it turns out, you may be taking a bigger gamble with your health than you realize.

Why Most Doctors Believe Diphenhydramine Is Bad for Your Health

As you might expect from a drug which is advertised as a sleeping pill, taking a recommended dose at night every once in awhile will make you feel sleepy (and, hopefully, help you fall asleep more quickly). Some lucky people may actually wake up feeling as well-rested and refreshed the next morning as advertised. Unfortunately, the majority of people who rely on sleeping pills don’t simply take them every once in awhile. Taking OTC sleep meds can easily develop into a nightly habit. To make matters worse, you’ll eventually need to take higher and higher doses of it as your body builds up a tolerance.

A large majority of the people who do take sleeping pills on a regular basis still feel as groggy and tired as they would if they hadn’t gotten any sleep at all. If anything, sleeping pills can help make you feel like you got to sleep quicker and make you feel a little less anxious about your lack of sleep the next day. But it’s just a crutch. In truth, even if you do manage to spend more hours asleep after taking a sleeping pill, you are still compromising the quality of your rest.

Taking a powerful drug in order to induce drowsiness interferes with your body’s ability to maneuver through a healthy sleep cycle while you get your z’s. REM sleep is compromised and you spend less time in the deepest stages of delta sleep. When you don’t get enough REM sleep or deep sleep, your body and your brain cannot clear away the wear and tear that your body experiences on a daily basis. Over the course of many years, this lack of restorative sleep can make you more vulnerable to disease, impair your cognitive function, and even shorten your lifespan.

The most frightening example of the damage which sleeping pills can do overtime was exposed in a recent analysis of elderly individuals. A study of people 65 years and older who had taken diphenhydramine daily for allergies over the course of several years – sometimes even decades – found that they had more advanced signs of brain aging than people their age who had not. Furthermore, they were more vulnerable to developing dementia-like symptoms or even full-blown alzheimer’s disease at an earlier age than their peers. While correlation does not automatically mean causation, it’s certainly something that you should take into account the next time you think about buying a box of sleeping pills.

Other Side Effects of Over the Counter Sleeping Pills

Most people who take diphenhydramine will experience drowsiness and/or alleviation of allergy symptoms. But the more often you take it, and the higher the dose you take, the more likely you are to experience the following unpleasant side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry eyes
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Powerful heart palpitations
  • Upset stomach
  • Confusion

Thankfully, the less frequently you take diphenhydramine, the less likely you are to experience these symptoms. Even if you’ve been taking it at high doses on a regular basis for many years, you can reduce these symptoms fairly quickly and easily when you stop taking the medication. If this sounds easier said than done, that’s because it is. Thankfully, there are alternatives which can help you get to sleep without interfering with your rest or causing unpleasant side effects.

Healthy Alternatives to Over-the-counter Sleep Medications

How did insomniacs get to sleep before the invention is diphenhydramine or prescription sleeping pills? You may be tempted to say “they got drunk”, and although you probably wouldn’t be wrong, alcohol will also compromise the quality of your rest. But natural herbal sleep aids will not! People have been using ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and hops extract for hundreds of years to fix their sleep problems. And if you find a high-quality herbal sleeping pill which contains effective ingredients like these, you can too.

Are You Having Trouble Sleeping Because of Hemorrhoids?

For lots of people who have trouble sleeping, pain is a major issue. Unfortunately, there are many things which can go wrong in your body that cause pain – and hemorrhoids is one of them. If your case is serious enough, then it is unfortunately not surprising that you are having trouble sleeping. It’s especially not surprising seeing as how one in three adults will have to deal with hemorrhoids at one point or another. If your current hemorrhoid pain is creating problems for you at night, we truly sympathize. And we certainly hope that at least some of the advice below can help you get a good night sleep despite your painful condition. 

Dealing With the Present: Reduce Hemorrhoid Pain for Better Sleep Tonight  

If you were searching online and found this page, the odds are pretty good that you are suffering from hemorrhoids right now and need a solution ASAP. We completely understand. This acute condition can be extremely painful and easily interfere with your ability to get a good night sleep. Thankfully, there are solutions you can use to quickly, easily, and affordably alleviate most if not all of your hemorrhoid pain. Even if you end up tossing and turning for other reasons, at least the “turning” part won’t be the thing that keeps you from your slumber.

Pre-bedtime Hemorrhoid Treatments

Strangely, there are many afflictions of the human body which seem either mild or non-existent early in the day and progressively get worse as the day goes on. Hemorrhoids is one of them. This phenomenon is often referred to as “sundowning”. Since it isn’t unbearable for most of the day, you forget the pain until the later hours of the evening. Then it suddenly hits you at the worst possible time.

Thankfully, you do not have to resign yourself to a sleepless night of pain and misery. There are many over-the-counter products which are specifically designed to treat hemorrhoid pain. Preparation H is probably the most common brand name. The company produces a wide variety of creams, suppositories, and wipes which can help alleviate the physical discomfort and make it easier for you to sleep despite your suffering.

If you’d rather go for a more natural cure – or if the nearest drugstore is closed right now – then there are some home remedies you can try. A sitz bath is one solution which involves placing your backside into a shallow pool of warm water (sometimes with a small amount of apple cider vinegar mixed in). You can also use a cold compress to numb the pain and reduce swelling. Whether you use one, the other, or whether you alternate the two, try not to expose your hemorrhoids to either treatment for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time. Give your posterior a few minutes to rest in-between. Overdoing it can easily do more harm than good.

Avoiding Hemorrhoid Pain While You Sleep

Once you feel like your hemorrhoid pain has subsided, you’ll want to make sure that you fall asleep in the right position. Most people get a good amount of relief from sleeping on their stomach. Better yet, putting a small pillow beneath your hips while in this position can take a significant amount of pressure off your hemorrhoids. With the assistance of gravity, fluid will be flushed down and away from your inflamed tuchus, which helps reduce pain even further.

Unfortunately, not everybody can sleep comfortably on their stomach. The backup solution to this problem is to try sleeping on your side. To make sure you don’t roll over in the middle of the night, place extra pillows or bunched up bed sheets along your back to stabilize you. Rolling over on your back in the middle of the night, no matter how soundly you are sleeping, is one of the quickest ways to cause more pain. This can make it very difficult to get back to sleep.

It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: sleeping on your back is one of the worst things you can do if you want to avoid hemorrhoid pain and get a good night’s rest. Gravity is working against you, there is a ton of pressure on your pelvic floor, and you may be in more pain that at any other point in the day. If you are a chronic back sleeper, try and put pillows underneath your knees and thighs. This will hopefully raise your backside a little higher in the air so that there’s less pressure on the hemorrhoids.

Preventing Future Hemorrhoid Pain

If you’re suffering from hemorrhoids right now, the advice below may not be immediately helpful. But if this is a recurring condition, you should definitely be proactive and take steps to make sure it doesn’t interfere with your sleep in the future. Smart steps include:

  • Consult your doctor – maybe you haven’t talked to your doctor yet because you’re embarrassed about your condition. But if you think about it, the embarrassment pales in comparison two hemorrhoid pain and lost sleep. So don’t put it off!
  • Increase fiber intake – because hemorrhoids are the result of straining during a bowel movement, you should increase your fiber intake. This will add bulk to your stool and help them pass more easily with less strain.
  • Stay well hydrated – another reason some people have to strain is due to a lack of hydration in the colon. Drinking more water and electrolyte fluids can help with this.
  • Daily light exercise – if hemorrhoids are common for you, avoid strenuous exercise. But don’t neglect it entirely, since weight gain makes it easier to develop hemorrhoids.
  • Weight loss – hemorrhoids are more common in overweight people. losing weight can help them become less frequent and/or painful.
  • When nature calls, answer – if you have to go, go right away. Holding it in causes constipation, which causes more straining, which causes more hemorrhoids.
  • Strategic sitting positions on the toilet – try bending over as far as you can, propping your feet up on a short stool, or both when you have a bowel movement. This opens up your bowels and gives your stool a wider opening to exit your body.

Another thing you might want to try is adding a natural sleep aid to your hemorrhoid regimen. On top of alleviating the pain, it’ll help relax you and coax you into a perfect sleep state.

The Importance of Sleep and Avinol PM

For any human being, the ability to get sufficient sleep is a vital component to the ability to function properly. A lack of proper sleep can lead to minor problems like irritability, or far more serious effects, including lapses in memory, cognitive problems that can make it difficult to concentrate, which can lead to problems at work, for you or even for co-workers. Sometimes, however, our thoughts or health issues prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep. That’s why Avinol PM was developed.

While many sleep aids may contain addictive chemicals, Avinol PM is different because it is an effective sleep aid that is safe and not addictive. It is composed of many natural ingredients that work together to tackle a variety of sleep problems, including restless sleep and conditions like sleep apnea. This is important, since even the mildest forms of insomnia can have an impact on your life and perhaps complicate even the simplest tasks by making you feel drowsy and out-of-sorts. With Avinol PM, you can get to sleep faster, which allows you to wake up feeling rested and more refreshed and ready to go than ever.

Avinol PM‘s all-natural formula can help anyone overcome any sort of sleep disorder and allow the person who takes it to gently lip into quiet slumber and help them stay there for the entire night. Avinol PM doesn’t just knock you out, it allows you to slip into a restful sleep that will envelop you for the entire night. And when you wake up, there is no foggy feeling that comes from many chemical sleep aids. You will make up feeling great and raring to go.