November 29, 2011

Tips for Getting Better Sleep

sleepDo you have trouble falling asleep, or toss and turn in the middle of the night? Awaken too early, or find yourself not feeling refreshed in the morning? You are not alone: millions of people struggle with falling and staying asleep.

Unless you’re suffering from a serious sleep disorder, simply improving your daytime habits and creating a better sleep environment can set the stage for good sleep. By developing a good bedtime routine and designing a plan that works with your individual needs, you can avoid common pitfalls and make simple changes that bring you consistently better sleep.

Better Sleep Tips I: Improving your daytime habits

How can what you do during the day affect your sleep at night? Better sleep starts with good daytime habits, from when (and how often) you exercise to what you eat and drink.

Regular day exercise can help sleep

Regular exercise, aside from many other wonderful health benefits, usually makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep better. You don’t have to be a star athlete to reap the benefits– as little as twenty to thirty minutes of activity helps.  And you don’t need to do all 30 minutes in one session: break it up into five minutes here, ten minutes there.  A brisk walk, a bicycle ride or a run is time well spent. However, be sure to schedule your exercise in the morning or early afternoon. Exercising too late in the day actually stimulates the body, raising its temperature. That’s the opposite of what you want near bedtime, because a cooler body temperature is associated with sleep.  Don’t feel glued to the couch in the evening, though. Exercise such as relaxation yoga or simple stretching shouldn’t hurt.

Getting Pregnant

pregnancyMissed Period

A is probably one of the more reliable signs of pregnancy. Although some women will experience implantation bleeding about the time of their period, it is usually lighter and/or shorter than their normal period. This is why you are asked for the first day of your last normal period. There are even a few women who will have period throughout their pregnancy, although this is rare, it does happen.

If you’ve been planning for pregnancy, the day that you expect your period is probably well marked in your mind. It is the official day that you can take a .

These tests measure the levels of hCG (hormone secreted during pregnancy) in your urine. The amount of urine each test can detect varies widely. The amount of hormone each woman secret may also vary, but not as widely. The better tests on the market will measure 25-50 mIUs of hCG, which is usually the amount found in urine between the 4th and 5th weeks of pregnancy. The levels of hCG in your urine and blood will be different.

First morning urine will always contain the highest concentration of hCG. However, most tests do not require that you use first morning urine. You can help better your chances of having enough hCG in your urine by waiting four hours after you last urinated to take the test. This will allow hCG to build up in your urine.

These tests rarely give false results. A negative answer that is later revealed to be a pregnancy is usually the result of the test being performed too early. A positive that later turns out the woman is not pregnant is usually a very early miscarriage. Talk to your practitioner if you have questions about your pregnancy tests and consider calling the toll-free number provided by the test manufacturer.