People who are charged up in the evenings can spend a lifetime battling their body’s natural drive to go to sleep later. Low dose melatonin at ).3mg – 1mg taken 3-4 hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep earlier in the evenings.
If you have taken antidepressant medication like Zoloft, Prozac or Lexapro to name a few, you may have experienced bizarre or intense dreams. This very disturbing, it does not mean the medication is making you worse.
Antidepressants suppress the REM stage of sleep which is the stage where you dream. The effect of this suppression is that you can get REM rebound where you experience very intense dreams. Changing medication may help as the effect may not manifest as much with the different medication.
Did you know too bright light in the evenings can keep you from sleeping well? Light inhibits melatonin production and studies have shown that long term inhibition can cause depression. What can you do? Light blocking glasses can allow you to use your bright electronics without the negative effect of melatonin being inhibited.
When the alarm clock first wakes you each morning, do you have difficulty getting out of bed immediately? Do you usually find yourself pressing the snooze button, rolling over, and going back to sleep? Well, you’re not alone. Most people do this.
But imagine if you could get up every morning right when the alarm went off. You’d have an extra ten or twenty minutes in every day, or maybe more. How would you like to hear your alarm, turn it off, take a nice deep breath, and then get right out of bed? Believe it or not, this really can be you!
Unfortunately, most of us have tried to do this before using our conscious will power. You already know what happens. At 10:30 P.M. you decide that you should get up at 5:30 A.M. Then 5:30 A.M. comes along, and you make an executive decision that it would be wiser to get up at 7:30 A.M. instead. This happens to the best of us, and most of us give up afterward.
A Wiser Decision
You may be thinking, “I just need more discipline.” Perhaps, but you don’t need it at 5:30 A.M. You don’t need an elaborate system of alarm clocks. And you don’t need better or more self-talk in the wee hours of the morning. No one can be trusted to make a good decision when the alarm first wakes us up.
What you really need is more discipline before you go to bed. You need to have the discipline at night to recognize that your decision-making process can’t be trusted at that critical moment in the morning. Your 5:30 A.M. brain is no good for decision-making. Take it out of the equation as much as possible.
Physical Repetition: Practice
The following method may sound crazy, but it works!
- Get in bed during the day or early evening. Try to simulate your regular sleeping conditions as much as possible. Make the room dark, get into your normal sleeping attire, climb in bed and assume your favorite sleeping position.
- Set your alarm for 5-10 minutes.
- Try to just relax and zone out. Fall asleep if you can.
- When the alarm sounds, immediately turn it off. Now go through whatever routine you’d like to be able to follow in the morning. Stretch your arms and legs out, take a deep breath, smile, and put your feet on the floor. Now stand up.
- Repeat. If you practice this strategy a couple of times each day, within a week you should be getting up in the morning without any problem.
Mental Repetition: More Practice
Getting up when the alarm sounds is one habit in which visualization can really be helpful as you work to develop it. Several times during the day, imagine your alarm going off and yourself immediately launching into your get-out-of-bed ritual. This mental practice is great, because it’s fast and it’s easy, and you can do it anywhere.
However, actually going through the motions is the most powerful tool you have. Even if you mostly practice mentally, do the physical practice at least a few times, because it allows your mental practice to feel a lot more realistic.
Getting up immediately in the morning is a habit that’s actually easy to put into place. The warm covers and thoughts of just 10 more minutes are powerful motivators to stay in bed a little longer. But getting up on time consistently is something anyone can do. Imagine all the extra time you’ll have each day!
Children are always watching and imitating what they see their parents and other caregivers do. No matter what you say to them or around them, what you do is more significant. To lead by example, remain aware of the way you act around your child every day.
What Are You Really Showing Your Child?
Getting angry, complaining, or making negative comments teaches your child that these are appropriate ways to behave. Instead, model good behavior and lead with your example.
Implement these tips into your daily life to model positive behavior to your pre-schooler:
1. Remember that acting out your anger doesn’t solve anything. There are certainly times when showing your displeasure is appropriate, but there are ways to handle those emotions that are more productive than others. Avoid hitting, yelling, or cursing. Those are behaviors that you want to avoid encouraging in your pre-schooler.
2. It’s okay to cry or be sad about something important. However, it’s usually better to tone it down around very young children so as not to upset them. Shedding a tear or two is fine, but sobbing uncontrollably over a minor problem isn’t the kind of behavior you want your little one to model.
• Children are very receptive to their parents’ emotions and may experience intense sadness if you share yours.
3. How you live your life will shape how your child lives his. Even if you think your little one is too young to pay much attention, they notice all sorts of things. Whether you smoke or drink, what you weigh, how you eat, whether you sleep enough, and other choices become models for how to live life. Ensure your child is seeing positive behaviors to imitate.
When You’re Not There
It’s not possible to watch your child every single second. As he enters school, even pre-school, he’ll spend more time with friends. With that in mind, good examples are more important than ever. If you model good behavior, your pre-schooler will learn to make the right choices when he’s not around you – even if others do wrong.
That good behavior when you’re not there to watch over him is what you’re really looking to create. You want your pre-schooler to explore his world and learn how to eventually live his own life. While he’s growing up, though, it’s important that you guide him and show him the right path. If you model this clearly and consistently, you’ll have less to fear as he grows up.
Children who see their parents doing the right things grow up learning to do the right things. They make good choices – generally – even when their parents aren’t around to watch them. By leading by example, you also don’t put as many rules and restrictions on your child. You also avoid forcing them to do a lot of things that you can’t or won’t do, which can breed resentment.
Children who grow up with too many restrictions often rebel, and that’s not what you want to see happen as your pre-schooler gets older. Instead, limit rules to ones that you both follow willingly. Your pre-schooler will be proud to emulate you, and you’ll raise a child who can safely find his own way in the world.