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Gregg D Jacobs, Ph.D.  
Male

Interests: Sleep medicine, Behavioral Medicine
UMass Memorial Medical Center
Sleep Disorders Center
Worcester, MA
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10 additional key tips for improving your sleep

Feb 08, 2009 - 8 comments
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sleep

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sleeping

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Insomnia

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better sleep

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improve sleep

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restless sleeper

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sleep disorder



To view my original 10 tips to Better Sleep entry, visit: http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/47782?personal_page_id=1376

Here are 10 additional key tips for improving your sleep.

1. Research consistently demonstrates that poor sleepers are getting more sleep than they realize. This means that, by recognizing you are likely getting more sleep than you think, you will reduce anxiety about sleep loss and sleep better.

2. It is not just how much sleep you lose that affects your daytime functioning but also your negative thoughts about your sleep loss. Therefore, if you can reduce negative thoughts about sleep loss, you will minimize the effect of insomnia on your daytime mood and functioning.

3. If you wake up and begin your day with a negative sleep thought such as “The day is going to be miserable because I did not sleep well.”, it is the combination of sleep loss and negative mood from this thought that affects your daytime functioning

4. Although research shows that sleep deprivation can adversely affect daytime performance, the effects of sleep loss on performance also depend upon how much sleep is lost and how consistently this occurs

5. No matter which type of insomnia you have, research on insomnia suggests that poor sleepers have a wake system that is too strong and a sleep system that is too weak. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you to strengthen your sleep system and weaken your wake system so that you fall asleep and stay asleep at night more easily.

6. Short-term insomnia develops into chronic insomnia as a result of worrying about sleep loss; associating the bed with wakefulness; spending excessive time in bed; trying to “force” sleep; engaging in other disruptive or negative sleep behaviors, such as arising at irregular times; and, experiencing stress.

7. It is important to realize that the effects of sleeping pills are partly due to a “placebo” effect. This means that the effect of a sleeping pill is due in part to you and your belief that the pill will work.

8. Prior wakefulness refers to the number of hours that has gone by from the time you get out of bed in the morning until you turn off the lights at bedtime to go to sleep. The greater the amount of prior wakefulness, the stronger the sleep system and the better you will sleep. Thus, the earlier you get out of bed and the later you go to bed, the better you will sleep.

9. A regular arising time is crucial to establishing a consistent sleep rhythm and amount of prior wakefulness. If you sleep late on weekends or after a poor night’s sleep, you delay the rise and fall in your body temperature, which will make it hard to fall asleep at bedtime. Furthermore, you will reduce your prior wakefulness because you stayed in bed later. This will weaken your sleep system and make it harder to sleep.

10. The more that you reduce the time you allot for sleep so that it closely matches your average sleep duration, the stronger your bed will be a cue for sleep. In addition, the more you reduce the time you allot for sleep, the more you will strengthen your sleep system by increasing prior wakefulness.

Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs
www.cbtforinsomnia.com/mh

To view my original 10 tips to Better Sleep entry, visit: http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/47782?personal_page_id=1376


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by nytexan, Mar 04, 2009
Most of this is definitely true as I LOVE to sleep and hate "having to" get up in the morning at a particular time.
However, even when I WANT to get up, i.e. for a fun trip, getting up "early" even for fun, I am completely wrecked by the early afternoon and need a nap. I've tried convincing my brain otherwise, but my brain's not that stupid. ;-)

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by CareerLady, Mar 04, 2009
While all the tips on improving sleep can be helpful, it's also important to recognize that insomnia can be, paradoxically, a sign of sleep-disordered breathing. After years of following tips just like Dr. Jacobs, taking medications to address symptoms of anxiety, and generally ruling out other causes of sleep disturbance, I was able to do a sleep study in a hospital sleep lab. I found out that my breathing woke me (a situation termed "respiratory effort-related arousal") nearly 150 times during the six hours my sleep data was taken. Unlike those with apnea, I never stopped breathing. And my bed-partner relates that I don't necessarily snore. But with a Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI) of over 20 events per hour, I am considered in the moderate range for disturbed sleep. Many people with this much disturbance are sleepy. But for others, the outcome is trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and early morning wakening.  I think everyone should take Dr. Jacobs tips VERY seriously - overall, sleep is so important for your health, particularly your cardiovascular and immune systems. But if all your efforts to become a better sleeper don't get results, you may need to investigate further.

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by PVRSARMA, Mar 04, 2009
It is an excellent article on sleep I ever read by Dr.Jacobs. I personally feel a relatively good habits like maintaining good health,proper physical exercise, personal hygiene, limiting the wises liking alcohol& smoking will definitely help people having sleep problems. Regular active participation in family life with partner before going to bed also help in good sleep. Never sleep in front of a television. Hearing good music and reading also will be of great help for good sleep.

PVR SARMA

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by Babebetty, Mar 25, 2009
by Babebetty
Thank you for your informative new letter i will start trying all the tips

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by persy, Apr 11, 2009
Although I've never worried greatly about a lack of sleep, when I haven't had good sleep, regardless of my positive attitude, I definitely notice it and others do as well.  If I do get less than 7.5 hours or my bedtime is later than 10pm people at work comment on how exhausted I look, I make many more mistakes at work, my memory is chronically unreliable and I get cranky with people.  There is a pattern which is linked to my menstrual cycle which means I suffer from chronic early morning wakening in the week prior to my period.  All this occurs regardless of whether I 'worry' about the amount or timing of the sleep I get.

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by hitcliff, Sep 05, 2009
Thanks so much for the depth and understanding at which you covered the topic. it's a useful piece of information not only for me but for many others. have read a lot on the topic at different blogs and books (download mainly from http://www.picktorrent.com but this piece really seems most helpful. what about nightmares? I heard they can be a sign of some serious deceases. is it true?

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by hitcliff, Sep 05, 2009
Thanks so much for the depth and understanding at which you covered the topic. it's a useful piece of information not only for me but for many others. have read a lot on the topic at different blogs and books (download mainly from http://www.picktorrent.com but this piece really seems most helpful. what about nightmares? I heard they can be a sign of some serious deceases. is it true?

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by katrinika, Oct 15, 2011
While reading  and working in your book recently I experienced something I hadn't recalled in years.  While a patient of Dr. Charles F. Stroebel I learned the "quieting reflex", including having it become an automatic response triggered by the "catch in the breath" that his book described as the first physiologic symptom of stress most people are able to become routinely aware of.  Once I had mastered the technique I began to have a reaction secondary to the relaxation response.  That is, immediately following the release of tension, I had the sensation of a deep black curtain of depression/despair descending over me.  Dr. Stroebel told me to discontinue my QR practice because I was one of a few individuals who react to the release of tension with a "steroid cascade".  Nervous collapse after a crisis has been a pattern in my life, and would seem to be tied to the same phenomenon.   As I was following your instructions, I once again experienced this sudden mood change (it's a bit shocking).  Are you familiar with this issue, and is there anything I can do to prevent/counteract it and continue with your protacol?  


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