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Description: I had the pleasure a few weeks back of taking in a show by a young blues musician named Jontavious Willis. He is quite something, mentored by Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal, he will be a big part of the future of blues music. Anyway, I was thinking of one of his songs called The World is in a Tangle (no NOT the Fleetwood Mac tune of a similar name, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci7aGH5gCUI ). In the song he suggested that he is going to move to foreign land to get away from the tangle that is the world around him. It’s a good song but what it got me thinking about is that being able to get away from our daily stresses is vital to our well-being and while we cannot really move to another country (even IF there was one that is less stressful) we DO get away everyday for a bit by sleeping. That is a bit part of why sleep disturbances are, well, so disturbing to our wellbeing, as they steal our escape – our daily opportunity to destress. Lose sleep regularly and the loss of that daily escape and the restorative role it plays in our life and wellbeing is also threatened or lost. What to do? Well sometimes rather than going on a big life renovation kick it is more effective to just pay a bit of attention to the habits we have fallen into. So, what ARE your sleep habits? How to you prepare to go to bed and to sleep each night? How consistent are you? How close (literally and in terms of use) are your screens to your bedside and bedtime? If you have not thought about t5hse questions well maybe you do not need to but regardless a sleep-preparation audit but just reading and thinking about the article linked below can’t hurt and you might find some of its tips and suggestions VERY helpful and Stress-escape supporting.

Source: Improve Your Bedtime Routine With These Five Luxurious Tips, Kate Carraway, Self-Care, The New York Times.

Date: October 15, 2019

Photo Credit: Julietta Borda for the The New York Times

Article Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/style/self-care/bedtime-routine-benefits.html

So? Was there anything there you can use? When the world is in a tangle it is rather important to be aware of and to attend to some of the simply habits and routines that can guard or regular and necessary stress escape that is sleep. And, the nice thing about simple habits is that once you have them established they often help without requiring a whole lot of reflection or attention and are much more cost-effective than moving to another country!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What were one or two things suggested in the article that you already do or that you think you could use and benefit from?
  2. Why might the things you noted above work? What might they do for you Psychologically?
  3. What are some other habits we might want to consider developing to help us cope with the stresses of life these days and why are simple habits so helpful (or so NOT helpful) for us?

References (Read Further):

Lai, H. L., & Good, M. (2005). Music improves sleep quality in older adults. Journal of advanced nursing, 49(3), 234-244. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.574.8393&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Coren, S. (1994). The prevalence of self-reported sleep disturbances in young adults. International Journal of Neuroscience, 79(1-2), 67-73. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/010d/5941960c19320d7cbf88cf475aab8b98cee5.pdf

Thomée, S., Härenstam, A., & Hagberg, M. (2011). Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults-a prospective cohort study. BMC public health, 11(1), 66. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-11-66

Milojevich, H. M., & Lukowski, A. F. (2016). Sleep and mental health in undergraduate students with generally healthy sleep habits. PloS one, 11(6), e0156372. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0156372

LeBourgeois, M. K., Hale, L., Chang, A. M., Akacem, L. D., Montgomery-Downs, H. E., & Buxton, O. M. (2017). Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S92-S96. https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?output=instlink&q=info:CjmHM0JaUh0J:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_ylo=2015&scillfp=1980851307990689949&oi=lle

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