We offer a wide range of services to children, families, and individuals. We are committed to helping ALL individuals who call and if we don't offer expertise in your area of interest or need, we will work with you to find someone who does.
- Depression, Anxiety, Rapid Mood Cycling
- Coping Strategies
- Sleeping Challenges
- Adjustments & Transitions in Living
- Child/Parent Consultations
- Family Coaching
- Relational Counseling
- Personal Development
- Personality Exploration
- Dream Interpretation
- Anger Management
- Group Therapy
Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or Click to Chat
Help with Sleep
Good sleep hygiene is foundational to good mental health. Here are some tips we have collected and tested that will help you sleep better:
1. Establish a pre-sleep ritual
2. Lifestyle Considerations
3. Pay attention to your sleeping environment.
4. Getting up during the sleep period
Establish a pre-sleep ritual
1. Identify a “Cares and Concerns” period during the evening or late afternoon to think about any issues that may crop up as “worries” during the night.
2. Try a very light snack before bed. A cup of warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as 1/2 banana or two small sugar-free oatmeal cookies.
3. Consider taking a warm bath.
4. Practice relaxation techniques before bed.
a) Breathe: 4-4-4 (inhale four counts, hold four counts, exhale four counts, repeat)
b) Stretch – reach arms above head and “twist in the light-bulb”; let arms drop after 8-10 seconds
c) Use progressive relaxation – start with toes tighten, and then relax. Move up through your body with each major muscle group.
d) Consider learning yoga and practicing meditation before bedtime.
e) Think about the small and large events of the day for which you are grateful
5. You may want to read a few pages. Make sure the content is peaceful and pleasant.
6. All lights out. (This includes light from clocks – simply place a piece of cardboard in front of it)
7. If you don't fall asleep within 20-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until you get sleepy. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex.
1. Adopt a standard bedtime and awakening time. Your brain and body will adapt to falling asleep within a certain time, but only if your bedtime is consistent. This consistency is an essential factor in getting good sleep.
2. Stop all caffeine six to eight hours before bedtime, including caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea many sodas, and chocolate.
3. Avoid alcohol five hours before bedtime. Some people mistakenly believe alcohol helps them sleep. Although alcohol does have a temporary sedating effect, within a few hours you will experience a stimulant effect as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall.
4. Avoid heavy/fatty, spicy, or sugary foods six hours before bedtime.
5. Avoid repeated napping during the day. However, a brief afternoon nap or siesta lasting no longer than 35-40 minutes is acceptable as long as you can sleep well at night.
6. Exercise is valuable but avoid strenuous activity three hours before bedtime.
Your Sleeping Environment
1. If possible, set a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping: cool but not cold is usually conducive to sleep. Make sure the bedroom is well ventilated.
2. Use comfortable bedding. You’re spending 1/3 of your life in bed. Make sure you are comfortable.
3. Remove or block all distracting noises. Eliminate all or nearly all light. This includes little lights from equipment such as phone or clock.
4. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don't use the bed as an office, workroom, or recreation room. Let your body "know" the bed is associated with sleeping.
5. No TV in the bedroom. Period. Watching television before bedtime produces an artificial stimulating effect. If there is a TV in the bedroom, relocate it to another room.
Getting Up during the sleep period
It is normal for individuals to awaken two to three times during the night. However, if you cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then get up and leave the bedroom. Read quietly, have a very light snack, or take a bath. You will generally find you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later. Do not perform challenging or engaging activity such as office work, chores, or other housework. No television!
If the time is within two hours of your normal wake up, consider staying up and starting your day early. You will likely fall asleep that night much more readily. Do try and maintain your normal bedtime that evening, rather than go to bed too much earlier.
Additional Issues for Consideration
Consult your healthcare professional if your symptoms include breathing difficulties, arthritis, acid reflex, menstruation, headaches, or hot flashes. In addition, psychological health can affect sleep, including depression and anxiety. Some medications can cause sleeplessness. Consult your pharmacist and prescribing healthcare professional. Be sure to follow the advice of your physician and other healthcare professionals. Your doctor may prescribe sleep medications for short-term relief of a sleep problem.