Constant sleep deprivation can affect your health.
alexramos10 / Pixabay – Constant sleep deprivation can affect your health.

I worked when I was in college. It was the week before Christmas break. I went to school during the day. After school, I went to work at my regular job until midnight. After work, I went to a second, temporary Christmas job from midnight until six in the morning. Then I went home, changed clothes, took a shower and headed off to school again. I stayed awake 166 hours in a row. When I had a chance to go to sleep, I slept soundly for twenty-two hours. This was a one-time occurrence in my life. Most people have similar experiences – this is the definition of life – things happen. But, they don’t often happen continuously.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least six hours before going to sleep, especially if you have any sleep problem at all. There are many good relaxation methods available. I recommend YouTube as a source to listen and watch demonstrations of how to relax before going to sleep.

There are also natural options to help you achieve healthy sleep. Valerian and chamomile have been used for centuries to treat sleep disorders. Do not combine valerian with other sleep aids – prescription or otherwise. Synthetic melatonin is a popular sleep aid, but it doesn’t have a stellar record treating insomnia. You should consult your physician if you have insomnia.

There are sleep therapists who treat insomnia and other sleep disorder causes with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT includes:

● Sleep hygiene
● Stimulus control
● Sleep restriction
● Cognitive therapy
● Relaxation techniques
● Biofeedback

Hypnosis and acupuncture have been effectively used to combat insomnia. I find emotional freedom techniques (EFT) very effective for stress relief and sleep management.

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