How to Sleep When You Feel Upset
I. ESTABLISH A BEDTIME ROUTINE
Exercise or relaxation or yoga Relaxing/boring TV or reading Possibly cheese, milk, and a little sweet (if no weight problems) (Do the exercise and any mental work first, then have a mentally passive time of a half hour to an hour before bed [watch TV, relaxing reading, music, boring chores, etc.].
WHEN YOU FEEL AWAKE AND ARE THINKING ABOUT PROBLEMS:
A. Never think about problems in bed (or bedroom), INSTEAD go to B. B. If you start thinking about problems, give self a CHOICE. 1. Stop thinking about problem (set another time to think about it - - think about SOMETHING ELSE MORE POSITIVE AND INVOLVING AND RELAXING - for example, count sheep). Exercise and/or stretch/yoga Consciously decide to think about the problem (and exercise periodically). If can’t sleep - - do work (eg., mop kitchen floor).
2. 3. 4.
C. If you get a fear of not going to sleep, remember, “I’m not going to die from not sleeping”. Attitude = “I’ll just see how long I can go without sleeping”. Trust in your body to take care of its own sleep needs.
D. Keep pad and pencil handy so you can write down anything you’re afraid you won’t remember and/or make a date to think about the problem later. E. Avoid all medications for sleeping.
For more tips about sleep problems click here to go to my companion web site sleep tips: http://front.csulb.edu/success/concentration_or_sleep.htm
Overcoming Sleep Problems
Information Advice Internet Links Books & Media CSULB Referrals Other
INFORMATION and ADVICE
Lack of adequate sleep can lead to both physical and psychological problems. Alternately, lack of sleep can be caused by stress, psychological problems, or physical problems. Sleep research shows that anyone can develop periods when they have trouble sleeping. Are any of the following potential causes of your sleep problems? Stress, thinking about problems or other daily activities that keep you from going to sleep or keep you awake in the middle of the night. Try dealing with the underlying problems during the day. If you wake up in the middle of the night, make the following decision. Either get up and think about the problem and reach a conclusion and/or do strenuous exercise to "burn off" emotional energy OR tell yourself you will think about the problem at a certain time during the day (you can write down any thoughts you have so you won't worry about forgetting them). In either case, don't remain in bed for long periods of time worrying or tossing and turning. That can condition you to not be able to sleep well in your bed. Also, try relaxation techniques like muscle relaxation, listening to relaxation tapes, visualizing relaxing scenes, reciting positive statements, etc. Lack of a regular bed-time ritual that helps prepare you for a good night's sleep (e.g. no wind-down time to get your mind off daily activities; a period of relaxation; a regular place to sleep where you feel comfortable, safe, and are not bothered by too many distractions; and a routine for going to bed, etc.). Try developing a bed-time ritual such as evening exercise, activity, relaxation/winddown time (TV, music, relaxing reading, etc.), then bed. Tip for students, try to avoid studying more than an hour or two beyond your normal bedtime--even when "cramming." Your work and study will be of poorer quality and you will dislike your classes more. Instead, develop good time management practices (see our time-management help section.) Physical problems that may interfere with sleep (headache, sore or tense muscles, illness, etc.) For tension or sore muscles try relaxing them by mild exercise, stretching, using a vibrator, or relaxation exercises. Doing that on a regular basis can also be very helpful if you are under stress. Lack of a regular daily routine that mixes adequate amounts of exercise, daily activities, and regular sleep hours. Try adjusting your schedule to get a regular schedule and increase your exercise levels. Diet. Have you trained yourself to sleep on an odd schedule? For example, if you have trouble sleeping at night, have you begun to take naps during the day which cause you not be sleepy enough to sleep well the next night? Try forcing yourself to be very active all day and make yourself tired so that you can sleep at night; you can't sleep unless you are tired and sleepy enough. Try this persistently for a number of nights. DON'T let yourself stay in bed late if you haven't been sleeping regularly. That can change your sleep cycle.
If techniques like these don't correct the problem, see a physician, psychologist, or sleep specialist. Your sleep is important and affects your happiness and success.
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INTERNET LINKS Help with Sleep Problems
****Mental Health Net Sleep Resources http://mentalhelp.net/guide/sleep.htm ****Stanford University Sleep Disorders Summary (All types of sleep disorders discussed by type) http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sleepinfo.html Sleep Aids (many commercial): http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sleepaids.html ****Sleep Net, full of free valuable information http://www.sleepnet.com/ ***Virtual Pamphlet Collection of the University of Chicago--SEE SLEEP PROBLEMS Free online pamphlets about relationships and many other topics written by psychologists and other counselors from University Counseling Centers across U.S.A. http://counseling.uchicago.edu/vpc
BOOKS & MEDIA
GO TO: book_sites.htm
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CSULB REFERRALS CSULB Student Services
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) CSULB students can obtain free counseling from licensed psychologists for almost any type of personal problem including relationships and family problems; stress, anxiety, depression, anger, grief; academic-related concerns; career decision-making; crises; and almost any type of self-development issue. We offer individual and group counseling, workshops, and self-help materials including this web site. Brotman Hall, Room 226; 562-985-4001; web site: www.csulb.edu/~caps Other student services and student organizations may also be helpful Click here to see a complete list of CSULB student services and student organizations