For the optimist, there are amazing benefits to routinely getting a good night's sleep. Encouraging news for anyone who might be having sleep problems: if you successfully overcome whatever is preventing you from sleeping soundly — either on your own or with a sleep specialist's assistance — you have a lot to look forward to.
Recent research outlines the improvements that can come with treatment:
According to a 2004 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, subjects with chronic insomnia who had five sessions of cognitive behaviour focusing on proper sleep techniques reduced the average time it took to fall asleep from 68 minutes a night to 34 minutes. Many persons with sleep difficulties have reported wonderful results using energy psychology (eg., Emotional Freedom Technique or Meridian Tapping). You will find a number of helpful articles by going to the EFT web site
People with sleep apnia who used CPAP for one year reported quality of life increases that brought them to the same level as the general population, according to a 2004 study in Chest.
For such a natural and necessary thing, sleep is the source of much anxiety Here are some basic steps to follow if you're having trouble maintaining normal, healthy sleep patterns:
Practice good sleep hygiene, such as making sure your bedroom is sleep-friendly, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and TV news before bedtime, and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
Make sure you're getting proper treatment for any underlying illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, that may interfere with sleep. Ask your health care provider about dietary ways to deal with your health concerns.
Keep a sleep diary to look for patterns you may not be aware of and to track progress.
Make sure your primary care physician is aware of any over-the-counter or pharmaceutical medicines you take to help you sleep.
So if you're struggling to get a good night's rest, there is much cause for optimism. While there's no guarantee you'll always get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, with the right information and resources, you can reasonably expect improvements in both your nighttime sleep and your overall quality of life. ~content for this article is adapted from content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School
With gratitude, I base this blog on the book "Learn to be an Optimist: A Practical Guide to Achieving Happiness" by Lucy MacDonald, a Quebec-based motivational speaker with an academic background in psychology and counseling.