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Go To Health! (Because Life's Too Short. . .)

the Author:

Shara Rendell-Smock, author

Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles, including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry, Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.

To read more about these books, participate in an ongoing joke contest, surf on over to .
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.

Shara is the Featured Author for October 1997
at Authorlink!

Practical Ways to Overcome Sleep Disorders - Part 2

In this society, no one is stress free. Heck, even the hunters and gatherers had stress.

Everyone has occasional sleepless nights, such as when you are ill, or worried about a temporary problem. Those of us with chronic sleep problems need to learn to sleep. A few ways to achieve this are to lower your stress level; create a relaxing ritual, watch what you eat or drink before bedtime.

Making your environment as sleep-inducing as possible also is important. This may mean determining whether you need a new mattress, finding a way to mask noise, or adjusting the indoor temperature.

Strategies to Get to Sleep

I used to stress out with sleepless thoughts, "It's 2 a.m. I know how I'm going to feel at work tomorrow! I need to be at my best in a meeting" Off I'd go stressing myself further.

I finally gave up, after years of sleep troubles, and adopted the attitude, "I've done what I can to relax. If I don't sleep much tonight, I'll drag tomorrow, but tomorrow night I should be able to sleep better." This helps. Just don't worry about sleeping. Eventually it does take care of itself.

Here are some tips:

  • Only use the bed for sex or sleep. Do not lie in bed reading before you sleep.

  • Get a ritual. Perhaps read before bed-in a chair. Then end the reading, shut out the lights and go to bed.

  • Be aware of your breathing. Take several slow, deep breaths while relaxing.

  • As part of your routine, get up at approximately the same time daily. If you try to make up sleep by sleeping late in the morning, or taking a nap during the day, you will likely have trouble sleeping that evening.

  • You may want to have some gentle thoughts like "The only thing required of me now is sleep. Nothing else is important." This may sound weird, but it has helped me to quietly remind myself of these facts.

  • As a last resort, some of us occasionally use a sleeping pill. Sometimes just knowing you can use this to bail out can take your mind off worrying about sleep.

  • Don't drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol is a stimulant. Even if you initially fall asleep sooner, you will wake with fewer hours of sleep.

  • Don't drink caffeine in the evening.

  • Cut down on sugar and nicotine evenings, which can also interfere with sleep.

    Next Week:

    More tips and strategies to reduce stress before sleep, and ways to make your bedroom quieter!

    What do you use to get to sleep? Got any hints or strategies to share? If so, e-mail me at

    Back to the top / Go to the latest column / The New Sideroad

Issue # 6
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1997


Overcoming Sleep Disorders

Part 1 - how your mattress can make all the difference.


Stats indicate that for those over the age of 50, one of every two women and one in eight men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Our sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for this disease. Yet osteoporosis is not inevitable. Here's some information on this disease and how we can prevent it.

Part 1 of 4 - - details the likelihood of developing this disease, and its dangers and consequences.

Part 2 of 4 - - presents the risk factors of osteoporosis and some of our misconceptions about the disease.

Part 3 of 4 - - insights into diagnosis, and basic management techniques.

Part 4 of 4 - - new medical treatments to stop osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis sufferers.

Next Week:

More strategies to get to sleep!

Part of the original Sideroad. Text 1997, Shara Rendell-Smock. Posted Dec. 9, 1997. The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at