Category Archive: Insomnia

Apr 23

Childhood Insomnia

In an era of ever-present video and constant texting and snapchatting, many parents are trying to figure out how to deal with childhood insomnia. Here is a quick guide for busy parents of things to think about and things to do if your child is having trouble getting to sleep or getting enough sleep. Consider …

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Aug 08

Jet Lag Explained

What is “jet lag” and why do most people feel worse when they travel around the globe in one direction, rather than the other? An article in the journal Chaos, summarized in the New York Times, suggests an answer. And offers some hope that you can reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms. For …

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Jul 19

Sleep Apps Reviewed by the New York Times

Apps to monitor and improve sleep were recently reviewed in the New York Times. Using an app to try to improve your sleep is a strategy that many people try. Some have found that it can be helpful in the long run, and it helps to use a well designed program. The New York Times reviewed …

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Jul 17

Online Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Depression

“If only I could get a good night’s sleep my mood would be much better.” Many people who suffer from chronic depression are aware of the relationship between the quality of their sleep and their levels of mood and anxiety. A study published in the April 2016 addition of the British journal, Lancet Psychiatry, supports …

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Jun 11

Cool Sleep Treatment

Cool Sleep Treatment Cereve

The FDA just approved a cool new sleep treatment. And we don’t mean that it is trendy, the treatment involves cooling your forehead in order to speed the onset of sleep. The fact that cooling temperatures are associated with increased sleepiness shouldn’t be new to anyone who has been on a long distance flight. Pilots …

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May 17

Best Treatment for Chronic Insomnia

What is the best treatment for chronic insomnia? The American College of Physicians has just published the results of a careful review of all of the research in this area. The preferred treatment for insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTi) which we offer through this website – read about it at the bottom of this …

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Apr 26

Staying Up Late

Staying Up Late

Andy and the Nighttime Child – Staying Up Late In our practice we work with a lot of bright young people in the information technology industry. It often seems as if all of them stay up until all hours of the night certainly many of them do and sometimes to their detriment. We know that …

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Mar 09

Insomnia Causes the Munchies

Insomnia and the Munchies

In an article that appeared in the journal SLEEP in February, 2016, and which was summarized in a New York Times post entitled “Poor Sleep Gives You the Munchies,” researchers report that one way that poor sleep and insomnia may lead to weight gain is that insomnia increases activity of the endocannabinoid system in the …

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Oct 18

Sleep Deprivation in Western Society

Sleep Deprivation in Western Society

In February the National Sleep Foundation announced the publication of new guidelines for the amount of sleep that we should be getting based on a rigorous review of the literature. The guidelines suggested that adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep. The results were widely distributed and commented on. It was noted …

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Jun 14

Chronic Insomnia Treatments

chronic insomnia treatments

A recent study confirms that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for chronic insomnia and is often more effective than medications. “What surprises us is that there isn’t more awareness of this treatment’s effectiveness and that there haven’t been more attempts to make the treatment more available to patients,” James M. Trauer of the Melbourne Sleep …

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Mar 27

Insomnia Treatment Reduces Brain Stress

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia treatment may have long-term beneficial effects on the health of your brain. Study in the Journal Biological Psychiatry published in February, 2015 looked at 123 older adults with chronic insomnia who were randomized to one of two active treatments (twice-weekly cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) for 4 months or a relaxation therapy) or …

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Feb 25

CBT for Insomnia Reduces Suicidal Thoughts

CBT for Insomnia

CBT for insomnia (CBTi) is clearly preferable to taking sleeping medications for most people. Studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy is associated with greater improvements in sleep quality than sleeping medications, and that those improvements are more durable, and, particularly in the elderly, sleeping medications are associated with significant adverse effects, including an increase in mortality. But …

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Nov 30

Circadian Rhythm Self Assessment

circadian rhythm self assessment

I ran across a wonderful tool for circadian rhythm self assessment on the website of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics. The Center is devoted to providing the public and clinicians with high-quality information about natural interventions for people with stress, anxiety, and depression. I took the online test and it said I was definitely a morning …

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Jul 14

Natural Supplements and Insomnia

There are two herbs or supplements that have the best data supporting their effectiveness. Both appear to be safe but have modest effectiveness. Melatonin Valerian(Alone or Combined with Hops or Melissa) Melatonin: Rapid Effect on Sleep The body uses melatonin as part of the way it regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin as a supplement …

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Jun 03

Spring into Summer: Light and Sleep Changes

Many people have been noticing the very long days of late Spring and early Summer. There is more energy to get things done, although that energy can end up being challenged into anxiety and irritability if you aren’t careful and don’t get at least a few hours of sleep every night… I often think about …

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Apr 01

Internet Therapies Generate Interest

There is increasing interest in “apps” that can support mental health (one of our most enthusiastic readers recently posted a query on this topic on the forum). Apps are rarely intended to deliver “therapy” – they are usually not written by mental health professionals (although mental health professionals may be consulted along the way). Their …

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Feb 13

Smart Phones May Disrupt Sleep

There is no “off” switch for our brains. Going to sleep, for most people, involves a process of “coming down” from our hectic and sometimes stressful lives. In the past, when there was no electricity, the sun went down and we went through a natural process of getting tired and then falling asleep. But now …

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Jan 15

Sleep Deep Cleans Your Brain

morning

Beep, beep, beep, beep! Snooze……Beep, beep, beep, beep! You open your eyes, roll out of bed and start wondering why you stayed up so late to watch another episode of your favorite TV series, play another video or computer game, or catch up with your friends, etc. We have busy and full lives, which results …

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Dec 26

Using a Therapy Light

Christmas vacation is ending, It has been wonderful to spend some relaxing time with family, getting up later in the day, lounging around and playing games, reading, or watching TV… and eating too much good food. Now the challenge is getting back to a more productive schedule. For many of us, our bodies are in …

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Nov 28

Sleep Therapy and Depression

What would you do if you could double the effectiveness of your antidepressants? Let’s say that this new treatment also had no known side effects, and was completely safe. That is what four studies have suggested could happen if people who were started on antidepressants received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi). However, this treatment …

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