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insomnia

Sleep is honestly one of our favourite things.

However, now that we are adults, we have bid farewell to sleeping in until 10 am and taking a four-hour nap during the day to catch up on your night's sleep after hours of partying.

However, a new study has shown that if you're not sleeping well, it could be down to simply not drinking enough water.

 

Of course, not all sleep issues are linked to the lack of hydration and could be a sign of a more serious condition, and you should speak to your doctor if it persists.

But for the majority of us, scientists at Penn State University, Pennsylvania said that drinking more fluids could really help the quality of our sleep.

They studied 2,000 adults in China and the US and analysed their sleep and urine.

The study published in the journal, SLEEP, concluded that those who slept for six hours a night had significantly more concentrated urine and were more dehydrated.

 

Whereas those who regularly got the recommended amount of eight hours of shut-eye a night were more hydrated.

So if you want those two hours of extra sleep, it might be a good idea to drink some extra water.

The experts said that a hormone, vasopressin was linked to sleep quality and hydration.

"Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle," said lead author, Asher Rosinger.

"So, if you're waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body's hydration."

"If you are only getting six hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status," added the assistant professor at Penn State.

"This study suggests that if you're not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water."

So we will definitely be keeping a glass of water beside our bed.

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We all do it. Remember that absolutely mortifying thing you did seven years ago in school that you can't seem to shake off?

The anxiety of saying "you're welcome" instead of "thank you" when someone holds the door open for you, the sheer sweat-worthy fear of falling down (or up) the stairs on your bus, you name it, and we've worried about it.

We've always assumed that our furry little friends simply don't have these worries, but now SCIENCE (gasp) has disproved this, and we're shook. 

grim reaper wtf GIF by Studio Flox

The Royal Society scientific journal has published a study which supports the result that doggos struggle to nod off if they have anything troubling them, meaning that we're not as different as we think.

All that time that you lay in your bed, pondering that terrible moment when you asked your friend how their grand-dad up the North is getting on in his nursing home, and they reply that they are, in fact, deceased, leaving you stewing in shame.

The time in work that you were wandering around with your knickers tucked into the back of your skirt, the time you threw up at the local disco after one Blue WKD, even the time you said "keep the change" to the lad in Spar, and it was only a five cent coin.

cute puppy GIF

Doggies apparently sit up and ponder their embarrassments and worries too, maybe they get anxiety about the lack of 'good boy' praise which they received that day.

"Does my human still love me?" They think, as they rest their head on their paws, with a slow, violin concerto playing in the background.

scared dog GIF

"What if they actually don't like cleaning up my poop?"

"What if they send me to the pound and I get embroiled in the local gang war between the Pug Thugs and the Rottweiler Pilers?"

They stare glumly out of the rain-splattered window, tossing and turning following a negative experience at the dog walking park that day.

scared insomnia GIF

The study stated that dogs tend to fall asleep much faster following a negative day, presumably to escape from the terrible consequences of the day.

We still think of the horrendously awkward things we were doing in 2005, forever looking up at the blank ceiling searching for answers…

Feature image: Pets4Homes

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Chronic insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world, where individuals find it difficult or impossible to sleep.

The NHS Inform defines insomnia as a challenge to stay asleep “for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning." While it's treatable and can be targeted in a variety of ways, it can be hugely debilitating for those who suffer with it.

Changing your sleep habits, diagnosing underlying issues like mental or physical health condition or using over-the-counter sleeping medication can combat insomnia, but therapy can also help, according to a new study.

A recent study published in the British Journal of General Practice has found that therapy may actually be the best choice of treatment.

Researchers at Queen's University Ontario, Canada, found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps to fight chronic insomnia successfully, despite the fact that it's often used to combat mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

CBT can apparently be used to change the way your mind thinks about sleep. It's regularly offered through a therapist with "the number of sessions you need depending on the difficulty you need help with.”

The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies describes CBT as therapy which is “based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, and what we do and how our body feels are all connected.”

The Guardian reports that the study was conducted through “four randomised control trials, with between 66 and 201 participants of mixed ages.”

Researchers from the trials found “that participants fell asleep on average nine to 30 minutes sooner after completing a course of CBT for insomnia and experienced a reduction of between 22 and 36 minutes in the amount of time spent awake after going to sleep.”

In the study, data analysts found that those who received CBT treatment for between four to six sessions found improvement with their insomnia and that these improvements “were generally well maintained for 3-12 months post-treatment.”

This was compared to the results of those who received treatment “in which the format or content veered substantially from conventional CBT which were less conclusive.”

With blue light from laptop and phone screens increasingly causing sleep disruption, and considering how hard it is to switch our brains off from the hectic attention-grabbing modern lifestyle, CBT therapy sounds great to us.

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There’s nothing we love more than curling up with a warm cup of hot chocolate, especially when it is absolutely baltic outside.

Insomnia has warmed our hot-chocolate loving hearts with their latest release.

Insomnia, partnering with Callebaut, presents the fourth type in hot chocolate ‘Ruby’ next to Dark, Milk and White chocolate.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The first Coffee Shop Chain in Ireland to sell Ruby Hot Chocolate, it is made from the Ruby cocoa bean with a unique, berry flavour. It also, as its name suggests, is ruby in colour and has the natural tone of the Ruby bean. Insomnia has added no berries or berry flavour or colour when preparing the Ruby Hot Chocolate.

Leading the way in new product innovations and always looking to introduce tastes that will delight their loyal customers, Insomnia is delighted to add a new star to their Hot Drinks range and introduce the Ruby Hot Chocolate into stores nationwide from Friday, March 15.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sarah Hartnett, the award-winning Pastry Chef Consultant and Callebaut Ambassador, was instore with Insomnia to launch the new taste sensation Hot Chocolate. Sarah hosted her Coco Horizons chocolate demonstration to showcase the versatility and flavour of the Ruby chocolate.

Ruby chocolate has an intense taste and characteristic reddish colour. The cocoa beans are sourced from different regions of the world and are the work of global R&D centres of Barry Callebaut, based in France and Belgium – part of a global network of 28 R&D centres-, the Jacobs University, and over 175 years of expertise in sourcing and manufacturing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We are rubyliciously excited to rollout Ruby Hot Chocolate in our Stores,” said Harry O’Kelly, Insomnia CEO. “We are renowned for our hot chocolate and Insomnia’s customers have come to expect a high standard of quality and service from us, including the extending of product lines with innovative, taste fantastic foods.

"Ruby Hot Chocolate is no exception, it offers a new taste experience, it’s not bitter, milky or sweet but the perfect combination of fruitiness from the berry and depth of smoothness that raises the Hot Chocolate bar!”

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Fans thirsty for a taste of ‘80s nostalgia – or simply craving a cold, ice-cream flavoursome frappe – can rejoice in the news that the Insomnia BRUNCH icecap is back after a short winter hiatus.

We say short winter, but it did feel like it lasted 47 years. 

The drink, which debuted in summer 2017, is making a comeback thanks, in part, to an ardent and determined community of brand loyalists who have been lobbying Insomnia stores to bring back the drink this summer!

The coffee company has teamed up with HB ice cream to create the frozen beverage!

The frappe is topped with a sprinkling of the Brunch crumbly biscuit over a smooth vanilla and strawberry blended frappe.

Can you say DELICIOUS? 

Brunches not your scene? Weird, but fear not.

Alongside the Brunch icecap will be the Insomnia Oreo icecap, combining the popular cookie, mixed with ice, milk and topped with cream with added Oreo Crumbs. Stun. 

There will also be a new drink introduced, the Salted Caramel Latte icecap,which is  is perfect for Insomnia Coffee lovers that enjoy their espresso, but want to savour that summer feeling.  

Made from blended frappe it contains a mix of espresso, vanilla, milk and salted caramel syrup, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. 

Also on the summer menu is the range of summer bakery, salads and sandwiches. 

Sign us up! 

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Is there anything worse than lying in bed, wide awake, watching the clock edge closer and closer towards your alarm clock?

No, nothing.

The internal panic you feel when you realise you won't be getting any sleep is like nothing else, especially if you have work the next day. 

Thankfully, scientists have found a solution to this issue. 

Pink noise is basically a type of background noise that has an equal level of energy per octave, meaning it has a lower frequency than white noise – and it might just be the answer to those sleepless nights. 

According to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience pink noise is less intrusive than white noise and could lead to a better, deeper sleep.

They even suggest that if used regularly, pink noise could improve your memory too. Sold. 

The study tested people listening to pink noise as they slept, and found that those participants reported feeling a lot more rested.

The pink noise participants also performed three times better in memory tests and cognition tests compared to those who just slept normally.

I mean, science has spoken, so it's worth a go! 

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Considering we need every ounce of energy to get though Monday, it's a cruel fact of life that our Sunday night sleep is often the most disturbed of the week.

Whether it's a case of tossing and turning all night or jolting awake at ungodly hours, the hours before the start of the working week is easily our least favourite.

However, if you think it comes down to little more than trepidation regarding the week ahead, you'd be wrong.

According to sleep experts, us humans are absolute martyrs to our Circadian Rhythm, so it's highly likely the reason you can't sleep on a Sunday night is because you threw your body clock out of whack over the weekend.

Sleep psychologist, Hope Bastine, elaborates on the point in ELLE, saying: "Over the weekend we have disrupted our usual, albeit unhealthy, sleep pattern. We've had a lovely lie in and repaid our workweek sleep debt and are now feeling well-revived"

"We're creatures of habit governed by our body clock, the Circadian Rhythm, and routine is the primary language of the brain. So when we change our usual habit, our brain feels out of sorts."

Hope says you can combat this by adhering to a more regular sleeping pattern over the weekend, and, most importantly, only go to a bed on a Sunday night when you are tired, and not because Monday morning has started looming.

Ditch the idea that you need an early night on Sunday, and instead listen to your body's needs in order to gt the best start to the week ahead.

'Enjoy those me-moments,' Hope suggests. 'Read that book you've been meaning to read, take a bath, or pamper yourself. Get your early night on Monday night instead!'

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It's absolutely no secret that January drags its heels.

But if you think the days are long, the nights have been even longer for many of us who have chosen to embark upon a self-induced month of sobriety.

If you appear to have a swapped a sozzled night for a sleepless one, you're not alone.

According to a report in Metro, this response to a lack of alcohol is by no means rare, with Dr Natasha Bijlani, a consultant psychiatrist at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, providing insights into the phenomenon.

"Most people don’t know that if they quit drinking and remain sober they are likely to have significant sleep problems long after they stop drinking," she confirmed.    

So, what exactly is going on beneath the surface? And why is our attempt at a healthy lifestyle interrupting our precious hours of shut-eye?

"Alcohol use influences sleeping patterns and it can take the body a bit of time to adjust to a normal sleep cycle that is not chemically induced," Dr Bijlani explained.

"In addition, the symptoms of withdrawal such as restless leg syndrome or anxiety can be uncomfortable and these may keep people awake at night.’

So, if you have been staring at the ceiling for most of January, you can rest assured your neighbours are probably doing the same.

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If you've been struggling to drop off recently or spend more nights than you'd like to admit tossing and turning, you know how frustrating it is to be denied a good night's sleep.

And while most of us blame external factors like noise, temperature or mattress quality, it turns out we all need to start looking inwards if we want to improve our sleep patterns.

According to scientists at Northwestern University in the US, a lack of purpose in life can contribute to your inability to sleep well.

However, by creating a plan for the following day and the weeks that follow, the individual will greatly increase their chances of enjoying a good night's sleep.

With the help of 823 participants, researchers established that those who could find meaning in their life tended to sleep better than those who struggled to frame their past experiences and future desires.

Commenting on his recent findings, senior author of the study and associate professor of neurology at the University's Feinburg School of Medicine, Jason Ong, said the benefit of purpose cannot be underestimated.

"Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia," he reasoned.

"Purpose in life is something that can be cultivated and enhanced through mindfulness therapies," he added.

The results were published in the journal Sleep, Science, and Practice.

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The humble Brunch is one of Ireland's most beloved ice creams. 

That delicate, crumply coating encasing smooth vanilla and strawberry ice cream is literally all we want on a hot summer day. 

Now, Brunch is teaming up with Insomnia to create what could possibly be the best frankenfood invention since the rainbow bagel.

Insomnia have recreated the delicious Brunch flavour in the new Brunch Icecap, so if a Brunch flavoured frappe sounds like your thing, then go forth and seek out your local Insomnia cafe.

The new drink is topped with a sprinkling of crumbly biscuit over a smooth vanilla and strawberry blended frappe.

Insomnia is also introducing an Oreo Ice Cap and a Caramel Latte Ice Cap, both of which join the new Brunch falvour in stores today. 

We're drooling just thinking about it…

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It's no secret that exercise is good for us, heck, it's probably the best thing going!

But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. And while a lot of us find it hard to actually get up and workout, once you do it can become addictive. 

And when Ellie Goulding revealed today that she's toned down her exercise regime after doctors warned her she was overdoing it, we got thinking about our own fitness habits.

One of the most important stages of working out is the recovery period, so unless you're giving your body some down time, you won't be reaping in the full rewards.

These are signs to look out for if you might be over-doing it:

1. When you exercise, you leave feeling exhausted rather than energised – this is a sure sign your muscles need a break.

 

2. Injuries and illnesses are slow to clear up. Healthy people have good immune systems, so if yours isn't top notch, you certainly need to rest.

 

3. You have a short temper. Exercising too much can lead to stress build-up, which in turn effects your level of tolerance for even the most mundane things. 

 

4. You're doing several sessions of exercise a day, but you're not actually training for anything.

 

5. You can't sleep. Working out too much can make your body a super-stress zone because your levels of cortisol peak, leading to insomnia. So, if you want to catch some z's, it's time to cut down on the gym. 

 

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There is nothing like getting a good night’s sleep after a long day. But unfortunately for some, sleep doesn’t come easily no matter how tired you may be.

Thankfully, there are ways to deal with insomnia, whether you suffer regularly or every once in a while.

Limit caffeine and alcohol
Try not have a caffeinated drink including coffee and some fizzy drinks at least three hours before bed. It may be hard but you will be thankful after a good’s night sleep.

Turn off technology
Technology is a huge distraction so make your room a technology-free zone. Turn off your phone before you enter your bed and avoid having a TV in your room.

Make your room inviting
Sleeping or try to sleep in a room that has clothes on the floor or mess all over a desk will do nothing to help you sleep. Clear it up and make your room nice and cosy.

Relaxing music
Make sure your room is dark and play some relaxing music. Avoid chart songs and pick up a relaxation CD.

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