Mastering Your Sleep reviewed by fran lewis

Master Your Sleep

Author: Dr. Tracey Marks

So you have trouble sleeping and need to find a way to get good nights sleep. Insomnia, overtired, stressed out or so over worked that your mind keeps going like a fully charged battery that never loses power. You are up all night and the next day you are too tired to function. Well, don’t worry assistance is just 147 pages away. After reading Master Your Sleep by Dr. Tracy Marks, and of course consulting with your own doctor before starting any program, you should have the answers to the questions about why you can’t sleep, the cause of this problem and some possible solutions. So, sit back read my review and learn the many important facts, factors and information that you help you wake up clear minded, alert and ready for a full days action. Why can’t you sleep? What happens if you don’t sleep? What can you do it about it? What are the main reasons you need to get sleep and much more?

Each chapter is filled with different information that you need in order to start on your journey to a good nights sleep. The book is divided into two distinct sections. The first part discusses how we understand sleep and the second the possible strategies and solutions for improving the quality of your sleep. The author begins with what happens when you don’t get enough sleep and continues with the reasons why so many of us do not get a good night’s sleep. This chapter has the most vital information in this section. Understanding the many roots and causes of lack of sleep will hopefully alert someone with this problem to be aware of the warning signs and hopefully seek help in order to find the solutions needed. Depression, bipolar disorder, medical disorders, sleep apnea and there causes, symptoms and warning signs are discussed by the author as well as Narcolepsy which I do know is serious and something that caused my Dad to fall asleep at the wheel of his car and when traveling on the train to work. He felt a serious compulsion to sleep during the day. These episodes created much difficulty when was driving long distances and did not realize what was happening. Fortunately, in some cases, he pulled off the road before anything serious would happen. There are many other serious symptoms associated with this disorder that must be addressed. Some people have hallucinations when falling asleep and others experience automatic behaviors such as opening their eyes during sleep and appearing to be awake. How frightening is that for the person observing this behavior and for the person experiencing this without any knowledge. My dad realized he was tired but when he fell asleep on his chair at home or at the pressing machine in his store, he would awake without any knowledge of what happened and that he had slept for any period of time. Although the author does cite many ways to help someone with this issue, none were ever offered to my dad.

Insomnia: you just can’t sleep. You have no idea why or what might be causing this. Never dreaming your medications, foods or anything you are drinking are serious contributors to your problem. Certain medications such as antidepressants, diuretics, thyroid meds, nicotine and good old caffeine are some of the culprits. But, do not forget alcohol. Caffeine is not only in soda, tea, coffee and other drinks that often help keep us awake. Foods had caffeine too. I know that everyone loves chocolate, but a Hershey’s chocolate bar does have caffeine. What happens when you overdo the caffeine? This might make you sit up and listen: I know I did: fast heartbeat, headaches from too much caffeine, (Learned that from first hand experience) nervousness and much more. Of course the chapter tells how aging, shift work, naps and menopause and children can also affect your sleep. I was taking long naps during the day because I get up early in the morning. Becoming tired around 2 in the afternoon, I thought that I might take a short rest and feel rejuvenated to read more books and review them and do other important things on my day’s schedule. I woke up feeling groggy, more tired than I did before and worse than I felt before taking the nap. However, after reading this chapter I did learn and will try taking 20 to 30 minute naps in the early afternoon and hope that will help restart my motor for the remainder of the afternoon. Some of my friends have complained about not being able to sleep due to hot flashes and other factors attributed to menopause. In order to understand and learn more about why you don’t sleep read chapter 3. Finally, this section tops off with some vital information for anyone that wants learn whether or not they should have a sleep evaluation. This process can only be understood if you read if for yourself.

Now we are ready for section two: But before you start any program you need to consult your own doctor. The author warns the reader about the many different sleep aids both prescription, and non. She also explains the use of herbal remedies and their side affects and how the user needs to read ingredients and be aware that these sleep aids might not interact well with other medications you might be taking. Just because a sleep aid is not prescribed does not mean it is safe for you to take. There are many lingering side effects that occur from all of these medications some more profound than others.

Now, if the things that will help you get a good nights sleep and they will definitely not hurt you or leave you with any lingering side effects. First, set up a regimented time to go to bed each night. Prepare one hour before bedtime prepare yourself. Keep the room dark and cool during the night while you are asleep. There are many more things you can do to create a healthy sleep hygiene program but you need to read the book for yourself. I can’t tell you everything or I would reveal too much information and then you would not need to buy this great resource. Of course my favorite part of this chapter is the information related to using your bedroom for sleep and of course sex. How bad can that be? The author relates many different real life incidents throughout the chapter letting the reader know how different people learned to use this information and start a proper sleep program. The author tells how Amy learned to use stimulus-control therapy. This program will help you control the stimuli that cause stress in your bedroom. The process is really simple and in Amy’s case really helped her. The author goes on to describe sleep restriction, which limits your time in bed to only sleeping and no other activity. There are many other treatments outlined within this chapter including one for insomnia.

Finally, cognitive therapy is discussed and how it addresses insomnia and the way a person deals with his/her faulty beliefs. One thing that did hit home was the discussion of Intrusive Problem Solving. Many people recap their day’s events when their head hits the pillow causing them as I was doing to think about the things you need to do the next day and go over it in your mind to making sure you forget nothing. But, this puts pressure on you and can definitely affect how well you sleep. In other words just rename it as good old worry comes a calling and you need to not let you mind run wild and have your worries in charge. Writing down what is bothering you on a Problem-Solving Worksheet as described in Chapter 7 will help get these thoughts out of your head and on paper. The other half of the chapter deals with Inaccurate Assumptions or wrong beliefs that help us justify why we cannot sleep. As you being to read this chapter you will learn how to deal with intrusive thoughts that plague your brain at night and different ways to eliminate inaccurate assumptions. The author in Chapters 8 and night discusses Bright Light Therapy, Sleep Disorders in Children and how to deal with them and finally recaps and puts it all together in Chapter 10. Added to the end sample sleep diaries that you can copy and use to record your daily sleep habits. A problem-solution blank and Assumption Log and numerous resources. Whatever you decide to do read the book, decide what method is right for you, consult your doctor if necessary and know that this book is an outstanding resource to help get you started in the right direction. So, here’s to a good nights sleep. But, don’t fall asleep until you read the book. This is one book that I read from cover to cover and it definitely did not make me fall asleep. It kept my interest and it will keep yours.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer


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