By Ranjit Deora

Insomnia and fatigue are now considered America’s top health problems. Researchers have identified lack of sleep as a cause of serious disorders ranging from diabetes to high stress levels. The results show that it is taking a huge toll on the quality of life — and the health — of millions.

Sleeping only four hours a night can cause weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Those who sleep fewer than six hours a night don’t live as long as those who sleep seven hours or more. For whatever reason, Americans today often sleep less than six hours a night, making them highly vulnerable to sleep disorders, the stress syndrome, and to multiple health problems Sleeplessness costs the U.S. economy $150 billion a year in higher levels of worker stress and reduced productivity, estimates the National Sleep Foundation.

Stress and Insomnia:

Millions of Americans are using tranquilizers to reduce stress during the day, and sleeping pills to induce sleep at night. You don’t induce a natural state of sleep with unnatural, synthetic, and in many cases highly addictive, products. It is recommended that patients who suffer from insomnia restore a balanced rest/activity cycle by practicing the Mantra meditation techniques, which has been shown in a number of studies to reduce stress and insomnia.

A Timeless Bedroom:

Create a timeless bedroom and keep time pressures away from your sleeping place. Preserve your bedroom as a comfortable, relaxing haven, a place for warm, intimate and relaxing relationships. Keep heated discussions, intense brainstorming, television watching, computer work, and monthly budgets out of your bedroom.

To relax your neck and shoulders, your back and abdomen, you can do some simple, light yoga postures and meditation and can also add very soothing music, bedtime prayers, and positive affirmations to really move in the direction of being more and more peaceful.

Wear comfortable clothing to bed – what you put on your body can be as important as what you put in your body when it comes to good health.

Surround yourself with influences that cultivate your peace of mind while you fall asleep. Before bed, take pleasant breaths: use therapy and relaxing scents to induce sleep.

Ranjit is the founder and teacher of Yoga Health Solutions. He has taught meditative yoga in New York, Florida and now in the Charlotte area.

Ranjit Deora has joined Dr. Michael Smith to teach workshops on “sleep soundly again”, infertility and miscarriage, meditation and medicine for stress relief, depression and other health issues in the fall.