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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Another Light-Hearted Quote

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."
Anthony Burgess - Writer, 1917-1993, particularly famous for "A Clockwork Orange"

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Want to Look Attractive and Healthy? Get a Good Night's Sleep.

There is a really cheap and effective way of making sure you look as attractive as possible: get plenty of sleep. You will also look much healthier, researchers from Sweden have reported.  They have just conducted a study involving 23, non-smoking, young adult volunteers, aged between 18 and 31. They were photographed twice, each time between 2pm and 3pm. The first photograph was taken after they had had a good night's sleep, while the second one showed what they looked like after sleep deprivation.

All pictures were taken in the same, well-lit room, with a fixed camera and at a fixed distance. None of the participants wore make-up, their hair was combed back, and had undergone similar shaving and washing procedures before each photograph was taken. The photographer asked them to assume a neutral, relaxed facial expression on both photo shoots.

The participants were not allowed to consume alcohol for a period of 48 hours before the study.

Sixty-five other people were asked to rate the photographs for attractiveness, health aspect, and whether or not the person looked tired. The photograph observers did not know the sleep status of the participants they were asked to rate.

The researchers reported that, in the vast majority of cases, the observers rated those who had had a good night's sleep as more attractive, healthier, and with more energy, compared to the ones which had been deprived of sleep.

I would seem then that it is a fact that our lack of sleep is visible to others so when we feel drained and think we look tired, we probably do.  Time to get help sleeping as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Turn Off Your TV For A More Restful Night's Sleep

According to a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, glowing television screens are the cause for most folks' chronic sleep deprivation.

Researchers looked at the sleep habits and rituals of 21,475 participants for three years. They found that during the two hours prior to bedtime, watching television ranked as the most common activity. This means more people may be staying up longer than normal to finish watching programs and those alarm clocks are waking people out of their slumber earlier than expected. These two scenarios lead to sleep deprivation, decreased alertness and impaired concentration throughout the day.

So be sure to minimize your nightly TV time in order to help you get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted restful sleep.  Think carefully too whether you REALLY want to watch  "The Walking Dead"!  

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

EFT - Have You Heard of This?

Excuse my ignorance but I've only just discovered this help method!  The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an effective and easy to learn acupressure method used by thousands of people to help with their problems.  Strange but true, by tapping on just nine meridian points on your body, you can quickly change your mood and attitude.  It was developed by Gary Craig, a Stanford engineer, out of his work with "Thought Field Therapy".  He contends that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body's energy system.  He learned that tapping on the body's energy system while focusing on the negative emotion or experience would relieve disruption.  It can help with anxiety, pain, phobias and other aspects of your present state which may be causing sleep problems - it can also help change your attitude to sleep itself!  The good thing about it is that YOU are in control, it is very safe to practise and you are not putting prescription medicines into your body which seem to work short-term but do not help sleeping in the long run.  Why not try a FREE download which focuses on anxiety relief - it will give you a good idea of how EFT works:
Video - Introduction to EFT + Anxiety Relief Session 
or you can click on the banner above this article.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Time for a Quotation:

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one" - Leo J. Burke (Reverend and Teacher, 1911-1980)

8 Factors That Could Be Keeping You Awake At Night

This is an interesting list which may help in finding a reason for your sleep problems.  The factors are: pain, mental illness and stress, snoring, jet lag (yes this can cause chronic insomnia), shift work, hormonal changes, medical illnesses, drugs.  Each of these is explained in more detail here when you click on each of the links:,,20306729,00.html

Friday, 19 November 2010

Sleep Music?

As I have written in my first post, dated 22nd September, I'm not really a big fan of music to help me relax (I prefer soothing speech) but it works for many as found by the hotel chain, Travelodge.  They conducted a recent survey and found that 84% of people listen to music as a way to relax at bedtime and top of the list is Coldplay, followed by Michael Buble.  Who'd have thought also that Radiohead would equate to relaxing music but it's apparently so!  Check out the article and list - you may end up listenening to something you wouldn't normally choose BUT it may be the best thing you ever did!
Coldplay Top for Sleep Music

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Does Chronic Heartburn Affect Your Sleep?

There's a good recent tip in the New York Times which says that sleeping on your left side calms heartburn. Read it here:

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Secrets of Sound Sleep

Secrets of Sound Sleep

The Daily Express in the UK has an article this month suggesting some aids to help sleeping. These are more about comfort than anything else but I DO like the idea of the wrist-watch which determines your “most awake” moments at the end of a sleep cycle which is the best time for you to wake up feeling less groggy. It seems that you set an alarm “window” and it finds the best time to wake you.  Check all their recommendations:

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Need Sleep? Too Much Sleep Can Kill You!

Something positive for a pleasant change - the secret to longevity means getting just enough sleep!

A new study, derived from novel sleep research conducted by University of California, San Diego researchers 14 years earlier, suggests that the secret to a long life may come with just enough sleep. Less than five hours a night is probably not enough; eight hours is probably too much. These findings will help dismiss the perception that we need sleep lasting 8 or more hours.

A team of scientists, headed by Daniel F. Kripke, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine, revisited original research conducted between 1995 and 1999. In that earlier study, part of the Women’s Health Initiative, Kripke and colleagues had monitored 459 women living in San Diego (ranging in age from 50 to 81) to determine if sleep duration could be associated with mortality. Fourteen years later, they returned to see who was still alive and well.

Of the original participants, 444 were located and evaluated. Eighty-six women had died. Previous studies, based upon questionnaires of people’s sleep habits, had posited that sleeping 6.5 to 7.5 hours per night was associated with best survival. Kripke and colleagues, whose 1990s research had used wrist activity monitors to record sleep durations, essentially confirmed those findings, but with a twist. 
The surprise was that when sleep was measured objectively, the best survival was observed among women who slept 5 to 6.5 hours,” Kripke said. “Women who slept less than five hours a night or more than 6.5 hours were less likely to be alive at the 14-year follow-up.”

The findings were released at the end of September 2010.

Kripke said the study should allay some people’s fears that they’re not getting enough sleep. “This means that women who sleep as little as five to six-and-a-half hours have nothing to worry about since that amount of sleep is evidently consistent with excellent survival. That is actually about the average measured sleep duration for San Diego women.”

We should remember too that Madonna, Margaret Thatcher (ex British Prime Minister) and Florence Nightingale are among those who have survived on four hours a night!

So, good news for those who need help sleeping – your most healthy sleep amount may be a lot less than you've previously believed. A welcome relief, I'm sure!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Help Sleeping

If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he'd make a fortune.  ~Griff Niblack

Ok, that’s amusing but I guess that if you’re reading my blog to get help sleeping, you’re in no mood for funny quotes at the moment.  However, please don’t be disheartened because suffering from lack of sleep is extremely common and you are alongside Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and Charles Dickens who are only a few of the illustrious people who have documented their difficulties with sleep. Oh, I forgot to include myself in the list!

By far the most common cause of insomnia is related to - yes you guessed it - stress. For some people, their insomnia starts in response to a stressful event and continues even when the stress has been resolved. This is because they have learnt to associate the sleeping environment with a state of being alert.
Causes of stress can be:
  • situational - for example, worrying about work, money or health, families, relationships,
  • environmental, such as noise,  
  • death or illness of a loved one.
What can you do to get a good night’s sleep again?  

Firstly, if you are really concerned about eliminating other causes of this debilitating situation which could include certain underlying physical or mental diseases or even a side effect of particular medications, I advise a medical check-up.  That would be one of your stresses out of the way which would be a good start!

The next step to take to get you back on track is to establish a good bedtime ritual (known as “sleep hygiene”) and it’s important to do this consistently to re-educate your mind and body.  The following is a guide:
  • establish fixed times for going to bed and waking up (and avoid sleeping in after a poor night's sleep),
  • try to relax before going to bed,
  • maintain a comfortable sleeping environment (not too hot, cold, noisy or bright),
  • avoid napping during the day,
  • avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within six hours of going to bed,
  • avoid exercise within four hours of bedtime (although exercise earlier in the day is beneficial),
  • avoid eating a heavy meal late at night,
  • avoid watching or checking the clock throughout the night, and
  • only use the bedroom for sleep and sex.
In addition, certain cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) are recommended by doctors as they are known to be very successful in curing insomnia.  CBT aims to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to the problem and include relaxation techniques, stimulus control and other methods to train yourself to sleep.

Medical practitioners are reluctant to prescribe sleeping tablets long-term as they tackle only the symptom, not the cause and often lose their effectiveness after a few weeks anyway.

If you feel you want more help sleeping, then I wholeheartedly recommend a book which is available from Amazon called “The Insomnia Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need” by Stephanie Silberman.
 The Insomnia Workbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Sleep You Need The author is a licensed psychologist and sleep medicine specialist and this book has highly-rated reviews.  It is inexpensive, comprehensive and simulates, in particular, the experience of seeing a cognitive behavioural therapy sleep specialist and has a complete and effective plan to getting the sleep you need.  You can click on the picture of the book to the right and find out more.  I have also found it really helpful to listen to relaxation techniques when going to bed.  It helps clear the mind and get rid of any physical tension.  I personally find that so-called "relaxing music" does nothing for me and prefer a soothing female voice, for example Letting Go Into Deep Sleep 
which is wonderfully calming and very long (very good value for 99 cents and instantly downloadable!).

It may take a combination of strategies to regain your perfect sleeping pattern but, believe me, it will be well worth the effort!  Remember:

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.  ~Charlotte Brontë