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.


Joy and Sorrow

Pass it on and do return 

@vickykaushal09 se prerit
@sirphira_ghumakkad ke dwara vilambit

People turn to God, and spirituality, when they experience suffering,I did too,turned to Bhagwad Geeta 
Vishada means sadness or sorrow, and yoga means the state.(my interpretation)
The first chapter of Geeta is about Arjuna’ sorrow,and doubt,he was taken upon by grief ,grief of what lay in front of him,doubt about what is right and what is not.
Why was Arjuna filled with sorrow in the battlefield? Arjuna the mightiest warrior of all times,the learned disciple of Lord Krishna was sad?Did that make him any less courageous?

It was primarily because he was emotionally attached to his relations and family members . Attachment is a human value.People experience fear and anxiety at the prospect of losing something,in the prospect of seperation

Being human, Arjuna felt the same. His state of mind also revealed that he had preferences and biases in life. We all have likes and dislikes and Arjuna was not different. He had attraction for life and aversion to death. He identified himself with his mind and body, which made him feel vulnerable. Even if you have trained well under a spiritual master for long, in moments of crisis you may act like a normal human being and experience stress. It happened to Arjuna, although he too was well-versed in the knowledge of the scriptures and possessed the knowledge of the Self.

Sorrow is a modification of the mind,  books in Psychiatry have also mentioned mania of extreme happiness to be a defence mechanism against sorrow.

Being sad and anxious to little extent in crisis situations like these are normal.You are not alone.

I am not alone.

Being Sad at times is normal, giving up at times is normal,we are not sages ,we are humans.We feel therefore we are human.
If you study life carefully, you will realize that sorrow opens our eyes to the truths of our existence. It makes us reflective and introspective.it gives depth, compassion and empathy.
Stop judging yourself for giving up. Be kind to yourself.

Learning important lessons from the difficulties and sorrows in your life makes you wiser.
Karma does the same. It chisels our thinking and behavior.Trust the almighty,times are tough ,but we are not alone,We are all connected in a collective consciousness,We are all a part of Him ,he is a part of all of us,Rekindle what you have always had, rekindle your spiritual being,sit with yourself meditate,help others,serve others .
Spread love and positivity.
we are in this together ♥️.


ROOM NO.501 (contd.)

images

10th of September 2017 ,marks the 15th time the world health organisation is endorsing the idea of SUICIDE prevention.

suicide in Latin means “self murder”.

It ranges from thinking that life is not worth living to actually completing the act.

It is one of the very few Psychiatric emergencies we come across.

like time,suicide has a past ,a present and a future.

past implies to the previous mental illnesses (studies suggest suicide is almost always the result of a mental illness).

present implies to the act of committing it .

and with future i imply ,the devastating legacy it leaves for those who have lost a loved one to it.We refer to them as the SURVIVORS of suicide.

room no. 501 has left its paint on my mind,

it reminds me of allot ,

it reminds of both good and extremely bad times.

the beginning was the toughest ,it was a ‘house full’ of lonely nights , hopeless evenings and mundane Sunday mornings.

then with help it became easier, and coming out of the phase changed me immensely.

i came out as a more confident , less anxious , more forgiving ,less judging and a more positive being.

after the phase i understood my patients’ agony better ,may be it was purposed to happen ,so that i would come out stronger.

I now connect better with my patients,I listen more intently, observe more keenly and take more interest.

Just about last year i received a call from my mother ,in between my exams that one our known expired ,on inquiring she said it was a completed suicide.

this was the first time I came across someone who ,not related to my work background ,

had done so.It was perturbing.when other people in our circle discussed about it,

I understood suicide’ position in our society.

  1. most commonly people said “what was so bad in the persons life that she has to resort to such a huge step.”

to that i would usually say that it is very rare that suicide occurs as a result of a single factor,usually there are many.and it is very difficult to explain.

2.others would try to ignore suicide and just concentrate on the death part.it is a big taboo to talk about it.

to that i would usually surrender (my bad).

understanding the risk factors can help us all to curb the rising rates .

  1. age :over 45 yrs.
  2. divorced/widowed.
  3. unemployed.
  4. conflictual interpersonal relationships
  5. chaotic family backgrounds
  6. chronic illnesses.
  7. substance abuses
  8. hopelessness
  9. previous suicide attempt(the most important determinant).
  10. social isolation.

there are many others and it should be noted that anybody ,anytime of their lives can become suicidal ,and anyone ,anytime of their lives should be taken seriously if they report so.

action to be taken is i would say report to a doctor immediately ,preferably a person who is trained in the field of mental illness.

following is the link to my previous article on the similar topic.

ROOM NO.501

reach out.take help.your life is precious.all problems have a solution.your suffering can be lessened .it is an illness like any other physical illness that demands attention and treatment.