Understanding how insomnia and other sleep problems contribute to hopelessness and thoughts of suicide can provide important new options for suicide prevention and treatment of depression and suicidal thoughts.
People often ask me how I handle jet lag, as I travel between time zones, countries, and even continents on a semi-regular basis. I've tried any number of "Jedi mind tricks" over the years, and there are a few that seem to work pretty consistently:
Sleep is a window to our general health and a very mysterious process that still mystifies scientists today. Sleep problems affect real people, and the information available often washes out the complexities of sleep problems at the individual level.
Though scientific studies are undecided on whether meditation actually improves sleep (some researchers say it does by easing depression, some say it makes you need less sleep, some reveal increased alertness), I find it the spiritual equivalent of counting sheep.
Although some superhero babies sleep 10-12 hours straight starting around 3-4 months of age, most infants wake up during the night and cry out for their parents. There are scientific reasons and some developmental and behavioral explanations for these awakenings.
I love watching children. They have so many natural behaviors that can teach adults how to love food -- but not too much -- and how to fit physical activity into our day. Here are some of the important lessons we can learn from observing children.
Understanding more about how sleep affects genetic function holds great promise in illuminating these pathways and could open important new avenues for both treatment and prevention of illness and disease.
We live in a one-size-fits-all educational culture that evaluates the worth of students through their test scores, GPAs, and college acceptance letters. It is this dominant narrative, and the system it supports, that needs to change.
Health and mental health practitioners need not see an alcoholic behind every symptom in order to recognize that there are indeed prodromal signs that may be evident years before a patient's drinking might be "diagnosable."
I brought back an extra four pounds from my trip to Florence visiting my daughter who is doing a semester there, as well as some fantastic truffle oil. But it turns out there was a legitimate reason for my complete lack of discipline. It was the jet lag.
When we're not talking about getting in shape, sex, our kids, our homes, our skin/hair or our finances and health -- we're probably talking about sleep. One thing we can all agree on is, there's no one solution to ensuring a good night's sleep that works for everyone.
Every parent knows that having children means losing sleep. This begins with your pregnancy and extends through the course of your childrens' early years, and can exact a serious toll on your physical and mental health.
We don't know from this study whether diet is influencing sleep or sleep is influencing food choice, or both. But the evidence is abundant that these two pillars of health -- sleep and diet -- affect each other in a number of ways. We've seen a great deal of research that diet and weight control are strongly influenced by sleep, and that too little sleep can make eating healthfully more challenging.
It's hard to relax when our minds are in turmoil. But without relaxation we can't get the sleep we need to recharge and focus productively. I've posted about how to turn your bed into a refuge and a soft place to land. But what if you still can't get to sleep?
For most of my 20s and 30s, if I couldn't sleep, I could usually point to some anxiety as the cause -- a stimulating writing project, an important exam, a conflict with someone I loved. It's only now, in my early 40s, that I frequently experience sleeplessness for no apparent or obvious reason.
Medical research is big business in this country. But historically very little of this money has gone to insomnia research. For decades, those with insomnia were regarded as "silent sufferers," often going undiagnosed, even when seeking help.
You know the bad boy you dated in high school or college? You knew he was bad news, you even knew it would end badly, but you dated him anyway. That's cortisol.
Arianna discussed the rise of HuffPost, her successes and failures, and her interest in sleep in the second part of a CNN profile (watch part one here...
A "do nothing" women's movement? I've been thinking about this a lot since I spoke with Dr. Rubin Naiman at last week's World Sleep Summit for Women's Health and Power. He told women that falling asleep was easy. All you have to do is nothing.
When I was diagnosed and first trying to make sense of it, what I wanted most was to talk with another woman who had been through it and come out the other side, someone who could reassure me with full confidence that it wouldn't be a permanent condition.