Sleep Anxiety: Is the Fear of Insomnia Causing Your Inability to Sleep?

Is the fear of insomnia causing your inability to sleep? In some people, insomnia can begin abruptly after one bad night of sleep. From there, sleep anxiety develops and becomes a nightly pattern. Worry builds as bedtime approaches, and by the time someone gets into bed, they are so worked up, they can’t fall asleep. The fear of not being able to sleep ends up driving insomnia.

After this lousy night of sleep, a negative association develops, and sleep begins to be linked with insomnia. I like this definition of negative association: read more

Fall Prevention in the Elderly: Improve Sleep and Reduce Anxiety Without an Increased Risk of Falling

Preventing falls in the elderly can significantly improve quality of life. Unfortunately, falling and injury happen too frequently. Fall prevention in the elderly is the result of common sense safety planning and education regarding contributing factors that set people up to fall. Many frequently used medications increase these risks, especially sleep aids and certain anxiety medications. But insomnia and anxiety also impair quality of life and need to be treated. Learn more about the risks and safer alternatives that can help. read more

Recommended melatonin dosage for adults: You may be surprised!

Melatonin is widely used to treat difficulties with sleep and is readily available given the lack of need for a prescription. Because it is classified as a dietary supplement (not a drug) it isn’t regulated by the FDA and there aren’t any dosing parameters set. This has led to a lack of clarity about the recommended melatonin dosage for adults. The dose people take often varies by their best guess and the pill strength sold in the store they are in. What is melatonin and should you take 3mg? 10mg? The recommendations are vague so no wonder people are confused about how to use melatonin! read more

ADHD and Sleep: 6 Things People With ADHD Can Do to Get More Sleep

Sleep is an essential ingredient for a fully functioning, well-performing brain. In particular, it can assist in boosting moods, increasing focus, improving concentration, and helping with general health and well-being. For people with ADHD, lack of sleep can contribute to an increase in the symptoms of ADHD.  Sleep and ADHD often don’t go well together-  difficulties with sleeping are common with ADHD. Get more sleep by using these 6 simple tips. ADHD and sleep problems don’t have to go hand in hand! read more

Improve Sleep With a Weighted Blanket

When I was first contacted by the company Weighting Comforts I was so excited to try their weighted blanket. Not only do I love weighted blankets but these blankets are handmade in the United States by women who are refugees (a particular passion of mine). If you look at previous posts on my blog you will see I am a huge fan of healthy sleep hygiene and finding ways to improve sleep (read here for a reminder of sleep hygiene and healthy habits for sleep). Getting restorative sleep is a major contributor to improving someone’s mental health. People don’t feel at their finest when they are sleep deprived. Weighted blankets for adults can be a helpful tool to improve sleep. read more

7 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight!

Looking for ways to sleep better? Insomnia and exhaustion are such a drag! If you are having problems sleeping read these 7 tips for better sleep. The benefits can be felt the first night. It may take time to reset your “sleep clock” and undo disruptive habits to truly get to the point where you feel rested. Hang in there because it will be worth it! Refresh yourself by getting quality, restorative sleep.

Sleep is one of the basic foundations for how we feel yet it is frequently put low on the to-do-list of busy people. Quality sleep is affected by poor sleep hygiene and sleep disorders. There is a long list of consequences to poor sleep such as weight gain, metabolic syndrome, depression and burnout. read more

Sleep and aging: What happens to our sleep and how to make it better

Oh, the joys of aging and sleep!

Insomnia in the elderly is a frequent struggle. The amount of sleep people need (and the quality of sleep) changes over a lifetime.  Sleep may be affected by genetics, mental health, physical health, and medications. These changes can be part of the normal aging process and can happen independently of medical or psychiatric illness.

Sleep and Aging: What frequently happens with insomnia in the elderly?

  • Reduce total sleep time,
  • Cause daytime sleepiness,
  • Increase the number of times you wake up after you fall asleep (reduce sleep efficiency),
  • Reduce dream (REM) sleep,
  • Cause a lighter sleep,
  • Reduce the amount of slow wave sleep so there is less restorative sleep,
  • Shift your circadian rhythm so you are sleepy earlier in the evening and wake early in the morning.

Read here for an in-depth article of everything you ever wanted to know about aging and sleep.

Treatment of insomnia in elderly individuals:

There are many treatment options for sleep problems. read more

8 Great Options to Treat Insomnia (Without Medication)

Do your worries keep you awake at night? Restorative sleep is so important for our health yet is often sabotaged by anxiety.  If you are a “sleep worrier” you may benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (abbreviated CBTi). CBT for insomnia is a targeted insomnia treatment that can have long-term benefit and doesn’t require taking medication.

Some signs you may benefit from CBT for Insomnia:

When you have trouble falling asleep or wake in the middle of the night:

  • Do you check the clock to see how many hours you have left until morning?
  • Are you someone that calculates the hours you need to function well the next day?
  • Do you start to worry about how awful you will feel the next day, how you will not have the energy to take care of what you need to do, or will most certainly fail your exam?

If your worries help you fall back to sleep then stop reading this and keep worrying! If like the rest of us, worries actually keep you awake consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. read more

Can’t sleep? Back to basics!

Is your sleep suffering? Can’t sleep at all? Let’s talk about sleep problems, some basic information about sleep and sleep hygiene, and how to sleep better. We often don’t make the connection between poor sleep and habits we have that interfere with it. Quality sleep is essential to feeling well. We feel lousy when we have a lack of sleep! Chronic lack of sleep can have medical consequences and make it hard to recover from an illness like depression.

How to Sleep Better: Sleep Hygiene

You may be able to improve sleep by practicing better sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is really about getting back to basics: minimizing disruptions while sleeping, maximizing comfort, and identifying things interfering with sleep while adding in things to improve sleep. Here is a link to a great review of sleep hygiene that will help you figure out how to improve your sleep problems. read more

The Truth About Alcohol and Sleep

Many people believe having a drink will help them sleep better. Insomnia is a common problem and alcohol can help people fall asleep quicker. On the surface this sounds great but what does alcohol REALLY do to one’s sleep? Shall we stop prescribing sleep aids and recommend everyone have a few shots of liquor instead? Read here to learn more about the side effects of alcohol and if alcohol and insomnia are related. Does alcohol cause insomnia? If you are wondering how to sleep better and feel fresh the next day you may need to skip that cocktail with dinner. read more