Q & A
Do you have trouble falling asleep, or toss and turn all night? Do you stress out when you go to bed because you know you won’t sleep? Everyone loses sleep occasionally, and many of us don’t need as much sleep as others – but all these sleep issues can become emotional issues, physical as well as addiction problems.
The topic for June is Sleep Deprivation. Are you sleep deprived? Stay up worrying about what you have to face the next day? This information can help.
Most adults need approx 7 - 8 hrs of sleep each night. But it’s different for each one of us. So how do you know how many hours you need? You’ll know what you need, if you’re not tired the next day. And you should also know that insomnia is NOT really a serious health problem. It can however, make you depressed, irritable and you’re more prone to having accidents.
The key to treating sleep loss it to ask yourself why you can’t get to sleep. Do you have physical pain? Are you nervous about a problem or situation and it’s spinning around in your head etc. The key is to discover the cause of your sleep deprivation, so you can put it behind you. But if you have a serious medical condition you should always consult a physician.
As we age, not only our body changes, our sleep patterns also change. It is not uncommon for elderly people to sleep less at night and take cat-naps during the day. Not everyone needs those 7 – 8 uninterrupted hours.
The aging process affects alcohol and medication
and may interfere with sleep
What we do during the day effects our sleep. For instance, if you eat late in the evening, chances are you won’t be able to fall asleep. The same if you nap in the afternoon. You may feel tired, but if you give in to it, don’t expect that you’ll feel tired at bed-time. Good sleep habits mean getting up and going to sleep at the same time.
As little as 20 -30 minutes of exercise during the day helps if you’re looking to sleep well. But don’t do vigorous exercise – take a walk, ride a bike – but remember that too much stimulation will prevent you from sleeping.
Do not play computer games, IM, Facebook etc. before bed. These can be stimulating activities and will keep your thoughts spinning, - even when your head hits the pillow. It’s more relaxing to read a book or flip through magazines.
Can’t sleep? Take a drink right? You’ve heard this before. Although you may fall asleep, it’s not a peaceful sleep. You can wake up during the night. This can become habit forming and that’s how many people start on the road to addiction
Find out if this is you.
Smoking and Caffeine
Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants. Your sleep can be affected 10-12 hrs after drinking it so cut down on caffeinated coffee, teas and sodas.
If you’re eating a heavy meal, give yourself at least 2 hrs before bed. Try eating lighter meals and eat earlier in the evening. If you’re hungry before bed, try eating a banana and drink chamomile tea. Other bedtime snacks can be low sugar cereal or granola with low fat yogurt. Warm milk and ½ a sandwich is another suggestion – but make sure to keep it light.
When you can’t sleep, many get up and raid the fridge. Don’t do it.
See if this is an eating disorder
Foods that interfere with sleep: rich food, fatty food, spicy food, too much alcohol, caffeine and drinking lots of fluid. It’s best not to get up and eat during the night.
When the mind is not at ease it makes it difficult to go to sleep as well as to stay asleep. All of us have stress in our lives, but the mind has to relax. You can train your mind to calm down by talking
learning to change your thinking
1) Make a to do list for the next day then tell yourself you’ll handle it tomorrow.
2) Write a worry list and tell yourself that there’s nothing you can do now, so go to sleep.
3)listen to relaxing music before bed
4) If you can’t go to sleep in15 minutes, get out of bed and do something – not the computer, housework or anything stimulating – get up and read.
5) Make sure your bed is large enough and that you are comfortable in it.
6) Make sure the room is dark
7) Make sure the room is at the right temperature
8) Wake up and sleep at the same time every night
9) Use relaxation techniques: meditation tape, yoga – this will get both your body and mind to relax.
10) If you’re in bed, engage your brain in a non-stimulating exercise ex. Counting sheep, or visualization
Use medication as a last resort. Over-the-counter medication can cause side-effects ex. Rebound insomnia (then you’re worse than you were in the first place) as well as dependency. If you are using prescription medication to get to sleep, have it monitored by a medical professional. And never take alcohol with sleep medication.
Q & A
Please Help!! My beautiful, intelligent, 16-year-old daughter just got caught shoplifting! What should I do?
The first thing to do is not to react and find out more information. Was your child charged? If so chances are this was not the first time --so getting caught can be a wake-up call.
There may be peer
peer pressure here.
Do you know these kids are? Find out if she’s under stress. The 'high' of escaping from anxiety through shoplifting releases the pressure.
Find a counselor who's familiar with teens and anxiety issues. At this time of crisis your child is be more receptive to getting help – so get professional help. Shoplifting is a crime, and it also can become addictive.
Have an issue? Food, drugs, alcohol, gambling, codependency, sex and relationships? If you need a 'quick fix' for an immediate issue, the quickest cost-effective way to go is with
Try a free 15 minute assessment and see if you like it.
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Setting boundaries. Do you say too much to others and then regret it? That's the topic for July.
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