Herbal Medicine

A recent study on the use of cannabis extracts to treat mental illness got us started thinking again about the whole field of herbal and “natural” medicine.  Cannabis is currently experiencing an explosion of interest and some robust research is being done.  However the interest is running far ahead of the available data about real uses and effects of various …

CBT is Better for Insomnia than Drugs

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) shows better results than medication for overcoming insomnia in a meta-analysis of 13 studies conducted over the past 30 years.  Generally, after 4 to 6 sessions of CBT training patients reported medium-to-large positive effects on their sleep, and the improvements were maintained for three to twelve months post treatment. In the U.K., where this study was …

Insomnia and Technology: Helpful or Not?

Sleep and insomnia are one of the most posted topics on Moodsurfing!  Just try typing “sleep” onto our search box and see how many posts come up.  Sleep is one of the basic building blocks of health and management of mood swings.  And sleep is problematic for many, many people. So what is the best way to deal with insomnia?  …

Exercise Improves Sleep Quality – Nancy

Insomnia is a significant problem in the United States, and for individuals grappling with mood and/or anxiety disorders, sleep loss can contribute to ill health, including immune function, cognitive functioning, and even cardiovascular problems. However, use of medication for insomnia does not have a good track record.  These medications have significant risks and adverse side effects, and often lose effectiveness …

Chronotherapy

Chronotherapy Success!

How can something as simple as manipulating the time you sleep – chronotherapy – work so well to improve the quality of your sleep, your energy during the day and your mood? A young mother who has often complained of feeling tired with many problems with aches and pains came in with a big smile today… “I am feeling so …

Better Sleep with SHUTi – Gina

Using Shuti to Get Better Sleep Better sleep is a priority for many of the people I see. Recently I’ve started supporting clients in using an online CBTi (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) program. I decided to check out the program for myself to get a better feel for what clients are working with. Ultimately I recommend SHUTi to clients …

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 people with mood disorders, this …

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 SleepBot (available free on Android …

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 this view. 1100 internet users (aged …

How to Nap

For many people with depression the idea of taking a nap makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, staying in bed at the wrong times of day can be associated with worsened depression and increased fatigue. An article in June in the New York Times entitled, “How to Nap” seemed like an interesting introduction to the topic. In …

Cool Sleep Treatment

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 routinely turned down the cabin …

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 page. In their review, ACP …

Insomnia Causes 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 brain, the part of the …

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 that many people in our …