Daily Archives: 20/06/2014

To sleep, perchance to dream

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Sleep can be an issue for the young people I see too and so I end up giving quite a bit of advice about sleep hygiene.

Apart from when I was depressed I have thankfully never struggled to sleep.  As a nurse used to doing years of shift work I can sleep standing up in broad daylight!    I know that booze used to help me get off to sleep sometimes so in case this is an issue for anyone reading this I thought I’d put up this post.

The biggest thing we tell our young people is that in today’s high technology world we are never far away from a screen – whether it’s your phone, tv, games console, laptop/tablet or some other device.  The lights and activities on these stimulate the brain and so you need to have at least an hour with no technology before bed.  That applies to us adults too!

Other tips that Mind give are:

Making your bedroom a calm space

Trying a breathing technique

Notice what you eat and drink because caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods can disturb your sleep

Check for a physical cause and your medication and change if necessary

Keep a worry diary if you need to – write down all the things that keep you awake before you go to bed to empty them out of your head

Keep a sleep diary so you can track and identify what the difficulties are and change them

Having a bath before bed not only helps you unwind and relax but also, as research has shown, raising your skin temperature enables you to fall asleep faster and then shift you into deeper sleep.   So two hours before bed, soak in the tub for 20 or 30 minutes, recommends Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine. “If you raise your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep.  Plus for me bath, plus luxury bubbles and candle = sober treat 😉

I hope that this gives you a few more sweet dreams 🙂

93 days to go