Dr. Janet Kennedy talks about the ways people make a sleeping problem worse.
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Hi, I'm Janet Kennedy. I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. You can find out more about me and my work on my website, nycsleepdoctor.com. When your having problems sleeping it usually starts out because of some sort of temporary cause. It can be stress in your, relationship issues, lost of a loved one or even the weather. Its what we do usually thats makes a temporary problem into a chronic one. So heres some tips on things to avoid. The first mistake that people make when they are having trouble sleeping is they spend way to much time in bed. A lot of that time is spent in bed awake and it throw off your system, so that your not sleeping in a consolidated way that makes you feel refreshed. It also creates a negative association with the bed. You start to begin frustrated and sleepless in bed instead of calm, relaxed and peaceful. People tend to go to bed way to early after a bad night sleep to try to catch up on lost sleep. Or they in bed to late in the morning, trying to catch a few minutes are even an hour or they take naps during the day. All of those things might make you feel better the first day or even second day but what they do is keep your body from bouncing back and getting into a good rhythm again. Another big one that people do is they drink lots of caffeine to help them feel better on a day after a bad nights sleep and that might again work in the short term. but the problem is caffeine stays in your body for longer than you think and drinking to much of it can really compromise the quality of your sleep. So your creating a cycle by drinking caffeine,having poor quality of sleep and then needing more caffeine the next day to help you get through. So try limiting caffeine and do other things to help yourself stay alert like drinking ice water, getting exercise or stretching.And finally maybe the biggest culprit is worry. When people have a bad nights sleep they start to panic and they start to think that they are never going to get back on track again, everything feels out of control and you basically start grasping at straws to regain that control. but the problem with that worry is it release adrenaline in your system it makes you very anxious and tense and it makes it difficult to fall asleep the next night. You start to have performance anxiety and that creates a perpetual problem. So keeping the worries under control, giving yourself a break and remembering that you can get through a day even if your tired and if you get through that day without doing all these things your going to bounce back and get back on track.