Let us Learn about Health and Healthcare

Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Solving your Insomnia

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on November 26, 2012 at 10:19 am

Sleep is something you normally look forward to. A time to rest and recharge your batteries, to take you into the next day alert and full of energy. However, sometimes the process of sleeping may be arduous and less than restful.

Most people experience periods when they find it difficult to sleep. Perhaps you’re stressed, or travelling from a different time zone, or just don’t know why you can’t sleep. These times are transitory and are little more than an inconvenience.

However, your periods of sleeplessness may become more than transitory and develop into a recurring pattern when you are trying to get to sleep.

There are basically three types of insomnia:

Initial sleep difficulties:

You have difficulty falling asleep when you first go to bed.

Intermediate sleep difficulties:

You fall asleep when you first go to bed, but awaken in the middle of the night. Once you awaken you find it difficult to return to sleep.

Early morning awakening:

You sleep throughout the night, but awaken much earlier than you normally would, feeling unrefreshed and sleepy. Typically you’re not able to return to sleep.

There could be many reasons why you are experiencing insomnia, but eventually the insomnia becomes a habit – a faulty sleeping strategy, as it were.

Develop a healthy sleeping strategy

Deal with any underlying issues contributing to your insomnia.

What was happening in your life when the insomnia first started?

Was there a trigger point for the insomnia, and is this still an issue for you?

Do you eat a meal too close to your bedtime?

Going to sleep on a full stomach is not a good idea. You can feel uncomfortable and the process of digestion may interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Ideally, you should not eat for two to three hours prior to going to bed.

Do you drink a caffeine drink before bed?

This may seem so obvious, but you may be surprised by the number of people who come for therapy for insomnia who drink coffee or some other caffeinated drink just before going to bed. Remember – caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake. If you have a drink before going to bed, make sure that you look at the label of what you are drinking to ensure that it is caffeine free.

Do you nap during the day?

If you do, you could be using up your quota of sleep before you get to bed. Try cutting out the napping and see what happens to your sleep.

Do you drink alcohol close to your bedtime?

You may think that a little night-time tipple helps you to sleep. Wrong! Even though alcohol is basically an anesthetic, it can act as a stimulant in small doses. So have your last alcoholic drink a couple of hours before going to sleep. Oh, and don’t think that you can drink more alcohol so that you are anaesthetized into sleep! Alcohol-induced sleep is not the same as natural sleep and you still wake up unrefreshed in the morning.

Are you overestimating the amount of sleep you think you need?

Try going to bed a little later. See what happens.

Banning anything except sleep from the bedroom.

That means no eating, drinking, watching TV, reading, or sex when in bed. You want tore-associate the bed with sleep and only sleep. Any other activity can be done elsewhere – and that includes sex, so why not spice up your relationship and get amorous in the kitchen or the living room? And don’t worry, once you’re sleeping well then all these activities can once again return to the boudoir.

Going to bed at the same time each night.

Develop a regular pattern.

Getting up and doing something else if you can’t sleep.

If you awaken and aren’t able to get to sleep again, get out of bed and go and do some-thing else. The great hypnotherapist Milton Erickson had his insomnia patients polish their kitchen floor over and over again, no matter what the time of night it was! When you’re feeling sleepy again, return to your bed. By doing this you associate your bed with sleepiness and eventually sleep.

Writing down any worries or concerns before you go to bed.

This is called externalizing. Writing down any worries or concerns helps to remove them from your mind, increasing your chance of focusing on sleep, rather than stress.

 

 

Advertisements

Want to Quit Smoking: What to do?

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on November 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

Plan the right time to quit.

Think about a good time to quit. Make sure that you plan to quit at a time when your life is going to be reasonably stable – when you have no major events over the coming month or two such as getting married, birthday parties, exams, holidays such as Christmas, and so on. On the other hand, many people find that quitting just before they go on holiday is a great time to do it, as the change of scenery and lack of all those familiar smoking triggers can reinforce their new non-smoking habit.

 

Tell people, who you know are supportive, that you’re quitting.

It’s always nice to have support and encouragement. These are the people you know you can turn to when your resolve is wavering, or who you know will give you those little words of encouragement just when you need them. Avoid at all costs those who would delight in your failure!

 

Get rid of all your smoking paraphernalia just before your hypnotherapy session.

Throw out your ashtrays, your lighters, and your stash of emergency cigarettes. You won’t need them any more. Once they are gone they won’t be there to tempt you from the straight and narrow. And ensure that your home becomes a strict no smoking zone.

 

Do something that you know will increase your motivation to quit.

You’re motivated, but what else can you do that cranks up that motivation? Half-fill a jam jar with water and drop your old dog ends into it after you smoke each cigarette. Every so often, shake it up and smell the mixture. Nice! That’s what’s going on in your body each time you smoke. Or take another jam jar and each time you buy a packet of cigarettes put the equivalent amount of money into it. At the end of the week count it up and see how much you are spending on ruining your health. And then think how much you save once you have stopped. Plan to do something nice with that money.

 

MUST STRETCH AFTER WORKOUT

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

Stretch gently after you warm up your muscles, and again after you cool down. Try doing the stretches listed below. Do not bounce or hold your breath when you stretch. Perform slow movements and stretch only as far as you feel comfortable.

Side Reach

Illustration demonstrating sidestrech

Reach one arm over your head and to the side. Keep your hips steady and your shoulders straight to the side. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Wall Push

Illustration demonstrating the wall push

 

Lean your hands on a wall and place your feet about 3 to 4 feet away from the wall. Bend one knee and point it toward the wall. Keep your back leg straight with your foot flat and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Knee Pull

Illustration demonstrating the knee pull

Lean your back against a wall. Keep your head, hips, and feet in a straight line. Pull one knee toward your chest, hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Leg Curl

Illustration demonstrating the leg curl

Pull your right foot toward your buttocks with your right hand. Stand straight and keep your bent knee pointing straight down. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your other foot and hand.

Hamstring Stretch

Illustration demonstrating hamstring strech

Sit on a sturdy bench or hard surface so that one leg is stretched out on the bench with your toes pointing up. Keep your other foot flat on the surface below. Straighten your back, and if you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh, hold for 10 seconds and then change sides and repeat. If you do not feel a stretch, slowly lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch.

 

%d bloggers like this: