More than one third of Americans – over 100 million people – have clinically-diagnosed sleep disorders. What’s happened in our society that makes it so hard for so many to rest properly? There are more folks awake in the middle of the night than we can imagine, tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling, chronically sleep-challenged.
Many more have occasional or frequent bouts of insomnia, and the numbers are increasing. It causes frustration and even dread. Aside from a sense of helplessness, what is this doing to one’s ability to think clearly, be alert and have energy throughout the day? To keep the immune system functioning? How are they managing at work? Emotionally?
According to Tracey Marks, MD, insomnia is underlying many quality of life issues such as anxiety and burnout. It puts people at risk for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, compromised mental abilities and shortened lifespan.
What are your options if you have a bona fide sleep disorder or are an occasional insomniac? One thing that’s clear is that pills aren’t the answer. If taking sleep medication worked, returning you to the type of sleep required for good health and mental balance, the problem would be easier to solve. But this isn’t the case. Pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs have their drawbacks, as do natural and herbal remedies.
In her new book, Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified, Dr. Marks outlines many simple methods that help the body to fall asleep at bedtime and wake up refreshed. She has an easy-to-read, straightforward style and a refreshingly sensible and practical approach. Her prescription for a program of “sleep hygiene” encourages the body and mind to accept a more healthful sleep pattern. As an added bonus for parents, she discusses what to do if your children have sleep troubles.
I always appreciate an author who can offer sound, practical advice while yet addressing underlying issues. I find this to be deeply healing. And for those of you who find yourself looking up at the dark ceiling more often than you care to, get a copy of Master Your Sleep and follow the advice of Dr. Marks. Meanwhile, consider doing my favorite of her suggestions: Take the laptop out of the bedroom.
Thanks Dr. Marks! I agree completely.
Read more by Dr. Grant on her blog, Dr. Grant Holistic