This is the second article in a two part series that lists eight techniques for getting a good night’s sleep. The list was put together by Harvard Medical School after research and study on what can affect a person’s ability to sleep. This article will share the last four of the eight techniques.
5. Eat—But Don’t Eat a Large Meal Before Bed
When you’re hungry and when you’ve eaten too much, your body might be unable to sleep. Both situations can be distractions. Ideally, avoid eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime. And to avoid being hungry at bedtime, eat a light snack about an hour or two before bed, such as an apple with a slice of cheese or a few whole-wheat crackers.Continue reading
It’s not easy when you can’t sleep. You’re tired during the day. You’re feeling irritable and easily frustrated because the fatigue is starting to get to you. You know that not being able to sleep at night is getting in the way of your work performance from time to time. It’s getting in the way of your family life too by having to take naps when you could be spending time with your children.
Insomnia might also be challenging because you can’t ever get on a sleep schedule that works for you. You sleep a few hours at night, not enough to feel rested, and then a nap whenever you can fit it in during the day. Together, the two leave you feeling very tired and perhaps even anxious.Continue reading
There is more and more research that indicates a healthy brain plays an essential role in mental health, including one’s ability to sleep. Research has led to advancements in treating depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other psychological illnesses. For instance, researchers are beginning to see that the shapes of certain parts of the brain are different among those who have Bipolar Disorder, for instance, versus those who don’t. Another example is the way that the amygdala functions differently in those that have mental illness. There are four parts of the brain that significant in research and have their influence on mental health.
Two of these four parts of the brain play a significant role in alertness and one’s ability to fall asleep. The thalamus and hypothalamus are small but significant. They regulate important levels of functioning, such as sleep and body temperature. The thalamus is responsible for the messages received by the senses and then delivers it to the cerebral hemispheres for processing. It is also responsible for our experience of consciousness, sleep, and alertness. The hypothalamus regulates temperature, hunger, thirst, and energy cycles.Continue reading
When you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to bring it to your doctor. You might want to get more information about what might be preventing your ability to sleep. And most importantly, you likely want to find solutions so that you can go back to getting a full night’s sleep.
Doctors will use a wide variety of tools to diagnose and measure insomnia symptoms. If you’ve gone to your doctor’s office to talk about your sleep patterns, your doctor will likely have you complete a questionnaire, perform blood tests, have you do an overnight sleep study, and have you fill out a sleep log. The following tools are what your doctor might use to get details on the patterns of your sleep:Continue reading
If you’re not sleeping and you want to try to resolved the problem on your own without having to go to the doctor, the tips in this article might get you there. Although insomnia can often be the result of a physical illness, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes all you need is to make a few changes in your behavior and in your thoughts.
Simple changes in one’s daily routine can be incredibly effective and make a large difference. The following tips describe these changes so that you can incorporate them into your life.Continue reading
Many researchers are aware of the effect people have in certain scientific experiments. Their ideas and beliefs in particular can make the difference in whether a drug works for them, for example. The ideas, opinions, and beliefs of certain participants are known as producing experimenter bias, sampling bias, and subject bias. Although psychological research does their best to obtain data objectively, there’s no question that the beliefs of those participating in research play a role in whether data is accurate.
It’s the whole notion of the placebo effect. A placebo is a pill, medicine, or procedure that is harmless and has no therapeutic effect whatsoever. Instead, a placebo might be used to measure whether one’s belief in the medication has an effect on his or her health improving.Continue reading
There are many factors that can contribute to an experience of insomnia. Medication, physical illness, or simply drinking too much caffeine during the day can lead to not being able to sleep. However, for many insomnia is instead the result of anxiety, depression, and in general a very active mind. When this is the case, the most effective method to assist in getting the right amount of sleep is a practice that helps calm the mind.
Practices that facilitate mental and physical relaxation can aide in being able to get a better night’s sleep. Methods that help relax the mind and body can have a significant effect the ability to sleep. And when used regularly, these methods not only bring relaxation in the moment, but they can have a general effect of relaxation over time, facilitating the experience of insomnia to slowly dissipate.Continue reading
When our bodies are physically tired, it’s more likely to fall right into sleep when it comes to bedtime. For instance, sleep specialist Mohammad Hasin agrees that “to ensure good sleep, it’s important that you tire your body out.” He suggests to exercise shortly before going to sleep, whether that’s running, cycling, or going for a brisk walk. The energy spent during the physical exercise can facilitate feeling fatigued enough to sleep. Furthermore, gym instructor Meghna Raju commented, “I’ve advised my clients to go for a jog in the evening, just before their dinner. This way, they feel relaxed and are also too tired to sit up in the night or indulge in other activities.” Exercise is a great way to keep the active mind at bay, which can get in the way of trying to fall asleep. By spending your energy physically, you create enough fatigue to fall asleep.Continue reading
Getting enough sleep is an essential part to emotional, psychological, and physical health. In fact, a common question that mental health professionals ask their clients is whether or not they are getting enough sleep. Because without it, experiences such as depression and anxiety can become exacerbated.
Not only that, lack of sleep can lead to severe health concerns. Without sleep, an individual can experience daytime fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating during the day, trouble remembering things, jitteriness, inability to accomplish simple tasks, impaired relationships with friends and family, unusual sleep episodes, depression, and even involvement in car accidents. These symptoms are an indication that there might be a lack of sleep.Continue reading
There’s no question that stress is one of the biggest contributors to insomnia. However, there are many factors that can contribute to an experience of insomnia. Medication, physical illness, or simply drinking too much caffeine during the day can lead to not being able to sleep. Yet, for many, insomnia can be the result of anxiety, depression, and in general a very active mind.
Of course, the mind becomes more and more active when there is psychological and physical threats and danger, and this is often true for both partners involved in domestic violence. Both the aggressor and the victim can experience the violence between them as traumatic. An experience that is considered traumatic is one that threatens the injury, death, or physical integrity, and is usually accompanied by terror and helplessness. A traumatic event could be the death of a friend or family member, sexual or physical abuse, an automobile accident, school violence, experiences of war, the effects of natural disasters, and acts of terrorism. It can include many types of violent experiences, including domestic violence. As a result of experiencing such an intense ordeal, along with feeling powerless to do anything about it, psychological symptoms often result, one of which is insomnia.Continue reading