A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind | The Health Sessions

A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind

This is an article by James M. Gregory.

50 – 70 million.

That would be the answer if the question were, “How many people in the US have a sleep disorder?”

That number might seem innocent on its own. So people don’t sleep well, no big deal, right? You might shrug it off if you don’t dig deeper and look at the ominous statistics about fatalities and injuries related to sleep deprivation (as reported by sleepassociation.org):

  • 1,550 fatal and 40,000 non-fatal injuries directly caused by drowsy driving alone
  • 100,000 fatal outcomes related to medical errors caused by sleep deprivation

 

An issue with the stats

There are gaping flaws in the statistical model we’re using today. Any sleep therapist with a modern approach could probably write an essay on all the things the stats can’t tell you.

The topic is beyond the scope of this article, but let us takes a moment to point out 3 obvious problems:

  • What constitutes a sleep disorder?
  • How many people are diagnosed vs. how many are suffering in silence or don’t even know they have a problem?
  • How many people involved in the sleep-related accidents or medical errors will be open about it?

You see a pattern here – most of the stats we have are subjective. To be honest, the issue of subjectivity is tricky and there isn’t much we can do about it. Furthermore, statistical models have a way of improving on their own as science moves forward and we tweak the models.

Read more >A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind



Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash (and How to Best Manage Your Energy) | The Health Sessions

Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)

If you’ve been living with a chronic illness for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. For someone who’s seriously sick, each day starts with a limited amount of “spoons” of energy. They carefully have to decided how you can best spend each one, knowing that even mondain tasks like taking a shower or making lunch costs you precious spoons.

The Spoon Theory is a helpful analogy of what it’s truly like to live with chronic illness or disability. But how does it work in reality? How do you decide how to spend your spoons? What do you do when you have no spoons left but still half a day ahead of you?

In my experience, there are two broad strategies: pacing and push-and-crash. 

I used to be the queen of push-and-crash cycles. At the time, it really was the only way to get things done: resting up and preparing before an event – going to school, necessary shopping trips, hanging out with family and friends – putting every last drop of effort into getting to and through the event and then… crash. Hard. It meant my symptoms would exacerbate and I couldn’t do much else but rest the next day(s) to recover from that activity.

Read more >Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)



3 Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine | The Health Sessions

3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)

This is a guest post by Sarah Cummings from The Sleep Advisor.

The mid-week slump. We’ve all been there. Some of us even experience the midday slump, every single day. Really, it’s exhausting. And when we find ourselves drained of energy, sugar is often the first thing we turn to for a boost. That, or caffeine. And caffeine, while it may appear to be your secret weapon sometimes, is not your friend.

So here are a few ways to stay awake during the day…without the caffeine buzz.

Read more >3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)



13 Helpful Things to Do When You Can't Sleep at Night | The Health Sessions

13 Helpful Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep at Night

It’s the middle of the night and there you are, staring at the ceiling while the clock’s ticking away. You start getting anxious, because there are only a few hours of potential sleep left until a new day starts again. But as much as you toss and turn, you just can’t fall asleep.

If you suffer from insomnia, always check if you have your bedtime basics covered: a dark, slightly cool bedroom with a comfortable mattress, not too much caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. You could even try some more unconventional tips for getting plenty of shut-eye.

But some nights, even when you’ve done everything right, you find yourself wide awake at 2am.

So what do you do? It’s tempting to grab your phone, check your social media feeds or watch TV until you start getting sleepy. But that’s not a great choice for two reasons. The blue light coming from electronic devices actually inhibits the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it even harder for you to fall asleep. What’s more, by doing something mentally stimulating, not only are you not sleeping, you’re not getting high-quality rest either.

There must be a better way right?

Read more >13 Helpful Things to Do When You Can’t Sleep at Night



How to Start Doing Yoga from Bed When Your Have ME/CFS | The Health Sessions

How to Start Doing Yoga in Bed When You Have M.E./CFS

 

This is a guest post by Donna Owens, a long-standing M.E. warrior, qualified yoga practitioner and author of “Yoga, My Bed & M.E.” on how you can gently improve your physical condition when you’re chronically ill. 

How Can You Start Doing Yoga in Bed 

When You Have M.E./CFS?

 

1. Listen to your body

We all get excited when we find something new to embark on, especially if it is towards helping us feel better. We tend to dive right in on the first go, only to be rewarded with payback and M.E. flare for days or weeks and we end up giving up.

Start with small steps and slowly climb the yoga ladder over weeks or months. Start with just one or two poses at first, maybe one pose as you wake up in the morning to open the body and ease stiffness and a pose before you sleep to help your mind and body relax to help you drift off to a peaceful state. Take your time and hold the pose(s) or repeat the pose(s) to suit your body and M.E. each day – and we all feel different day to day – so don’t feel as though you have failed if some days you can do more than other days.

Read more >How to Start Doing Yoga in Bed When You Have M.E./CFS