Tired? How Sleep Helps Your Mental Health

We hear it all the time: “I’m just so tired!” or “I didn’t sleep well” or “I was up too late last night.” While it is popular and sometimes useful to burn the midnight oil, psychologists in Littleton know that sleep should not be considered a luxury. In fact, it is an important part of your physical and mental health, and helps you to be ready to manage a challenging or stressful day . Read on to find out why sleep should be a priority.

Think Faster. Do you ever feel like time speeds up in the afternoon? The clock tells you it doesn’t, but it seems like time is going faster because your brain is moving slower. In fact, after about 18 hours without sleep, your response time drops to about the performance of someone who is legally intoxicated! For the fastest thinking, make sure to rest up.

Think Better. Maybe you don’t want to think at lightning fast speeds, but you do want to make good decisions, right? When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain struggles to do just this. Tired brains are more likely to miss details and connections, choose impulsively, or forget important information. For the best brain performance, make sure to give it plenty of rest!

Improve Mood. Ever find yourself feeling snappy, irritable, and miserable after a long day at work? You may not want to admit it, but you might be acting like a cranky toddler. We know that cranky toddlers do better after a nap, and the same is true for cranky adults. If you feel like nothing is going your way, but everybody is in your way, ask yourself if you are truly rested and energized for the day.

Sleeping can be a challenge for any busy professional, but most find that they can find restful sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene  techniques. For some, sleep is almost impossible to get. If you struggle with restless nights and lack of sleep, you may benefit from counseling in Highlands Ranch. You can improve your life, improving your sleep! Contact Dr. Steve Lazarus today to get started.

 

Start the School Year Off Right with These Tips

With fall just around the corner, the time for school has started again. For many parents, this is a welcome relief to long days of “boredom” and daycare, and a shift back to learning. But for some families, back to school time is nothing but a battle. From bedtime to breakfast, check out these tips to make sure your child has a great school year!

Plan ahead

Most of the back to school woes can be headed off with effective planning. Does your teen struggle to get out the door in the morning? Time management skills can help!  Help her start the day off right by packing bags and choosing a great new outfit the night before. Once she’s prepped, all she has to do is roll out of bed, spend time on hygiene, and grab those pre-packed bags. This can also be a great tip for busy parents who are rushing around to get lunches in order, coordinate the carpool, and everything else.

Set expectations

Especially if your child has struggled at school in the past, set clear expectations to prepare for success. Focus on actions, not results: instead of demanding A and B grades in math, demand that math gets studied for 30 minutes or so per day. This will help your child to see how their hard work turns into real accomplishments. Involve your child in setting goals  so he learns the importance of monitoring and being aware of his own behaviors. Some great ideas to set expectations for the school year include homework time, study time, bed time, socialization, and behavior. If you need help with difficult or escalated issues, consider visiting a Littleton child behavior psychologist for custom help.

Down time

Didn’t the kids just get the summer off? Still, down time is important, especially when one has been used to unlimited amounts! Many schools have taken advantage of a partial week to start off the school year, and for good reason—down time helps to recharge and revitalize. Make sure that you promote balance for your children by letting them know that down time and fun time are still important.

For many children, these tips are enough to ensure success. Others may need more personalized attention. If the normal tips aren’t working for your child, or if you need special ideas for your child with learning differences or ADHD, consult a child psychologist in Littleton for more help. Dr. Lazarus has helped many families see success in all they do!