Tag: Sleep

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In this fast-paced western society we are constantly connected and available 247, we have information flowing into us on a daily basis and there’s an increasing expectation for us to respond instantly. Given all of this, there a growing need for us to be operating or functioning in terms of our mental health not just at ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ levels, but ‘optimal’ levels.

Optimal means we are functioning at the highest levels mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, such that we’re able to cope well with the demands of life. If we are operating at sub-optimal level, it’s much harder for us to perform even the basic of life’s functions.

So how do we ensure our health and wellbeing levels are what they should be?

One key contributory factor for long-term mental health and wellness is to ensure we have 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night.

Repair

Sleep repairs the body. This has a positive knock-on effect to how you function cognitively the next and following days. When we sleep, we sleep in cycles of 60-90 minutes. During that time we oscillate between deep (so-called delta) sleep where the body repairs itself and the lighter REM sleep.

Recall

REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep, or lighter sleep, moves information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. This helps you to better recall information you absorb on a daily basis. It is during this REM phase of sleep that your eyes move rapidly from side to side (hence the name) and that you dream.

Rhythm

Getting to bed at the right time (ideally 10pm) and getting the right amount of sleep every night keeps your circadian rhythm in check. Your circadian rhythm is your natural body clock that gives you signals when it’s time for you to sleep and when it’s time for you to wake up. Working shift patterns (especially night shifts) can knock this out of balance which can have major consequences not only for your mental and physical health but also for your gut health.

Lack of good quality sleep means that instead of being fully awake and energised during the day, you may find yourself sleepy, sluggish and unable to focus for any significant length of time. In addition, when you’re in bed at night you may feel ‘tired and wired’ (meaning your body is physically tired, but your mind is wide awake and you’re therefore unable to sleep).

Melatonin, the hormone that prepares your body for sleep, and serotonin (your awake hormone) need to be in balance for you to function at your best in the day. This means melatonin kicks in naturally from around 9pm (to help you sleep) until about 7am when serotonin is released to take you through the day. When this melatonin, serotonin cycle is in balance you are fully awake during the day and sleepy at night (when you should be). This in turn means you get a better night’s sleep.

Immune Booster

So never underestimate the power of sleep if you value your health and wellbeing. Good quality sleep not only helps us function more effectively, it also boosts our immune system, helping us to stave off viruses and other infections that we would more easily catch with an inferior level and quality of sleep.

Sleep is therefore one of the fundamental pillars of amazing health and wellbeing. Without it we may over time find ourselves not only operating under par but opening ourselves up to chronic exhaustive conditions such as ME, chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia. These conditions can be debilitating and could, if not kept in check, leave us either bed bound or wheelchair bound.

So a key way to look after your mental health over the long term is to ensure that you not only get your 7-9 hours but that you ensure that you go to bed at the right time to increase your chances of getting a much better night’s sleep.

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Source by Carmen Gilfillan

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Statement: My intent in this newsletter is to express as quickly as possible my own beliefs and opinions on matters. I have no problems with people who disagree with my opinion and have even been swayed to rethink my position from time to time.

I wanted to let you know that our book many years in the making should be ready for release (FINALLY) in NOVEMBER it is authored by me and Robert Eme Ph.D. and will be titled ADHD and the Criminal Justice System-“Spinning out of control. The book is designed for the police, jails, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation, prisons, halfway houses and parole officials. To learn more and get updates click here. [http://www.addcorridorcoaching.com/book.asp]

Robert Eme’s e-mail is [email protected]

Obtaining and maintaining a job are common problems for many with ADHD. Many of these problems relate to the tendency of people with ADHD to be night owls. They have difficulty getting to sleep at night and when they finally do go to sleep have difficulty waking up in the morning. This can cause them problems at work with being late on a regular basis and conflicts with employers.

Another common problem is the tendency to speak our minds without hesitation. In the heat of a dispute with our boss we might fail to hold our tongue and blurt out whatever might be on our mind at that moment. Needless to say what comes out of our mouth at that moment can have serious consequences on maintaining employment.

Some of us take jobs that offer very little variety or stimulation which can be a recipe for disaster. ADHD people normally do not perform well on assembly line type work and are restless about really enjoying our work. Job satisfaction is very important to anyone who works. For a person with ADHD the fact that our job is boring or lacks adequate stimulation further complicates the first two problems of oversleeping and using verbally inappropriate responses to our employers.

In working with people with ADHD we discuss these matters regularly. I encourage them to find jobs that correspond to their peak performance hours. This is often the 300pm – 1100pm or 400pm – Midnight shift. This allows them to get off work and have a few hours to wind down before going to bed. They can then sleep in and are up and ready to make work on time. Others seem to do better working the overnight shift although this too can be problematic for those who seem to be wide awake at 300am and start fading around 400am.

What are the reasons for having trouble going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning to maintain a day job? Usually what happens is when it is time to go to bed sleep does not seem to come naturally on many evenings. We start concentrating on getting to sleep. This focus seems to usually lead to thinking about our need to get to sleep. After awhile this changes to questioning of why I can’t go to sleep. This leads to reviewing the day to find out what might be bothering us. This seems to quickly lead us to an ever increasing number of problems that have occurred that day. Soon it seems that our minds are abuzz with so many thoughts it would be difficult to write them all down. As the minutes and hours pass and we still find ourselves awake we start thinking of how much sleep we have already missed and this only makes matters worse.

We may get up and watch television, or read a book hoping that will help us to become tired. This may work on some occasions and not so well on other occasions. It is usually impossible for us to identify why this works one day and not the other.

As a result we find ourselves tired during the day and maybe even having to take a nap in an attempt to make up for missed sleep. This can then lead to compounding our sleep problems that evening.

Waking up from sleep can also be confusing to us. After having so many problems going to sleep the night before …

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