Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Say Goodnight To Insomnia

This entry has been cut & pasted from my other blog, as it is related to lifestyle living. It was written in March 2008 after receiving news that I was to go to work. That granted, I had to make some changes to my lifestyle in order to accomodate the change in sleeping practices that I was used to, as I had been sleeping, and waking up at odd hours being a loafer in Sydney.

As I was used to sleeping late, and waking up just as late, I had to source for information in regard to changing sleeping patterns to combat premature insomnia related issues.

MARCH 2008:
"These tips below are taken from the text above by Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs that I found in the Sydney City Library. I've had to re-adjust my body clock sleep time as I recently got called to work!! (Isn't that good news? ^^) So yeah, here are some tips that you guys can use too...

Among some of the tips he recommends are:
1) A Regular Rising Time- Get out of bed around the same time every day, including weekends, no matter how little or poorly you have slept.

Body-Temperature rhythm starts to rise in the morning when one gets out of bed. If the elevation in your body temperature is delayed by a few hours, the drop in your temperature in the evening will also be delayed by the same amount of time. Therefore, if you try to go to bed at your normal time, you won't be able to fall asleep because your body temperature will be too elevated.

2) Reducing Time Alloted for Sleep- Reduce your time in bed so that it more closely matches the amount of sleep you are averaging per night.

If you are averaging six hours of sleep, your time in bed should be limited to a maximum of seven hours. Contrary to what you think, reducing time in bed will not reduce sleep time. Rather, it will increase prior wakefulness, strengthen the sleep system, and therefore increase your sleep time. Sleep efficiency will also improve and your bed will become a stronger a cue for sleep.

3) Napping- if you can afford it, an afternoon nap as short as ten minutes can enhance alertness, mood & mental performance. Limit it to 45 mins, as anything longer will strongly disrupt your sleep patterns for that night.

4) Stimulus-Control Techniques- Do not make the bed a cue for wakefulness.
- Use the bedroom for sleep & sexual activity only. Do not use the bedroom to do your work.
- Make sure you feel drowsy when you turn off the lights to go to bed.
- If you don't fall asleep within 20-30 mins, don't lie in bed tossing & turning. Instead go out and do another activity, and then attempt to go to sleep again.
This might take up to TWO weeks to notice any improvement. After FOUR weeks of consistently practising, your body will adjust accordingly & should be able to fall asleep soon more easily on most nights.

Other things to AID better sleep:
5) Have about 20-30 mins exercise regime every other day, and about 3-6 hours before bedtime. This will help reduce the time required to fall asleep by half, and sleep time to increase by almost one hour.

6) A Bath.- A hot bath about two hours before bedtime help the body to relax.

7) Exercising the Brain- The intellectual & mental stimulation increases the pressure for sleep.

8) Improve Sleep & Mood with Bright Light.
- When sunlight enters the eyes, melatonin levels decrease, which signals body temperature to rise and promotes wakefulness.Darkness causes melatonin levels to increase and body temperature to fall, which promotes sleep.
- Consequently, increased exposure to sunlight at certain times of the day can minimise sleep-onset insomnia & early morning awakenings.
- Open the drapes immediately upon awakening.
- Eat breakfast near a sun-exposed window.
- Take an early morning walk.

9) Caffeine, Nicotine & Alcohol can Disturb Sleep.

10) Only carbohydrate snack two hours before bed time. It will increase serotonin levels during the night and ensure that your sleep isn't disturbed due to hunger.

11) The lower the room temperature, the greater the drop in body temperature and the easier it will be to fall asleep & stay asleep. However, make sure you are kept warm as not to catch a cold.

12) Keep the Bedroom Dark & Quiet. Loud noises from outside can disrupt a person from entering deep sleep."

MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE TIPS GIVEN!!

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