Monday, January 31, 2011

Stress Fixes for Better Sleep



Target the Enemy!

When stress interrupts your sleep on a nightly basis, it sets you up for a chronic insomnia that can send you sliding down the rabbit's hole toward sleeping pills, alcohol, and chocolate cake at night and a zillion cups of coffee during the day. Here's how to step back from that precipice.

Target the enemy. "Every night a couple of hours before bed, sit down and make a list of all the issues, problems, and things you have to deal with," says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of Kettering Hospital Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. "Next to each item, write a solution or plan." If you're mad at your mother-in-law, for example, the solution could be to call her and talk it out.


Even if it's not something you want to do, write down your ideas for dealing with each stressor you've listed, urges Dr. Arand. Then mull the solutions over.


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