Chronic Fatigue Breakthrough

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good Sleep Hygiene
  • Consume no alcohol before bedtime.
  • Do not consume any caffeine after 4pm.
  • Do not use your bed for problem solving or doing work.
  • Take a hot bath before going to bed.
  • Keep your room cool.
  • If your mind is racing like it does in the middle of the day, change the focus to thoughts that feel good. If you still can't stop your mind from racing, then get out of bed and write your thoughts/problems down until you have written down everything. Just put them aside and go back to bed. You might want to schedule half an hour 'worry' time early in the afternoon or evening.
  • I list my problems on the left hand side of a piece of paper, sometimes even putting them into a spreadsheet on the computer, and write down in the next column to the right what I plan to do about them, and write a date down when I am going to deal with it, and write them in my diary/calendar.
  • There may be problems or issues that you worry about but are things you are unlikely to do anything about, e.g., climate change or your friend's row with her boss. If you want, you can create another column and title it ' universe' or 'divine' and put them in this column, leaving the universe to do something about it. I have found that some of these things just end up being sorted, although I have done nothing.
  • I would also advise you to create a list of 'errands' to do or 'things to do' and put an asterick by the things that must be done soon. I do the other things when I feel like doing them. Additionally, I have set up a spreadsheet with my 'incompletions' by category, e.g., finance, friends, house...and write the date down I am doing to do things. When I first started doing this, I was overwhelmed by the number of things I had to be done. Now I notice when I look at the list of things I said I would get done a month or two ago, and notice how many things I have accomplished.

I will be providing you with more 'sleep hygiene' guidance in the next few days...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Get More Sleep

"The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences...Compared to healthy individuals, individuals with chronic sleep loss are less productive, have health care needs greater than the norm, and have an increased likelihood of accidents." The Institute of Medicine, April 2006.

Americans are suffering a chronic sleep deficit. Between 50 to 70 Americans suffer from a chronic disorder of sleep and wakefulness, impacting daily functioning and adversely affecting health.

The IOM report also found that almost 20% of all serious car crash injuries in the general population are associated with driver sleepiness.

The effects of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are manifold, including:

  • Sleep loss and obsesity
  • Sleep loss and heart attack
  • Insomnia and daytime functioning
  • Sleep disordered breathing and health

The IOM's report recognises what researchers and public health organisatons have been saying for a long time -- Americans need more sleep, and need to be aware of the consequences of sleep deprivation.

According to DrJames Herdegen, medical director of the Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. "Fifty years ago, no one ever talked about sleep." That is because Americans, on average, got 9 hours a sleep a night, versus 7 or less today.

Did you know that when we sleep is just as important as the amount of time we sleep? Every hour of sleep before midnight is equal to four hours after midnight. Ideally, we should sleep with the moon so our clocks are in sync with nature. Wake with the sun, sleep after sundown.

By going to bed earlier we are allowing our bodies to get rested, which is imperative to stop the fatigue. Back when more people were farmers, it was not imperative to fall asleep right away. Unless thee was some ask that had to be done the next day, you could sleep until you awoke rested. And you could take catnaps throughout the day. Our schedules do not afford us that luxury. the alarms go off at a specific time, we work set work hours, and most of us do not nap. All Americans would be healthier if they had an hour siesta ever day.

Sleeping in total darkness is important for our health as well. Sleeping with the lights on inhibits our body from producing the naturally occuring hormone melatonin, which is a powerful antioxidant.

The Melatonin, which can be bought at health food stores and in pharmacies in the U.S., is a synthetic derivative that mimics the natural product produced in the brain. This has promise for helping chronic fatigue patients fall asleep. The usual dosage is between 3-9 milligrams taken one hour before bedtime.

Most nights I get myself to sleep by 11PM. I wake up feeling more refreshed and notice that by going to bed earlier I am much less tired during the day than when I got to bed after midnight.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Chronic Fatigue Breakthrough

Having great relationships is fundamental to having an abundance of energy. All the stuff that is left unsaid, all the people you do not forgive...all reduce your energy. I did a 3 day course called the Landmark course called the Landmark Forum. One of the key benefits I got out of this was to stop holding everything in. After one weekend on the course, my relationship with my father transformed. I had not let him be part of my life for years. I apologised to him. I can't tell you how much that means to me because my father Robert C. Liggett died on 3rd July 2006 unexpectedly. There was nothing left unsaid. I told him how much I loved him. I have thanked him for everything did for me, my family and so many people. So, although I miss him terribly and am still in shock about his death, I have some peace.

Monday, July 24, 2006