Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

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Barefootgirl
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Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:33 pm

I've had quite a bit of unavoidable stress in my life over the past few months and it's triggered a bit of insomnia.

I've tried different simple remedies like transdermal magnesium before bed (it does work somewhat), meditation (ditto, but I fall sleep too soon, then wide awake in about 90 minutes) - different colored lighting, etc.

(and please... I know there could be underlying medical issues that should also be checked, but it does correlate with the stress, I don't want the thread to get locked).

but here's what has worked best - new age and classical music streamed from my iPhone to a nice bedside speaker. I find that having this music on at a low volume causes an incredible release of stress - perhaps that's the reason it's often heard in the background in the dental office? LOL and it helps me to stay asleep.

So here's the thing. I seem to remember from years ago, some neurologists and other psych profs talking about the power of suggestion - i.e. playing while you sleep - recordings of guided meditation or other sounds that would be beneficial to cognition, memory, behavior modification?

I can use all the help I can get! LOL

Has anyone heard of this? any suggestions? Thanks
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Pajamas
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Pajamas » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:49 pm

I've heard of it and listened to some of the recordings but prefer not to risk interfering with whatever my brain is doing while I'm asleep.

Deal with the basics first, such as keeping the room dark and at a comfortably cool temperature; having a comfortable mattress, pillow, and linens; avoiding caffeine and other drugs for at least twelve hours before bedtime; and keeping a regular bedtime and bedtime ritual.

I use a fan to generate white noise and keep the air moving and recordings of waves or rainfall to mask outside noises. Earplugs help, too.

If you have taken care of all the basics and have problems settling your mind down, then simple meditation techniques can help, including guided meditation and "new age" music that you referred to.

Some of the tricks and hacks that you read about might work. Trying NOT to fall asleep can be helpful, counting sheep can be used as a form of meditation, etc.

Waking up for a while a few hours after falling asleep at night is supposedly a normal part of our natural rhythm that has been lost in modern times. It is called interrupted, biphasic, or polyphasic sleep. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphasic_ ... asic_sleep

It may also help to deal with the stress head-on. There is a lot of helpful information about dealing with stress out there. Getting proper sleep is one of them, unfortunately.

luckybamboo
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by luckybamboo » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:55 pm

I am a longtime insomnia sufferer and i was able to overcome it by fixing underlying medical issues. In my case, it was anemia (Low Ferritin/Iron) and acid reflux and thyroid.
I have found l-tryptophan and St. John's Wort very helpful.
Also, balanced diet makes a huge difference.
Guided meditation and white noise are great help but all this will not cure insomnia until you address underlying cause.

TRC
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by TRC » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:44 pm

I hope this thread doesn't get locked as I've also battle chronic insomnia for months at a time. My issue was waking in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep....literally EVERY, SINGLE, NIGHT. It was debilitating.

I tried every natural thing you can think of and finally resorted to sleep meds. After 6 months I went back searching for the natural route and found that I was seriously deficient in magnesium. I tried all different forms, but found that "picometer" liquid magnesium did the trick. I now pour a little in my H20 in the AM and PM and I've been sleeping like a baby! It's literally been a god send for me.

sevenseas
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by sevenseas » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:03 pm

I've recently discovered a podcast that is geared to people with insomnia, called "Sleep with Me". It is a dude who tells "the most boring bedtime stories imaginable" in this droning lulling voice. His stories meander and backtrack and go on crazy tangents. It sounds crazy, but I have really found it to work in the few instances where I'm having problems getting to sleep. I have never heard more than 10 minutes of any show because as soon as his voice starts to drone on, I fall fast asleep. It seems the stories are just interesting enough to distract my brain from its racing thoughts, but not interesting enough to keep me awake.

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:13 pm

I guess I was thinking about those "power of suggestion" or "guided meditation" recordings/channels that people listen to perhaps passively that have been shown to be motivational, etc. - while also very relaxing.

PS
Last edited by Barefootgirl on Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PoppyA
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by PoppyA » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:21 pm

DH listens to waves in Scotland. It's on the phone app "white noise"

Me? Started exercising again and that helps a lot; but what REALLY helps with my stress is taking a Resorative Yoga class.
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financial.freedom
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by financial.freedom » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:24 pm

Assuming you don't have anything wrong medically...

Exercise helps me. Especially a long run in the morning.

Sometimes worrying about sleep can be even more frustrating than simply just not sleeping. Sometimes I can't fall asleep, but rather than stress about not sleeping I go and read a book or catch up on things that are stressing me out (paying bills, getting paperwork together for taxes etc.) and then fall asleep later.

Avoid laptops, smartphones etc. at night that can throw off your circadian rhythm.

I can go sometimes a week or two and sleep only 4-5 hours per night before getting back into a more normal rhythm, and that is considered normal for some folks. Some of the most accomplished people never require 7-8 hours of sleep.

It can be frustrating if you are not one of those people and dragging the next day. Hope you get into a good sleep rhythm again soon!

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blueblock
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by blueblock » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:56 pm

Try googling "ASMR." There is a huge range of "triggers" that may or may not work for you, so it will take some effort to find what works for you (e.g. whispering is hugely popular, but I hate it). But if you can find your trigger? You'll get lovely tingles throughout your body and you'll be fast asleep in minutes.

There is a gigantic ASMR community on YouTube. I don't watch them, I listen to them, so streaming from your phone to your bedside speaker should work fine, provided you find something that works for you.

For me, what works best is some verbalized expertise geared to personal attention.

Woodshark
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Woodshark » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:44 pm

Every night I nod off to sleep within 15 minutes. BUT, I wake up three or four hours later. Generally around 3:00am. I'm wide awake then and sleep is impossible. I can lay there for hours and not go back to sleep. Somewhere around 6:00ish I nod off and get 15-30 minutes of deep restful sleep then I'm up for the day. This has gone on for years and I'm sure it is not good for my long term health.

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:45 pm

TRC wrote:I hope this thread doesn't get locked as I've also battle chronic insomnia for months at a time. My issue was waking in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep....literally EVERY, SINGLE, NIGHT. It was debilitating.

I tried every natural thing you can think of and finally resorted to sleep meds. After 6 months I went back searching for the natural route and found that I was seriously deficient in magnesium. I tried all different forms, but found that "picometer" liquid magnesium did the trick. I now pour a little in my H20 in the AM and PM and I've been sleeping like a baby! It's literally been a god send for me.


I've used the unnatural. I Have favorite tv shows which I almost know by heart. If I can't sleep I start watching (tv in bedroom). Only light on is tv. Once the show is on, I close my eyes , listen to the comfort of familiar voices and am asleep in 10 mins or less.

Pretty odd but it works for me.

veena9111
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by veena9111 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:03 pm

Try some breathing exercises. It will take a few days but they will relax you.
1,Breathe in through your nose for 3 sec and breathe out through your mouth for 6 sec. Feel the air over you lips. Do at least 10 reps.
2.Press your thumb over your right nostril and breathe in through your left nostril. Now shut off the left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Then inhale through your right nostril , shut your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat all the steps , Try to do 10 reps through each nostril
Practice these several times during the day and if you are awake at night
It will take a few days but you will find yourself falling back to sleep.
3.A glass of milk prior to bed time helps as well.
Hope that helps
V

rgs92
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by rgs92 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:09 pm

LOL, my dentist plays Fox News on a TV with grainy sound right in front of the chair through the entire visit.
Long ago I found that what puts me to sleep is reading in bed until I can't keep my eyes open. It's worked for me even though I've always had some measure of insomnia. A friend suggested this back when I was a teenager and it's worked for decades. Simple but effective. No music involved.

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Ninegrams » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:39 pm

Woodshark wrote:Every night I nod off to sleep within 15 minutes. BUT, I wake up three or four hours later. Generally around 3:00am. I'm wide awake then and sleep is impossible. I can lay there for hours and not go back to sleep. Somewhere around 6:00ish I nod off and get 15-30 minutes of deep restful sleep then I'm up for the day. This has gone on for years and I'm sure it is not good for my long term health.


Don't lie there more than few minutes, get up and walk around for a bit, watch TV or some such, then go back and let nature take its course. Works for me anyway.

Bliss
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Bliss » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:45 pm

Highly recommend Kelly Howell for "passive" meditation, stress reduction and help with insomnia. There are several freebies that you can listen to on YouTube.

http://www.brainsync.com/

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by fishboat » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:07 am

Surprising how little simple, regular exercise has been mentioned...sort of ground zero in stress relief. Real exercise..not a 15 minute walk. Ride a bike for a 2-3 hours (or 4 or 5), run, hike 5 miles+, lots of options. The key is to do enough that you feel..depleted. Take a hot shower..with the post-exercise "glow" you'll feel relaxed..and you will sleep. (and trying some exercise once and stopping due to it not working great the first day..is not "it")

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by John Z » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:38 am

This is a guy thing but one channel that puts me to sleep and keeps me sleeping is QVC! The constant talking about any product is enough to bore me to sleep.

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by carolinaman » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:50 am

Pajamas wrote:I've heard of it and listened to some of the recordings but prefer not to risk interfering with whatever my brain is doing while I'm asleep.

Deal with the basics first, such as keeping the room dark and at a comfortably cool temperature; having a comfortable mattress, pillow, and linens; avoiding caffeine and other drugs for at least twelve hours before bedtime; and keeping a regular bedtime and bedtime ritual.

I use a fan to generate white noise and keep the air moving and recordings of waves or rainfall to mask outside noises. Earplugs help, too.

If you have taken care of all the basics and have problems settling your mind down, then simple meditation techniques can help, including guided meditation and "new age" music that you referred to.

Some of the tricks and hacks that you read about might work. Trying NOT to fall asleep can be helpful, counting sheep can be used as a form of meditation, etc.

Waking up for a while a few hours after falling asleep at night is supposedly a normal part of our natural rhythm that has been lost in modern times. It is called interrupted, biphasic, or polyphasic sleep. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphasic_ ... asic_sleep

It may also help to deal with the stress head-on. There is a lot of helpful information about dealing with stress out there. Getting proper sleep is one of them, unfortunately.


These are sound fundamental tactics to use. After having a high stress job for many years, the stress finally got to me, I developed anxiety and suffered from insomnia for the first time in my life. I had trouble going to sleep at night and was getting by on 1 to 2 hours of sleep. My work suffered and I knew I had to fix the sleep problem. I went to a counselor and she advised meditation. I took a meditation course offered by a local college and the instructor was a new age type but was very nice and her meditation techniques really worked for me. She had us sit in a comfortable chair with good but comfortable posture, she used visual imagery of relaxing and soothing walks in woods or by lake or flowers, etc., deep breathing and new age music. This was very relaxing to me and enabled me to clear my mind of all the negative and stressful thoughts for the first time in months. Part of the meditation strategy is to control your thoughts rather than they controlling you. In addition, my doctor prescribed a mild valium sedative that I took before bedtime. The combination of meditation and valium plus white noise while sleeping (I used new age type music) worked. I was soon sleeping through the night and I was able to wean off the valium in a few months.

I quit doing the meditation after about 6 months but would use it occasionally if I felt especially stressed.

You also need to be sure you are dealing appropriately with whatever is causing your stress: work, personal situations, etc. Come up with a plan to deal with it. That alone will not always solve your stress problem, but I do not think you can resolve your stress problem without a plan to deal with the root cause.Best wishes,

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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:50 am

I wonder if I can find a way to stream videos in a continuous loop via my iPhone from YouTube in the same manner as I do with Pandora?

Must be a YouTube app for my iPhone that is already mapped to my bluetooth speaker.
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Re: Stress & The Mind/ Brain & Sleep & Behavior Modfication

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:14 am

This thread has run its course and is locked (medical discussion- psychiatry / mental health). See: Medical Issues

Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes lists of their top recommended sites in the following categories: consumer health, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also provide a larger, but less frequently updated, list called Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust.
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