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More Than Just Medicine

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, October 23, 2019
By Lisa Jimenez, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor

As many of my clients can attest, I’m a firm believer in the importance of sleep. I often share that  one of the simplest ways you can be kind to your body is by getting restful sleep.

Many of us often underestimate the importance of recharging and the impact that fatigue has on many areas of our lives. Not getting enough sleep can lead to issues in our mood, energy levels, productivity, and physical health.



Sleep disturbances are one of the most commonly reported ailments in counseling sessions. After hearing many of the same struggles – “I can't fall asleep”, or  “I can’t stay asleep” – I decided to do some of my own digging. I came across Marsha Linehan’s Sleep Hygiene Protocol in the second edition of her “DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets.” Here are what I found to be the most helpful suggestions:

  • Don’t use your bed during the day.

  • Give yourself a good half hour to one full hour of trying to fall asleep.

  • If you’re wide awake (but calm), get up and go to another room. Read a book until you get sleepy and then go back.

Difficulties with sleep can often be an indication that something’s up. Very commonly, anxiety throws you into a vicious loop. We can’t fall asleep because we’re anxious and then we’re anxious because we haven’t slept enough! If anxiety is getting in the way of your ability to fall asleep, here are some more tips I know could help:

  • Change your body temperature with a shower or hot bath. Get back in bed and practice some  intentional deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. 

  • Try a meditation practice. 

  • Remind yourself that it’s common to worry in the night. Also know that you will likely wake up and have forgotten what it was that was bugging you.

I hope that you’re getting in some good ZZZ’s. If you’re not (like many of us), I hope one tool from above can help because I promise you – the better your sleep, the better your life!

Lastly, if you notice that sleep is a constant battle, and there are certain things in your life that you’re really struggling to cope with, give us a ring. We’re always here to help :) 

* Tips above from Marsha Linehan’s “DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition”.

OVER TO YOU:

Do you get your zzz’s every night?
If not, what keeps you up?

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