Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than
twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper
articles, including a monthly health column for The
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
Practical Ways to Overcome Sleep
Disorders - Part 4
We all hate keeping logs. When a biofeedback expert
suggested (no, demanded) that I use a log to get a handle
on my sleep patterns, I fought it kicking and screaming.
Who has time or patience for logs?
I definitely found it frustrating to record nightly
details that underscored my failure to sleep. Yet I did
discover things I never realized about my existing
nonsleep pattern. I was able to focus on ways change it.
Little by little, I changed the routine so I got more
sleep. In the end, I saw significant improvement.
I used the sleep log in the book, No More Sleepless
Nights, by Dr. Peter Hauri of the Mayo Clinic. This
excellent book teaches readers to become their own sleep
The Sleep Log
Here's the version developed by Dr. Peter Hauri. Dr.
Hauri recommends answering these questions daily, about
30 minutes after waking. Just estimate the times. The
object is to realize how you felt about your sleep.
Click here for the form (it's
a printable version!)
Two weeks after completing this form, I realized I was
all over the place: I had no routine to teach myself to
relax and get sleepy! I waited until I dropped, went to
bed, got a second wind, got up and worked or read, tried
From my time using biofeedback, I learned to breathe
slowly and deeply. This sleep log revealed that I needed
to try a routine. I hadnt even realized the
importance of this. By combining the breathing and
developing a routine, I have come a long way in my
long-term sleep difficulties.
I started by improving my bedroom: new, firm mattress;
put the recliner in the BR; room-darkening blinds; white
noise machine. I adjusted the temperature ever so
slightly at night. Sometimes while I read in my recliner
I enjoy fragrant candles.
Combined with these environmental aspects, I molded
myself to a stable, but not rigid, routine: Now I try to
wind down at roughly the same time each night. This is
the single most helpful routine I learned. I trained
myself to turn off the work mode!
I rarely drink caffeine past 2:00 p.m. (yeah,
thats an obvious one), I no longer drive myself
nuts worrying (extremely counterproductive) about the
time it takes me to fall asleep, and I try to rise at
about the same time each morning.
Following this fairly simple routine, I achieve
refreshing sleep much of the time. Instead of getting
four to six hours of sleep nightly, I usually manage
seven to eight.
After those first few weeks, I havent kept a
sleep log. Thats wonderful, but I think it may be
time to record one week as a checkup.
To try to help as many people as quickly as possible,
Ive covered fundamental ways to improve sleep. If
you're interested in learning more about Sleep Disorders
(or having me do future articles on it), let me know.
Starting a new series of columns about humour and Health.
If you cant wait for some laughs, go to the joke
contest page at my web site: www.rendell-smock.com.
What do you use to get to sleep? Got any hints
or strategies to share? Or jokes for next week? If so, e-mail
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the top / The New Sideroad/ Go to the latest column
Issue # 8
Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1997
1 - how your mattress can make all the
Part 2 - strategies to help you
Part 3 - more strategies to help you
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
Part 3 of 4
- - insights into diagnosis, and basic
Part 4 of 4
- - new medical treatments to stop
osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis
Humour and Health