U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes

What happened when I tried the U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes
Posted on, article by Michael Grothaus

Insomnia can be a coexisting condition for many, if not all, of the conditions I treat. ADHD, depression, and anxiety can all lead to sleepless nights. While there is a lot of research behind consistently using good "sleep hygiene," the approach in this article is reportedly effective as well. As long as you give yourself 6 weeks of time to practice every night.

Think a few sleepless nights isn't a big deal?
This article cites studies saying that "the average worker loses the equivalent of 11 days of productivity every year due to sleep issues" and "poor sleep cost US businesses a staggering $411 billion in lost productivity every year."

Poor Sleep May Make You Prone to Colds

Poor Sleep May Make You Prone to ColdsBBC Health onlineContinuing on the last post's theme of sleep and things-that-were-obvious-but-now-verified-by-science, I'm posting this article about the effect of inadequate sleep on the immune system. Inadequate sleep can be caused by many things, including poor impulse control, poor time management, depression, anxiety, and physical conditions such as sleep apnea.The lead researcher, Dr Aric Prather, is quoted saying "Short sleep was more important than any other factor in predicting subjects' likelihood of catching cold. It didn't matter how old people were, their stress levels, their race, education or income. It didn't matter if they were a smoker. With all those things taken into account, statistically sleep still carried the day."Inadequate sleep also makes us more vulnerable to emotions such as anger, anxiety, and sadness and impairs our concentration. Click here to read more.

Why drinking coffee can give you jet lag – and help you get over it

Why Drinking Coffee Can Give You Jet Lag – and Help You Get Over ItPublished by The GuardianMany people with ADHD have trouble getting to bed on time. This can happen for a variety of reasons including difficulty disengaging from something enjoyable (video games, "binge watching" TV shows and movies, reading, etc.), a lack of awareness of the passage of time, a coexisting condition such as "Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder," to name a few. But people will often self-medicate with caffeine, compounding the above problems.While it's obvious that caffeine before bed isn't a good idea, a recent study helps us understand exactly why that is. The article explains, "Caffeine resets the clock by delaying a rise in the level of melatonin, the body’s chief sleep hormone. Fluctuating levels of melatonin help determine the natural time to go to sleep and wake up."In addition to issues like oversleeping the next day or getting inadequate sleep, "Disruption of the body clock, for instance by working shifts or jet lag, is known to increase the risk of various cancers, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s."Click here to read more.

How do I deal with seasonal affective disorder?

"How do I … deal with seasonal affective disorder?"By Phil MaynardFrom TheGuardian.comGiven the upcoming end of daylight savings time this Sunday in the United States, I thought this article would be useful and timely. The article mentions a few tips for coping and also links to another article ( that provides a more complete list of treatment options, including CBT.As with any disorder, the earlier you intervene, the better off you will be. The symptoms can affect your motivation so as they become more severe it becomes progressively more difficult to apply many of the treatment recommendations.Adults with ADHD also tend to have difficulty maintaining a regular sleep schedule, so when the clock "falls back" Sunday, it's extra important to use good sleep hygiene to stay on track.

CNN: How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep

CNN: “How Your Smart Phone Affects Your Sleep”By Sanjay Gupta, MD1 min, 31 secDr. Gupta explains in this video how using our smart phones before bed can hurt our chances of a good night’s sleep. He says that looking at emails or other content on our phones can "take our brains from 0 to 60" (in terms of arousal) very quickly. In addition, the light from the phone (and other electronics) can disrupt our circadian rhythms. The light can inhibit the production of melatonin, a chemical in the body that's involved in helping us fall asleep. The vast majority of the ADHD clients I work with have problems with regulating sleep and oversleeping or insomnia also is frequently a symptom of depression or anxiety.

Electric lighting 'prevents proper night's sleep'

This article published in The Telegraph describes research showing how light, especial blue light, can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Insomnia is common in ADHD, depression, and anxiety and this article reinforces why shutting down our electronics well before we go to bed is so important to getting to sleep.

Sleep 'cleans' the brain of toxins

I wanted to add one more article in my series of postings on sleep. This article describes the study that showed that when we sleep our brain cells shrink to allow more space for fluid to flow and clear the brain of waste material. They believe that the brain is not able to simultaneously focus on cleaning and wakeful thinking.So whether it's ADHD, anxiety, depression, or something else disrupting your sleep, there is more and more information becoming available about what you're missing out on and why it's important to treat insomnia seriously.You can read the BBC article here.

Dreams and myelination. "Sleep 'boosts brain cell numbers'"

Scientists are still unraveling all the reasons why we need sleep. The article "Sleep 'boosts brain cell numbers'" discusses how sleep helps with the vital process of building myelin, a material that surrounds parts of nerve cells and is vital to their proper functioning.More specifically, you may remember from your biology or psychology classes that nerves communicate to one another through electrical impulses and neurotransmitters. The receiving end of a nerve cell is usually the axon and this can range from a millimeter to as long as a meter long. Myelin electrically insulate the axon, significantly accelerating the speed of the signal.The article below talks about how the cells that make myelin double their production rate in mice as they slept. For more information about this as well as other neurological benefits of sleep, you can read the article from BBC news here:

Jet lag, sleep, and ADHD?

Continuing on the theme of sleep dysfunction, this article talks about new information on what is going on in the brain that contributes to jet lag. This is also relevant relevant to adults with ADHD because they often will have an irregular sleep cycle. Many people I work with find themselves staying up very late into the night and sleeping much of the day. The process of trying to reset your sleep schedule may have similarities to jet lag.'Molecular basis' for jet lag foundBy James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News

Insomniacs' brains lose focus, scans suggest

Since insomnia and sleep issues commonly plays a role in ADHD, depression, and anxiety I wanted to share a few articles related to sleep. This if the first of 2 or 3. They are more general articles on sleep rather than specifically related to mental health.The quick summary is, per the article, "One of the researchers, Prof Sean Drummond, said: 'We found that insomnia subjects did not properly turn on brain regions critical to a working memory task and did not turn off 'mind-wandering' brain regions irrelevant to the task.'"You can read the full article here: