- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
'PRACTICAL TIPS FOR FORTY WINKS
Most people, who have read my hubs will know that I suffer from a rare Neurodegenerative Disease called "Multiple Systems Atrophy". It attacks all the systems of my body and at this stage I have been getting worse and have become more symptomatic than I had been previously. However, one of my biggest problems now, as well has been Insomnia, which for those of you who don't know is when you can't get to sleep for long periods at a time. I can at times be up from 11.00pm one night and still be up at my computer writing poetry or hubs at 6.00 am the next day. Not a very good way to live is it?
Okay, How many of you like me, have had Interrupted sleep patterns and difficulties with getting to sleep. This is something I have had trouble with a lot lately because this disease I have been blessed with hahaha, it interferes big time with my sleeping patterns. It causes not only Insomnia, but also extreme sleepiness as well as the exact opposite note being able to stay awake. I will let you in on something, that was actually very upsetting and embarassing for me, but I don't mind sharing. Recently,
I went out to lunch in an open Cafe, a place where I have been to many times with both my husband and friends. This time, it was with my husband. I was very tired and we had also intended going to the movies after lunch. Well, we never got there, in fact, I nodded off on so many occasions, according to my husband, he had to kick me in the foot to wake me up. Can you imagine what that was like. Apart from having a black and blue foot, which I might add made it very difficult to put my shoe on, for Church the next day, I found it very hard to walk.
Getting back to this situation. I can't believe I could have been this tired that I just dropped off to sleep that much. However, I wanted to share this with you just in case any out there is going through the same thing. Well I decided to do a big of research and found out some ways to help with this problem, maybe it may not help me so much because mine was connected with my disease. But, there is no harm in trying nonetheless. Difficulties with getting sleep are a cause of fatigue, iritability and lack of concentration.
Learning good “sleep hygiene”
This can include learning more about sleep and how health and environmental factors can affect sleep quality.
Research and learn more about sleep; what affects sleep quality and how much an individual needs.
Do some physical activity. It can help you feel more tired at night. Try exercising early morning or late afternoon, but avoid doing any vigorous activity late in the evening.
Spend time outdoors in natural light to help synchronise your body clock. This can be especially helpful in the morning.
Limit caffeine. Try not to drink more than two caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks, each day. Also, try not to drink caffeinated drinks after mid-afternoon.
Do not smoke in the hour or two before going to bed, because tobacco is a stimulant drug.
Do not use alcohol to try to sleep because alcohol affects sleep quality. Alcohol intoxication can cause a person to wake from sleep and become more alert as their blood alcohol level decreases during the night.
Make the bedroom a quiet relaxing space that is a comfortable temperature and free of things such as televisions, clocks and watches. Make sure the bed is comfortable and avoid too many blankets—being too hot can make it harder to fall asleep. Do not share your bed with children or pets.
Set aside time during the day to solve problems so they don’t keep you awake at night. Using techniques such as structured problem solving can help by breaking the problem down into different parts. The technique involves writing down the problem, possible solutions, consequences of the solutions, the best option, and still on paper, planning, implementing and reviewing the outcome.
Lately when I go to bed my muscles are so tense not only from my disease, which affects them, but just from the day I've had, which some of you could relate to if you are in a stressful job or just have had a heavy day at home with the kids or every day tasks. Something you can do is try to lower your shoulders, stretch out your fingers and then try to gently point your toes if you can. I have a bit of a problem with this one, because my toes are bending up, but you might be able to do this. The breathe out slowly and easily several times at least. This helps to release the muscle tension in your bodies.
If you are a jaw clencher, like my husband is, or you grind your teeth, then try dragging down your jaws and try to unclench your teeth before you head of to your beds at night.
Do you wake up with a sore back or neck pain, from inadequate or incorrect support during the night. I have a terrible neck, in fact I was told by one of my specialists that I have the neck now of an eighty year old and I have only 54 in September. Wow, was that a big shock. I don't suppose there would be many of you in this positon, but if you do have neck problems then perhaps this information will help you.
THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF
- Is your mattress too hard or too soft?
- How is the texture of your sleeping pillow/
- would you benefit from a cushion between your thighs and lower legs (or even a body pillow) will help tokeep you lined up so that your back is in a better position (not so twisted) while lying on your sides?
THINGS TO TRY
For this problem, I read if you try to use a pillow under your knees, if you have problems with backache, while you are lying on your backs. There are a lot of tips and suggestions available so seek professional advice, to try to sort out any persisting pain or discomfort problems
The Video below shows you some very important techniques for you to help with breathing in reaxation. It has some very interesting ideas that show you how to relax and it is worth watching just to see how easy it is to learn how to relax properly especially if you are feeling very tense after work, or doing exercise.I hope that you enjoy it and it is of benefit to some of you.
Relaxation techniques are an important component of many behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders and specifically for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, part of your treatment may involve the practice of deep breathing and muscle relaxation while imagining giving a speech.
There are four techniques, in particular, that may be used as a part of treatment, and you can also try them out on your own to help cope with your anxiety.
Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep breathing, is the practice of expanding your diaphragm as you breathe, so that your stomach rises and falls, instead of your chest. During an anxiety attack, you are more likely to take shallow breaths, which contributes to symptoms of anxiety. By practicing how to breathe slowly and deeply while in a relaxed setting, you will be better able to call upon this method of relaxation during times of stress.
Deep breathing also forms the foundation upon which other relaxation techniques are built, so it is an important concept to master.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Have you ever noticed the feeling you have after a really intense workout? Your muscles have been fatigued to the point that your body is totally relaxed. This is the objective of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). Alternating between tense and relaxed muscles helps to induce full-body relaxation.
CALF CRAMPS AND LEG ACHES AND OTHER CONCERNS
Does anyone of you reading this hub ever wake up with the worst pain ever in your calf or calves ? Well, I do and it is not fun. If you do, something you can do is stretch your legs out before you go to sleep, then gently pull your toes up towards you, then you will feel a gentle and comfortable stretch at the back of your legs.
Hold this for 12- 15 second and then repeat several times.
If you experience regular calf cramps at night. then standing calf stretches are also effective and can be done before you go to bed and after exercises to improve the flexibility in the calf muscles. If your legs ache at the end of the day, my legs ache all the time. Try doing what I was shown by my Physiotherapist. Do ankle circles and ankle pumps. You can do these by moving your feet around and up and down at least a few times on each of your legs before you go to bed each night.
We need to also spare a thought to those of us who due to discomfort or pain are unable to sleep easily or who have interrupted sleep. Others drag themselves exhausted to bed, wishing there were more hours in the day. Yes, I come under that heading also. It is not much fun believe you me. Not only are we miserable the next day, which is not any picnic for anyone round us, as those who are affected by this would know, as I do. A lot of these signs can be seen in children, but how often do you as an adult recognise this in yourselves?. Well, as you know I do. Well, you might say what can help this problem? I have found a few simple tips that have helped me to improve my sleep pattern. It hasn't been a lot of help with fatigue and increasing my concentration in my day, but that is more to do with my disease. Maybe though, it would be to others to I have decided to give you these to try.
I have the added problem that my husband has sleep apnoea, and therefore has to wear a C pap machine to help him to breathe at night. This makes a terrible noise and as a result I am unable to get to sleep at all.
I came up with the idea to plug in my MP3 player, which has classical and all sorts of other songs that I have downloaded to play to help me to relax when I go to sleep at night. Perhaps you coud try this as well.
Sleep is something that most of us take for granted; when it's missing from our lives it's much easier to appreciate its true value. Lack of sleep affects more than just the individual experiencing it, with partners and families often sharing the burden, so be sure to identify sleep issues early and take the necessary steps to find out what it is that is stopping you from getting adequate rest to get by each day and
To find more information about sleeping problems and disorders visit the following websites that I have listed here: