oh dear sleep…

hello readers,

well it has been long since I wrote something related to mental health, I like anyone else am not immune to procrastination, anyway, finally, I could motivate myself enough to write,

without beating around the bush much, let me get to the point here

she was 14 years old,childhood sexual abuse ,positive family history of neurosis,trying to win the rat race took a toll on her mental health,manifesting in the form of long long nights which seemed never ending,the frustration of watching other people sleep peacefully was something noone else could ever decipher,

12th standard board exams ,dreadful most physics paper,pcos,and an ambition to become a doctor ,became too much for her to take,11 pm she went to bed,her mother brother and dog sleeping in the same room,she shut her eyes tight,physics questions moving in her head,motion momentum etc etc,her heart racing faster,she needs to sleep she thought to herself,oh what if she doesnt sleep the whole night,her performance will get hampered ,she will not score marks,she will not do well,she needs to sleep anyhow she thought to herself,she could hear her doggie snore,it was 12 am now,she had to wake up at 7 am to revise one last time,7 hrs of sleep ,good enough she thought,her mother woke up ,and exclaimed “u are still up,sleep now”and this increased her apprehension,oh i really need to sleep she thought to herself,her heart pounding ,she couldn’t lie down now,got up paced around in the other room,took her book out and started reading,she could not focus ,but did not give in,kept reading,1:30 am ,2:00 am and she was wide awake,went back to her room,chanted some mantras,but no her sleep had a mind of her own tonight,was playing hide and seek ,never to be found,she shut her eyes again,just like this she struggled till it was 5 and when she has lost all hope she fell asleep to wake up at 7 with a headache,took the exam…

One of the most significant human behavior,universally demonstrated in all animal species is sleep,it is something that is required by the brain to function.also, one the vegetative functions,very commonly affected in almost every mental illness,sleep is something we dont pay much importance to,whether the sleep disturbance is singularly present or associated with other symptoms,sleep hygiene is something that has been found to be helpful in maintaining regular sleep pattern.

hygiene is something that we have heard very frequently during this pandemic

hygiene can be defined as conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, so sleep hygiene practices help maintain healthy sleep patterns.ill be mentioning a few points for sleep hygiene:

dos and donts for good sleep hygiene:
DO :

  1. maintaining regular hours of bedtime and rising:sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is very important when it comes to sleep hygiene and cannot be emphasised enough. okay so talking in terms of the current pandemic situation keeping any kind of schedule is hard undoubtedly,still if you figure a way to maintain a regular timing for sleep ,it can pay major dividends for your health,the principle behind this theory being the circardian rhythm.it’s best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This allows your brain to predict behavior and cue your body to wind-down or wake-up.

2. maintain a night time routine
creating a winding up routine before sleeping helps the body get habituated to and signals the brain that it is about to go into the sleep mode soon.winding up routine can ideally be started atleast an hour before the desired time of sleep,atleast 1 hour before sleeping one should try to shut out all other work.

3.Create a sleep sanctuary

  • Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary! Soft lighting, quiet, and cozy. When the bedroom is devoid of visual and audio stimulants it allows our bodies to restore and refresh for the next day.Basically conducive to sleep,neither very hot nor too cold,comfortable bed and free from disturbing/stimulating sound,light or smell

4.use your bed exclusively for sleep and sex only:

  • again about giving clues to the brain and making it used to the same,if one carries work or entertainment or anything else other than sleeping on the bed,our brain doesnt get the clue that going in your bedroom or bed is equal to sleep,why confuse our brains right.

5. tire your body:

  • being physically active,and exercise helps you sleep better,but scheduling exercise earlier in the day atleast 3 hours prior to the sleep time,tires the body and helps in sleeping better.

6 .go to bed only when very tired and sleepy:

  • to avoid tossing and turning in bed and avoiding the frustration of not being able to sleep.If after 20 or so minutes of laying in bed you do not fall asleep, you should get up do something calm or even boring. You don’t want to lay in bed awake for extended periods of time since this sets up an association of feeling angry, frustrated and depressed while laying in bed. You do not want negative feelings, associations or thoughts while in bed. Try sitting quietly in another room wit the lights off (bright light incorrectly tell your brain that it is time to be awake), or read something boring like the phone book (school books always work well for me). You want to avoid doing anything that is too stimulating or interesting, since this will wake you up even more. When you feel sleepy again, go back to bed and try again.


7. sleep journal :

  • Documenting behaviors and habits by use of a sleep diary or sleep log can be useful to visualize what’s happening and how it influences you. As a sleep physician, I often use a sleep diary to track patients progress and adherence to sleep hygiene rules. Patients are often shocked when comparing their initial patterns to weeks to months later and seeing the dramatic difference and improvement.

DONTS
1.use phones and tablets in bedroom:

  • light from the phones interfere with the release of melatonin,which a sleep inducing hormone.It’s tempting to check emails or social media before we go to bed but this is a horrible habit to get into. This often gets our brain into task mode and the blue light from electronic screens can affect our ability to fall asleep.

2.take caffiene after the sunset:

  • Caffeine can have a disruptive effect on your sleep. The most obvious effect of the stimulant is that it can make it hard for you to fall asleep. One study also found that caffeine can delay the timing of your body clock. These effects will reduce your total sleep time. caffeine is present in tea,coffee,cola,red bull etc.

3.Take alcohol and tobacco :

  • Anyone who drinks alcohol from time to time knows that beer, wine, or spirits can sometimes leave you feeling drowsy. But while alcohol, a depressant, can help you fall asleep faster, it also contributes to poor quality sleep later,so paradoxically alcohol is harmful for sleep structure.
  • Nicotine disrupts sleep – and smoking can also raise the risk of developing sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea. if you are consuming both of these avoid taking them late in the day atleast.

4.taking afternoon naps :

Naps can be an effective tool in giving us a boost for that second half of the day, but they shouldn’t be used too close to bedtime or last longer than 20-30 minutes.

5. eat heavy meals:

  • Avoid heavy and spicy foods at dinner. Gas-forming foods and hurried eating also cause abdominal discomfort, which in turn interferes with sound sleep. Limit your intake of gas-forming foods to the morning hours, and thoroughly chew food to avoid gulping air.

6.watching the clock:

  • This also sets up a negative feeling of “oh no I only have X hours of sleep left” or “I can’t believe it’s 2 am and I’m still awake”. These obsessive and negative thoughts only contribute to your insomnia. Have an alarm set for the desired rise time and unless you hear the alarm go off, it doesn’t matter what time it is; it’s sleep time!

Apart from all this yoga,meditation and other relaxation techniques like the jacobsons progressive muscle relaxation helps in inducing and maintaining good quality sleep…

I am attaching two videos one a musical piece i love and has helped me sleep many times,another the technique i.e. jacobsons progressive muscle relaxation

Please note:Having mentioned sleep hygiene,I would like to emphasize that sleep disturbance can be a symptom of primarily other psychiatric illnesses also,so self diagnosis and medication may lead to implications in the quality of life,for which, seeking professional help is the only thing recommended.

i hope this helps ,feedback is most welcome.

Until next time Goodbye and take care readers,you can get in touch with me through my Instagram page

Wounded_shrink.


Quarter-life crisis…yes it has a name!!

Please note: This is going to be a very casual post…

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Hey!! how are you?

How old are you? yes, you?

Have you managed, to get yourself the job of your dreams???

Have you been able to get married yet?

Oh, that car we used to talk about, have you bought it?

Do you have a baby yet?

Do you feel trapped?

Do you feel, you have outgrown your partner?

Do you feel you could have got yourself someone better?

Do you feel confused??

and most of all, are you happy?? or are you satisfied??

He was married for 3 years now,and ‘the’ wife was pregnant,they had known each other for a decade ,he was bored,very bored,he started dreading coming home from office,to his cranky pregnant wife,he was not happy with his life,he missed his college friends,some of whom were still single and travelling and apparently living his dream.He was 30 yrs old.

She had been single since forever ,her fear of rejection taking the toll,but now since she was reaching the ‘marriageble age ‘ her parents were worried,they wanted her to get ‘settled’,she was confused ,wasnt if she could give away her solitude,she was also scared to ‘die alone’,she wasnt sure of what she wanted ,she was very very unsure.She was 27 yrs old.

All he did was work these days,his office was his first home now,he could not recall when was the last time he took a break,he was tired ,tired of his ‘lifeless’ existence,he had no time at all,he missed those days ,those days of leisure where he would do nothing at all and pass the whole day just looking at the fan on his wall.He was 29 years old.

She felt lonely,unloved,though in a relationship , she was not in one at all.She would try each dress that would make her feel a little tall,She craved for attention and felt lonely and very small.She was 34 yrs old.

He was brilliant in his craft had a loving wife, but no work he could get at all, it pained so much to let his wife pay for every time they went to the mall. He would freak it out every time the Sensex made a fall, he was 32 yrs old.

She was not being able to concieve,they tried several times,this time it happened,she was happy but very anxious,she had worked really hard on her career was she ready to give it away,she wasn’t sure,she was scared to the core.She was 28 yrs old.

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Well, we have all hit our quarter-life already(being very optimistic thinking of life expectancy to be 100).

Quarter-life crisis as defined in the Collins British dictionary can be defined as a crisis experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life.

According to Eric Ericson’s stages of psychosocial development, people pass through a series of staged centered on social and emotional development.

At each point in a person life, he/she faces a conflict, which ought to be resolved and if it is not resolved, the person will have some of the other psychological issues.

We i.e. people between the age group, 21-39 are going through the sixth psychosocial stage of development i.e. intimacy vs. isolation(crisis), the virtue that we shall learn is love, yes love. He believed that it is vital that people develop close, commited relationships with other people, which are not necessarily romantic relationships, close friendships are also important. he described the stages as characterized by closeness, intimacy, honesty and of course love.

Apart from love, employment, choosing a career path, not feeling passionate about work, basically entering into the real world after college may become a major cause for stress and anxiety, living by oneself and ‘adulting’ might become unsettling to some.

Well all of us had dreams,had visions of how we wanted our lives to be ,and a very few of us have actually been able to achieve it,whether on the work front or on the relationship front ,so here are a few tips that can be of help:

  • First of all it is not too late,it never is.
  • Some things cannot be changed and those which cannot have to be accepted,no point wasting energy on thinking about it.
  • Things that can be changed ,ought to be changed,yes procrastination is a real problem and getting back that motivation is hard ,but it ought to be done and done now!! yes changing things will never be easy,equilibriums will be disturbed ,it will settle down eventually ,take the plunge ,take the risk.
  • Surround yourself with people who know you,who believe in you and your dreams and support you.
  • Make a legitimate list of pros and cons of the decision you are about to take.
  • Consult people you trust,ask for help,ask,approach…
  • Do things that help you be motivated,it is absolutely normal to feel stagnated at some point in life, do things along which help you be happy .pursue your hobbies,take a break.
  • Engage in whatever you do,with full zeal.
  • Move on,yes easier said than done,but let not your past experiences,hamper your present.
  • Anticipate,your problems beforehand and be prepared.
  • Accept opportunities,see them as opportunities instead of stressors.
  • Stop comparing,the grass is always greener on the other side,everybody has a different timeline,no two timelines are or can be the same,so it is absolutely futile to do so.Stop doing it.
  • if the distress is too much ,there is sleep disturbance,disturbance in appetite,daily functioning is being hampered,there is death wish,suicidal ideas,panic attacks,physical symptoms,there is no harm in seeking help from a mental health professional.
  • lastly you are not alone,reach out,talk about it,vent it out,you will always find a keen ear somewhere.

here i am attaching two songs,which depict this condition 😀