Category: Stress Management
Most people’s sleep issues can be solved by simply prioritizing sleep and making a few changes. Turn off the phone at night, pick a bedtime and stick to it, get more light during the day, eat dinner early (or not at all), stay physically active, don’t let the day’s anxieties and tasks build up and accumulate and weigh on your mind. Basic stuff. Not easy for everyone to follow, but it’s a standard roadmap you know will work if you follow it.
What if your sleep issues are out of your control? What if you’re a night shift worker who has to stay awake when you’re supposed to sleep and sleep when you’re supposed to be awake? You can’t just switch jobs—you and your family need food, shelter, and money. There’s no easy way to say it: night shift work has no easy solution.
There’s nothing better than a really good belly laugh, the kind that leaves you gasping for breath with tears running down your cheeks. By the time you collect yourself, your whole body is more relaxed, your mood is lighter, everything feels cleansed. You’re probably getting healthier, too.
Laughter therapies like laughter yoga and laughter meditation have been gaining popularity for the past several decades as methods of improving physical and mental well-being. The benefits of using humor as therapy seem obvious. Unlike asking people to clean up their diets or take medicines with unpleasant side effects, just about everyone is willing to yuk it up to their favorite television show or comedian.
Whenever I write about sleep, I hear from a chorus of people who struggle to sleep through the night. Anecdotally, it seems a far more common complaint than difficulty falling asleep in the first place.
These complaints are one of three types:
People who have trouble falling asleep
People who sleep fitfully, waking multiple times throughout the night
Those who reliably wake once, around the same time most nights
Understandably, this is a hugely vexing problem. Poor quality sleep is a serious health concern. Not to mention, sleeping badly feels simply awful. When the alarm goes off after a night of tossing and turning, the next day is sure to be a slog. String several days like that together, and it’s hard to function at all.
Experts have long studied the benefits of play for children, and the evolutionary logic is undeniable.
Play introduces and hones practical skills like hunting, cooking, building, child care, and health care. Playing doctor? Cops and robbers? And so on.
Play teaches children social boundaries. If you’re nice enough but not too much, you can get your way without being a pushover or turning off potential friends.
Play teaches you to cooperate. If you don’t play well with others, other people won’t play with you. That’s no fun.
Play makes the body stronger, faster, and fitter.
Play is very important for child development. The benefits are well-established. Trust the Science. But what about play for adults?
Perimenopause and menopause comes with a complex web of physical, psychological, and social symptoms.
The treatment usually prescribed by doctors, hormone therapy (HT), is controversial and not appropriate for some women. I won’t get into the HT debate here—Mark did a great job covering the pros and cons recently. Suffice it to say that HT isn’t the answer for everyone, and it’s not a panacea by any means.
Whether or not they choose to go the HT route, many women desire additional support during perimenopause and beyond. For the sake of keeping this post from becoming a novella, I’m going to focus on mind-body therapies today.
We talk a lot around here about inflammation, and some of you have raised good questions (and answers) regarding what we’re really getting at. A continuing thanks for your comments and thoughtful responses.
So, what do we mean by inflammation when we harp on the evils of sugars, grains, trans fats and other nutritional fiends? Ah, the many sides of swelling: abscesses, bulges, distensions, engorgements, boils, blisters, bunions, oh my! Do swollen ankles and puffy black shiners really have anything to do with the inflammation of arterial walls? Can flossing possibly help prevent heart disease? Let’s explore.