FINDING WELLNESS BLOG

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Are you Getting Enough Sleep?

Posted by Sara Levitsky on Thursday, January 31, 2013 Under: Sleep
Sleep and emotional/mental health go hand in hand.  Poor sleep patterns or a sleep debt can cause emotional stress.  And in turn, many mental health disorders cause problems with sleep.  When I meet with a client for the first time I always ask about how they are sleeping.  And it's something I check in on regularly throughout therapy.

 Some of the byproducts of not getting enough sleep are:

  • lack of focus and attention
  • memory problems
  • weight gain
  • impaired motor skills
  • physical illness/lower immunity
  • depression

 
The amount of sleep necessary for healthy functioning varies by age:




There are ways to help you get the sleep you need:
  • establish a consistent waking and sleeping schedule for every day
  • create a relaxing bedtime ritual that begins 1 hour before sleep time
  • sleep in a dark and cool room
  • sleep on a comfortable matress and pillow
  • avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep - no TV or computers
  • exercise regularly - but not within 3 hours of bedtime
  • avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine

 
If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, relaxation tools may help you.  One easy tool is the Progressive Relaxation Technique:  Lay on your back with your hands on you abdomen.  Breathe deeply feeling your abdomen rise and fall.  Slowly and systematically tense and relax each muscle in your body - start at your toes and work your way up to your head.  Tense for 3 seconds and relax for 3 seconds.

If you are not able to sucessfully get the sleep you need on your own, talk to your doctor or therapist for support.

References: webmd.com, National Sleep Foundation

In : Sleep 


Tags: sleep relaxation 
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