HOW TO SLEEP WELL AND START THE DAY RESTED
By Frank Daley
How can you get rested when there seem to be so many causes of sleeplessness including stress, anxiety, and illness?
A lack of sleep inevitably leads to illness, loss of energy, poor self-esteem, and low self-confidence.
THREE MAIN CAUSES
Sleep problems can be physically, emotionally or chemically-based.
FOUR MAIN “CURES”
Treatments are either chemical, behavioral, psychological or a combination.
You can’t fix a sleep problem unless you know what is causing it. (In fact, you can’t fix any problem unless yolpu know what it is.) Here’s a way to fix that problem~!
Going to bed earlier might not solve your sleep problem. In fact sleeping too much can be dangerous.
We can’t do an exhaustive (pun intended!) look at the many kinds of sleep problems that contort our lives, but we can give you some simple, basic advice for normal sleep problems.
A medical journal recently reported on five high-quality trials that showed cognitive behavior therapy helped people fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer than drug treatment.
The American Journal of Psychiatry’s analysis of 21 studies showed Behavioral treatment helped people fall asleep 9 minutes sooner than sleep drugs.
Other tests showed sleep therapy worked just as well as drugs, but without the side effects.
The strategies are deceptively simple.
The techniques have been proven to work, they don’t cost money, yet some people don’t trust them.
Who knows why.
You don’t have to be one of those ninnies.
Students, most of whom are away from home for the first time, need to be aware of the results of bad sleeping habits or simply not getting enough sleep.
STIMULUS CONTROL: THE RULES
- Do not watch TV, eat, drink, or read in bed.
- Do not go to bed until sleepy.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Get up at the same time every day.
- Don’t nap
- If unable to sleep, get out of bed after 15 minutes and do something relaxing, not stimulating, and not something involving too much thinking. ( I know, no danger there, right!?)
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE “RULES”
Let’s look a little closer at some of these tips to help you sleep well.
Do not watch TV in bed
You might find this one weird since you might also fall asleep in front of the TV!
But being in bed is different.
You are not supposed to watch TV while sleeping. Tricky to do anyway.
Bed is for sleeping.
Well, OK, that too, but take your mind off that! We’re talking about sleep here!
Do not go to bed until you are sleepy. Duh!
Go to bed at the same time every night.
Get up at the same time every day.
These last two ensure that your body and its regulatory biorhythms get the message and replicate the procedures nightly instead of getting all fouled up with different bed and wake times.
Surely I don’t have to explain this.
- Regular exercise (Yes, you’ve heard it before. Do it!)
- Add lightproof blinds to the room to keep it dark. (Yul Brynner used to order huge, heavy, black curtains in all his hotel rooms when traveling with Broadway show The King and I. I knew you wanted to know that.)
- Ensure bed and room are comfortable (68 degrees is best).
- Eat regular meals.
- Do not go to bed hungry.
- Limit beverages (alcoholic and caffeine based) around bedtime.
- Do not try too hard to fall asleep.
- Turn clock around so that you can’t see it (especially if it has those annoying red numerals).
These simple steps do make a difference for people with sleep problems.
These interventions are based on the notion that thoughts and behaviors can “hyper-arouse” the central nervous system and deregulate sleep cycles resulting in chronic insomnia (Family Practice magazine).
THESE ARE FOR NORMAL SLEEP PROBLEMS
If these strategies do not work, talk to a doctor.
She can refer you to a sleep therapist who can teach you sleep relaxation techniques.
For example, maybe you need to re-set your sleep-awake schedule.
This is a more involved process whereby patients adjust their bedtime each night over the course of a few weeks.
Apparently this stuff does work though, so don’t feel that you must be held captive by drugs.
Common sense and good practice is free!
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