Insomnia Causes and Treatments
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is formed mainly in the pineal gland. The pineal gland is the size of a small capsule and sits in the lower middle part of the brain. Descartes called the pineal gland the seat of the soul, but we now think of it merely as the source of melatonin, which regulates sleep and is involved in immune processes. Melatonin for Sleep Melatonin release from the pineal gland has a predictable twenty-four-hour cycle an increase in the evening is associated with drowsiness and sleep, and a decrease in the morning leads to wakefulness. Melatonin production from the pineal gland declines steadily with age, and this produces disruption of internal clocks and rhythms, particularly the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is a good hypnotic, particularly for jet lag. I know a couple of physicians who work for the pharmaceutical industry, and they fly an average of once a week between Europe and the United States. They are quite happy with melatonin's effects in...
Researchers found that during certain phases of sleep, people's eyes start fluttering very rapidly even though they remain closed. Movements of the eyeballs can be horizontal or vertical. In addition, researchers found that REM sleep is characterized by the production of more alpha and beta waves by the brain, while ordinary sleep produces more theta and delta waves (having a slower frequency). This may sound like a paradox, since beta waves are characteristic of the waking state, while alpha waves are usually produced during a state between waking and sleep.
Staying up late of your own free will is one thing. But what if you're trying to get a good night's sleep and can't Insomnia takes different forms. Onset insomnia refers to difficulty establishing sleep common causes include anxiety and racing thoughts. Middle insomnia refers to middle-of-the-night awakening and an inability to return to sleep within a reasonable time. This type of problem is typical of people experiencing chronic pain, which may rouse them from the midst of slumber. Early morning awakening is frequently associated with depression. Whatever form insomnia takes, the net effect is the same insufficient restorative sleep leading to daytime fatigue. The detrimental effect of insomnia on memory function is twofold. Decreased sleep deprives you of adequate time for consolidation and diminishes daytime alertness, thereby undermining attentional function and new learning. All forms of insomnia become more common with age. Occasional sleeplessness is common and does not...
Partial insomnia is characterized by a kind of light somnolence which unfortunately does not give patients the feeling that have slept well. Another form of partial insomnia is when patients sleep deeply for one or more hours, but then wake up suddenly for no reason, and remain awake for a certain time. This is almost always due to a clich , which must first be discovered, after which patients can concentrate before falling asleep in order to mentally set a more reasonable waking hour. When patients succeed in doing this, their insomnia is all but cured. Hypersensitive hearing or phobias about noise interrupt sleep, but patients usually fall back to sleep as soon as the noise stops. In some cases, however, the phobia is strong enough to prevent patients from sleeping at all - they are so anxious about being awakened they can't get to sleep in the first place.
The best method we have found may seem a little strange, but it does produce results. It consists of getting patients to promise that they will resist falling asleep for a set period of time. They soon become aware that if this instruction is really carried out, their anxiety It is essential that patients keep their promise for the set time period, and that they fight to stay awake. If their phobia reappears when they try to get to sleep, they must start again. Results will not be long in coming, and they will soon regain their ability to sleep peacefully. Another form of complete insomnia is when patients do not sleep because they aren't tired they are not suffering from any phobias or clich s, their brain is calm but very awake, and they can rest without actually sleeping. This form is quite rare, and the exercises we suggest have hardly any effect, hypnosis being the treatment of choice in such cases. We will not be talking about cases of insomnia caused by various organic...
Insomnia (chronic sleeplessness) is the most common sleep disorder, and it becomes more common with age. Approximately one in three people will experience at least one phase of insomnia at some point in their lives. But certain sleep habits can help. I recommend the following Establish and maintain a consistent sleep schedule and routine. When possible, go to bed at about the same time each night and wake up at about the same time each morning. This kind of regularity helps many people fall asleep and wake up more easily. Avoid coffee and other sources of caffeine (including many types of tea and soft drinks, some brands of aspirin, and chocolate) after midmorning. The stimulating effect of caffeine can last for many hours and interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. Caffeine is also a diuretic, which will increase urinary frequency. Avoid or limit naps. Napping can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and prevent you from feeling tired enough to fall asleep when you really...
Insomnia commonly worsens stress and vice versa. Melatonin (discussed in a later chapter) or other over-the-counter sedatives should be considered only after the above approaches have been tried and have failed. If sleep difficulties persist for more than a few weeks, go see your doctor.
An EEG measures brain waves, or electrical activity in the brain. Electrodes placed on your scalp and possibly your face pick up brain waves and convert them to a visual signal, which can be displayed on a machine called an electroencephalograph. Older elec-troencephalography machines traced these visual signals on continuously moving paper computers are now used to record, display, and assist in analyzing EEG data. An abnormal pattern of brain waves can help identify epilepsy, sleep disorders, neurotoxic states, and other brain disorders.
OSA is another disorder that degrades sleep quality and leads to impairment in daytime cognitive function. Obstructive sleep apnea refers to frequent interruptions of breathing caused by blockage of the upper airway. Respiratory interruptions result in transient lowering of blood oxygen levels, causing reflexive partial awakening in order to reestablish respiration.
The fun factor is an important ingredient during any idea generation session. Several activities in this book incorporate fun elements to heighten creative perceptions and increase the potential for large numbers of ideas. Developed by Hall (1994), Balloon, Balloon, Balloon is one of these fun factor activities. Although it is similar to others, it can provide the lift a group needs to generate hot ideas. Try it right after lunch or at the end of a day and I guarantee no one will fall asleep.
Before you fall asleep, you say, I wake up tomorrow morning at seven o'clock sharp. You can then fall to sleep without worrying. The next morning, your heart rate will gradually speed up, waking you at your preset time.You will be unable to go back to sleep.You can even travel great distances and wake up in different time zones on schedule using this method.
With a gesture or some other kind of signal. Some writers can only work when a certain odor permeates their studio or office. Others can only work at certain times of the day, or under certain specific conditions. In other words, their creativity depends on some associated reflex. The same applies to persons who can only fall asleep under certain conditions. They may need a special type of pillow, pure cotton sheets, have their bed facing a certain direction, and so on.
Stretch out on your back as if you were going to sleep, but hold one arm up, slightly bent, in a position that requires a minimum of effort. Maintaining this position will allow you to enter a state of creative imagery, and still remember what you see. As soon as you start falling asleep, your arm will fall and wake you up.
Firstly, at the same time as you program the subject of a dream, i.e. while you are in the alpha state just before falling asleep, add the following formulation I will understand my dream when I wake up. With each passing day it will become easier for me to understand my dreams.
However, for most people, if we don't get enough sleep, then, not surprisingly, our brain functions at well below its capacity. That is why sleep deprivation is an effective way of breaking down people's resistance. It is not simply the number of hours' sleep that matters. During the day, your mind is constantly taking in new experiences. Our brain needs deep sleep, sometimes called REM sleep (rapid eye movement), when we are also often dreaming. It is at these times that your brain is processing the experiences of the day. Studies in animals have shown that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is being produced in REM sleep, a chemical essential for healthy neural networks and therefore for memory. Consequently, deep sleep has been shown to aid the process of forming memories. When your brain is asleep, its speed slows right down for most of the time, producing what are called theta and delta waves. Recently it has been suggested that, during REM sleep, your brain also transmits at an...
Era, sleep is specifically defined in the context of EEG patterns several different specific stages of sleep have been defined including four progressive stages of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. I find it intriguing that REM sleep is associated with the same synchronized theta-frequency discharges in the hippocampus as are observed in exploring animals (see text). Thus, while sleep seems a fairly intuitive term, in fact the phenomenon is a very complex CNS circuit phenomenon, involving almost all areas of the brain, which is quite inconstant over the course of a single sleep episode. Thus, testing the hypothesis that sleep is required for memory is not straightforward. Moreover, sleep disruption
Before he discovered the Evelyn Wood method, our instructor Dan Warner was a different person. As an English major in college, he avoided classes which required term papers. He couldn't take all the extra reading he knew would be required before he sat down to write. Even if only four or five extra books were necessary, I actually felt physically sick when I'd sit down to read the first book, he recalled. I also knew I'd fall asleep trying to read.
Robert's most striking feature was that he did not consider ginkgo, ginseng, saw palmetto, or melatonin to be medicines. And because these were natural substances that he obtained in a health food store, he was willing to spend a fair amount of money on them despite his financial difficulties.
More solid clinical evidence about the promemory properties of ginseng, melatonin, and other alternative agents is needed before they can be recommended for regular use. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is sold in health food stores. Some consider it to be an alternative medication because it is a naturally occurring substance, while others classify it as a pharmaceutical medication because an Italian drug company conducted the initial research with this compound. Phosphatidylserine is an important option in the Memory Program, and you will learn about its effects in a later chapter.
Selegiline can cause insomnia, so it should be taken in the morning as a single daily dose. The usual dose range is 5 to 15 mg daily, though it can be given up to 60 mg per day to healthy people without any major side effects. Selegiline's action in inhibiting monoamine oxidase-B can make it toxic, but only in very high doses. Some physicians themselves use selegiline as an antiaging treatment. However, even among this group of people who can easily obtain medications, vitamin E is more popular. I have included selegiline as a second-level option in the Memory Program. Unlike vitamin E, selegiline is a prescription medication.
The same applies to people suffering from insomnia, for example. The thought I'm going to have trouble falling asleep inevitably crosses their mind as soon as they get into bed. The more of an effort they make - the harder they try to fall asleep - the more agitated they become. In fact, it is only when they stop wanting to fall asleep that they are able to do so.
How much sleep do we need Thomas Edison slept only 4 hours per night, thus adding 10 more years to his wakeful life. On July 8, 1943, Senora Ines Fernandez, 57, started a sleepless period that lasted over 30 years While standing at her cottage door in a town in southwest Spain, she watched a religious procession and suddenly felt a searing pain in her head. She never slept again No pills or medicines worked and doctors determined that this total insomnia was a result of the impairment of the sleep center of the brain. There have been other cases like this on medical record, but the phenomenon is extremely rare. In all studied cases of little or no sleep, individuals engaged in brief periods of dreamy relaxation during the day or night to recharge their body and mind.
Get comfortable, either sitting down or lying on your back, and close your eyes. I don't want you to try and fall asleep. I am telling you to close your eyes so you can concentrate without being distracted by anything you might see. Now tell yourself that everything I am going to say will be recorded by your brain, engraved in your mind. And that, without your knowing it, without any effort on your part, your organism and your entire being will obey what your subconscious mind tells you to do.
The term sleep-learning is slightly deceptive. Just before drifting off to sleep at night and again in the morning after coming out of a deep sleep, there is a semiconscious, reverie state of mind when the alpha and theta brain waves are at their optimal output (at 7 to 13 cycles per second and 4 to 6 cycles per second respectively). Material recited onto a 12-minute loop tape and played during these time periods is more readily retained than at any other part of the sleep cycle. The sleep period where the brain waves are below 4 cycles per second is called the unconscious delta state and the brain wave level above 13 cycles per second is the fully conscious beta state.
Light affects the level of alertness a person has by limiting the amount of melatonin produced by the body. This natural substance causes drowsiness. Researchers have found that sunlight, and to some extent certain forms of artificial light, also impact responsiveness and mood, help cure rickets, reduce infections and colds, and can generally lead to better health. Studies on the impact of light in a variety of settings have resulted in some important discoveries related to human performance and physical and mental conditions in humans. Such research has also caused many school systems and organizations to rethink and retool the lighting in classrooms and work areas. For example, one study by a Vermont psychiatrist15 on the impact of lighting in three elementary schools found that lighting impacted absenteeism. In the experiment, London changed the light bulbs in a number of classrooms from standard to full-spectrum (Vitalite) to better simulate sunlight. According to London, when...
As a problem solving exercise, first review to yourself all the aspects of a specific problem in your life just before going to sleep. Write down a pertinent question to your problem. Think of this question over and over again before falling asleep. Then as you doze off, give yourself the suggestion that your subconscious mind will work out a solution in your sleep, and that you'll awaken with the answer. You can also do this with lost objects that you want to find. Mentally say to yourself, I need the solution to the following problem (define it), and I want to have this information at 8 00 A.M. (or whatever time you expect to awaken). Repeat the instruction 2 more times, then forget it and go to sleep.
One essential phase of sleep called the rapid-eye-movement (REM) phase is where most dreams occur. Humans and lab animals that have been deprived of REM sleep exhibit bizarre and often psychotic behavior. Researchers have found that your REM dream state is predominantly the alpha and theta brainwave states (4 to 7 cycles per second and 7 to 14 cycles per second respectively). Is this a dream or Am I dreaming 10 to 20 times just before falling asleep. The conscious repetitiveness of the question will eventually be submerged into the subconscious dream state. Reflecting cognitively upon such a question in the dream state will result in some form of conscious intervention and awareness, and hence a lucid dream state will be achieved. As a variation of the former method, simply count and affirm just before retiring, I am dreaming, One -- I am dreaming, Two and so on. Attending to the counting process keeps your conscious awareness vigilant to what you intend to do. For those people who...
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can impair your memory and your ability to sustain attention. Hyperthyroidism is also associated with anxiety, insomnia, and tremor. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause generalized cognitive slowing, sluggishness, and psychiatric symptoms. If you suffer from thyroid problems, getting the proper medical treatment should help prevent or diminish memory difficulties.
The flip side of hypothyroidism is the syndrome called thyrotoxicosis, which is due to excess circulating levels of thyroid hormone caused by autoimmune or malignant disease or by excessive hormone supplementation in people with thyroid deficiency. The clinical signs of thyrotoxicosis are hyperactivity, anxiety, and emotional instability. Memory loss can accompany poor attention and concentration resulting from the hyperactive state. Physical signs include heart palpitations, muscle weakness, and sleeplessness. For those receiving too much thyroid medication, the treatment is straight-forward lower the dose. For people with thyrotoxicosis due to autoimmune or other causes, there are effective antithyroid medications surgical removal of part of the thyroid gland is occasionally needed.
Researchers have discovered that your memory does not function as well if you do not get enough sleep. Some have suggested that the deep sleep called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is critical in enabling the brain to make sense of what has happened during the day. (See pages 26-8 for more information on the brain and sleep.)
Depression can make it difficult to concentrate, focus on details, and absorb new information. And, as was the case with Michael, whom you met at the beginning of this chapter, depression can interfere with sleep, and sleep deprivation can compound cogni-72 tive problems. Research suggests that long-term depression can
You start by emitting alpha waves, during that period of reverie that precedes actual sleep. If you are dead tired, this phase may only last a few seconds. Under normal circumstances, however, it lasts about ten minutes. Your brain gradually starts producing waves with a slower wavelength - mainly theta and delta waves. Then, about every 82 minutes, you start producing faster waves, for a period that gradually increases in duration - about 5 to 10 minutes during the early part of sleep, and up to half an hour during the latter part. These are your REM phases. As the hours go by, you start emerging from deep sleep, so that by the time you wake up you are almost in a waking state.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being excellent and 5 being extremely poor, how would you rate your sleep habits Sleep deprivation results in fatigue (no surprise there), irritability, decreased attention span, slower response time, memory gaps, and impaired judgment. Sleep is essential to maintain memory functions. There are two primary types of sleep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, during which you dream, and non-REM, or slow-wave sleep. The sleep cycle can be divided into stages that you cycle through approximately every 90 minutes (an ultradian rhythm). Non-REM sleep accounts for 75 percent of your sleep and has four stages. As you progress through the stages, sleep becomes deeper and brain waves become larger. After you reach the deepest level of sleep in stage four, sleep begins to lighten until you reach REM sleep. It appears that different types of learning may be facilitated within the different types of sleep, (See Figure 6-2). During REM sleep, activity in the brain begins in...
One major benefit of autogenic training is that it enables people who suffer from insomnia to reestablish regular sleep patterns. Another benefit is the elimination of the almost constant nervous and muscular tension - or stress -associated with a modern urban lifestyle, which in turn results in glandular abnormalities, causing disorders like ulcers, cardiac and respiratory disease, etc.
By the law of correspondence, whatever you can clearly see on the inside, you will eventually experience on the outside.You should therefore visualize your goals with as much clarity and vividness as possible.Visualize your goals intensely and create within yourself the same feeling that you would have if you had already achieved your goals. Visualize your goals frequently. Replay a picture of your goal, as if you had already realized it, on the screen of your mind as many times a day as you possibly can. Visualize your goals for as long as you possibly can, preferably just before falling asleep each night.
One young woman used to ask the souls in purgatory to wake her up when she wanted she would fall asleep while repeating this prayer, and could always wake up at the exact time she wanted. In another case, a student was able to obtain equally consistent results simply by doing a little self hypnosis before falling asleep. No need to pray to dead souls or a departed husband. She could even program herself to wake up a few times during the same night. These three cases all have something in common all three subjects performed some kind of subconscious programming while they were in the alpha state, just before falling asleep. No matter what technique they used, the results were the same. In addition, each time the technique worked, their initial faith in their ability to wake up at will was reinforced. Actually, there is no need to contact the dead or engage in self hypnosis in order to wake up whenever you want. All you have to do is visualize an alarm clock before falling asleep....
The Insomnia Battle
Who Else Wants To Sleep From Lights Out 'Til Sunrise Without Staring At The Ceiling For Hours Leaving You Feeling Fresh And Ready To Face A New Day You know you should be asleep. You've dedicated the last three hours in the dark to trying to get some sleep. But you're wide awake.