Solving Sleep Problems

To no avail, Meredith has tried myriad remedies -- warm baths, hot milk, a glass of wine before bed, no food before bed, relaxation techniques, and prescription and homeopathic medicines.She took a prescription medication, but that didn't give her more than four hours of sleep."CBT aims to stop the behaviors that are perpetuating the insomnia," says Susie Esthera, M.

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D., a sleep-medicine specialist and an associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Neubauer calls her situation "conditioned arousal," which, he says, is common.

"Clock watching will only increase your anxiety about being awake," Esther says.

Real Simple.com: Get a good night's sleep The early bird Her challenge: Brooke Brown, 38, is a married prekindergarten teacher with three children from Wellesley, Massachusetts.

D., the director of sleep programs at the Miraval Resort, in Tucson. "There is a notion that alcohol will help you sleep," says Neubauer.

"And while it often does help you fall asleep quicker, your sleep will be more disrupted." • Accepting some awakenings.

So if she wants to get up at 5 a.m., she should plan to be asleep by about 10 p.m. "She should gradually adjust her bedtime so that she is able to stay awake later, and that will help her body adapt to the new schedule," says Esther.

To quell Brooke's middle-of-the-night worrying, Esther suggests that, instead of lying in bed, she get up and do something relaxing, like having a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea.

Given her round-the-clock proximity to small children (her own are ages 4, 7, and 9), Brooke is understandably exhausted by the end of the day.

So much so that she often falls sound asleep as early as 7 p.m. -- by a child, her husband snoring, or a need to use the bathroom -- and never manages to fall back asleep.

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