Being unable to stay asleep is unfortunately a very common problem and has
a lot to do with the abundance of stress in our everyday life. I'm going to
give you some extremely helpful sleep tips to combat this issue also known as
sleep maintenance insomnia:
- First of all, we should all exercise and watch our diet. One of the more
common issues people have during the night is problems with their blood sugar
levels crashing. Up to 1/3 of Americans have pre-diabetes and are unaware
. People with these problems usually just compensate by eating small meals
throughout the day to keep their blood sugar levels regulated. This leads
the body to expect food every three or four hours, causing you to wake up.
This can be controlled with a restricted diet.
- One major problem a lot people have is not being able to stop having an
anxiety issue when lying in bed. You are going to need to have a clear mind
in order to first fall asleep, but to stay asleep. If you fall asleep
thinking about some issue, more than likely you will wake yourself during the
night worrying about it. This sometimes manifests in the dreaded work dream.
The trick is separating your bedroom from any work/personal issues. A routine
- Having a bedtime routine is very important. Establish a night time routine
and stick with it. Do the same routine at the same time in the same order
every night. For example shower, reading then calm soothing music then off
to never never land. This will condition your body to stay asleep until it
needs to wake. To find out when you should plan on falling asleep us a sleep
calculator such as the one at WHEN TO SLEEP. It calculates the time you should actually be in bed falling
asleep, so add in some time for your routine.
- All electronics should be off and out of sight. The blue light from
electronics confuses your mind into thinking it is still daytime. While your
clock may not emit blue wavelengths, clock watching is a good way to never go
- Comfortable room temperature is important. A cooler room temperature will
help you from waking due to your body’s natural circadian rhythms.
- Contrary to some, I believe naps are beneficial if they are only the short
cat nap variety for stress relief and reducing heart rate (make sure your are
lying flat to experience any benefits). If you need a restorative nap
you must to take the full 90 minutes of the initial sleep cycle or you are
going to feel worse than when fell asleep.
- Several hours before bedtime, abstain from caffeine and alcohol. A common
misconception is that alcohol helps you sleep but this is not the case.
Alcohol, while it might make you sleepy, will keep you getting REM sleep
restricting any restoration that normally would occur. Alcohol also causes
dehydration which will awaken you through the night.
If these steps still aren't helping, you may have a health problem that may be
causing you to be unable to stay asleep. Treatment for an underlying condition
may be your only solution for your insomnia. These conditions may include
sleep apnea, chronic pain, RLS (restless leg syndrome) but there are others
that can interfere with sleep. Mental health disorders, including depression,
can also play a role in insomnia. Please consult your doctor if you think you
may have any of health issues that is keeping you from getting the proper
amount of sleep.
Managing any relationship can be a difficult proposition. I am not talking just
about romantic relationships either. Each relationship is different, just as
there are many different types of relationships, so keep that in mind when
trying to integrate any information from any source into your life. Taking and
following advice, can have consequences not all bad, but you don't want to burn
any bridges or sever any ties.
The secret to managing any relationship comes down to understanding the
underlying power dynamic between the people involved and from there
understanding the expectations that is party is supposed to meet for the
relationship to proceed successfully. The dynamic between two or more people,
including groups of people most always involve power differentials between the
parties. The word power is not necessarily bad in the sense some people have
of the word. Often times upon hearing the word people think of oppression by
some evil overlord and that all people are created equal therefore if there is
a power difference, it is always bad (unless it benefits the listener). Power
in the relationship sense, comes down to social status between the parties, the
nature of the dynamic, and who needs whom more.
- sibling or other blood relative
- friend or acquaintance
- business - boss/employee, employee/employee or a relationship from employee/client
- stranger or new person
Looking over the above list with what we know about status and power of the
people involved, things are starting to become clear about who is in more
control of how the relationship evolves. Since most relationships are either
personal or business relationships, we will cover the topics in a general way,
since we can apply our understanding of one dynamic to another quite easily.
Just looking at the list we can also separate each dynamic into two groups,
chosen relationship and non-chosen. We can choose are friends and lovers, but
we can't choose who are family members are (outside of marriage of course). We
can choose whether to accept or stay at a job, but unless we are the one
running the show, we don't choose our boss or people we work with. Our
interactions with strangers are often not of our choosing unless we are the
initiator and are often transactional and of little consequence to our life for
any length of time.
Identifying the power dynamic and expectations
Once we understand the fact that we don't always control who is involved in our
lives, family, social, or work, things become a little more easy to identify.
Identifying who is the more powerful person in the relationship is actually
quite easy. All animals, especially primates, organize their social hierarchy
based on status. The person with more status, usually has more power in the
relationship dynamic. Looking at our list of basic relationship types, it is
quite easy to identify the more powerful party just using tradition and general
information. The easiest power dynamics to identify are the ones where it is
obvious one party has more status than the other. It all comes down to who
needs who more. In family dynamics, children need the parents to survive, at
the workplace, the employee needs the boss more because of the dependence on
a wage. Other relationships, have even power dynamics, or are of a less
obvious lopsided nature. Friendships and romantic entanglements are this way.
The power dynamics are less obvious in most of these relationships and
misidentifying your position in them can cost you.
This is where managing expectations comes in to play. Each party in
a relationship is supposed to fill some roll in the relationship and meet some
requirement or need of the other party. Most of the time in our social
dynamics it is simply spending time with the other party and sharing some
aspect of your true self with them. Sharing your inner life if you will.
Thoughts, desires and needs are communicated and reciprocated. In work
environments, it is accomplishing goals and tasks set by the superior. Once we
identify what the other person requires or needs us to do for them, the easier
it is to manage the relationship in a healthy way. It is also necessary to
communicate your needs for the relationship to the other party. This
communication can be subtle or overt but it needs to be expressed if needs are
going to be met, humans can't read minds after all!
Managing a relationship isn't easy but it is fairly simple and straightforward.
Understand the power dynamic involved between you and the other party. Once,
the nature of the relationship is identified, you can determine the
expectations that the other person has of you in the relationship and you can
convey your expectations. After that is just comes down to meeting and
enforcing those expectations.
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