Only I can change my life ~ no one can do it for me.
Life is about change. Without change, without variety, without some stress in Life, all will stultify and diminish. Without change there can be no growth, and without growth and development all things will wither away and die.
I will not meddle with that which I cannot mend. ~ Thomas Fuller
But, as the Serenity prayer tells us, there are some things that we cannot change, some things that have to be accepted, and the wise learn to know the difference. I can think of a myriad of people, places, and things I cannot change. In reality no one can change another person, unless that other absolutely wants to change. This is why it is mostly pointless trying to talk to most addicts in an effort to make them change their ways. This is why many relationships, and many marriages, end in failure and recriminations. This is why there are wars.
A while ago I resolved to stop trying to change others and instead decided to work on myself to become a better person. That is now my lifetime’s project, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Sometimes I make progress, and sometimes I go backwards a couple of steps or more ~ it’s like a man walking into a gale, sometimes he wins and sometimes the storm wins. In the last few days I think the wind won more than I did. In the last few days I went with the wind and my negative emotions, and that meant I really staggered in the wrong direction. In other words I totally fucked-up, again. For me, going with the flow is usually the wrong choice.
Life will do it’s best to deceive you. You may get knocked down, but you must always get up again. The mark of a really great boxer is not that he never gets knocked down. A really great boxer can get knocked down, but he will always get up again. And that’s up to and including Mohammed Ali in his all prime and pomp.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ ~ Thomas Edison
The English language is filled with wise sayings, allegories, parables, and proverbs. As you would expect a lot are by Churchill; ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often…’ Then from Scotland we have the allegory of Robert the Bruce and the spider, which gave us the saying; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…’ But we also have almost the converse of that saying…
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. ~ Albert Einstein.
The Goddess knows I have been there often enough ~ every time I took a drink I expected it to be different from the last time, and it never was. But, somehow I usually got away with it.
Back in my illustrious career in banking I once went into a meeting on Madison Avenue with no ideas and nothing but blank pieces of paper in my briefcase. I had got good and drunk in the Plaza the night before, so I both looked and felt far from my very my best. But I stood up in front of the board of the world’s biggest advertising agency and tried just one more time. I told them not what they wanted to hear, but what I wanted to make happen. It worked. The thing is I didn’t give up, and I didn’t try to change anything except myself.
After that almost debacle I resolved to make a big change by giving up banking for good. It was the wrong change ~ I should have given up booze for good. Back then I didn’t have enough serenity within me to even think about being sober for life.
Right now, today, all I try to do is be the best Jack Collier I can be, sober. That is difficult enough for anyone. I realise that life is difficult and painful. I know that the causes of my problems and pain are my own cravings, lusts, and the blaming others for my faults. I now know that I can’t change others and I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change what I do, and how I react to people places, and events.
I know that the warrior’s road to freedom from continual distress, pain, and suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, spirit… and that’s a hard road to walk in honour, honesty, and truth. I try to always walk that road, and often I fail. But, at least I try, and perhaps not one in ten men even do that.
The world and the sky is ours if we want it enough.
If you’re feeling good then nothing else should matter.
Like many who have had an abnormal Fear of Abandonment due to suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I have been very used to feeling bad. Alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression, anger, low self-esteem, relationship problems, suicidal thoughts, problems trusting anyone, fear, disgust, sadness… In the past I knew all of these bad feelings intimately. My whole world was a pale, dead, dark moon.
The nadir of my misery was on December 11th 2017, when I suffered from mental, psychological, and spiritual distress that was almost unbearable. I felt as though I was having a mental breakdown ~ that my mind was broken and my soul was destroyed. I was physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually afraid. I was afraid that I was becoming a lunatic.
That is not a good feeling. But then, I was very used to feeling very bad.
The Christmas and New Year’s holidays came, and things were a little better. Once you have hit your rock bottom, then the only way should be up. It doesn’t work like that. Below your rock bottom is another, lower, more hellish rock bottom.
I know because at the New Year I caught influenza, and I did become a lunatic due to a fever caused by the virus. I don’t quite know what I did during the couple or three weeks I was deathly ill, except that I had strange visions and imaginings. I remembered things that never happened, and I remembered real events, and each memory taught me a lesson. Each memory lifted some evil from my mind and my soul.
Today I feel pretty good. And I’m struggling to cope with feeling good.
They got scared when they started feeling good, just because it was so unfamiliar. Like chronic prisoners facing release from their cells. ~ Lisa Alther.
When you are used to being Mr. Hyde, it’s a struggle to be a good guy. It’s difficult to love and trust when you are used to never trusting anyone. It’s hard to take a chance on people, even with someone you told yourself you cared for, when you never took a chance on anyone, ever. When you are used to feeling disappointment, anger, resentment, suspicion, distrust ~ when you are used to being Mr. Hyde ~ it’s scary to focus only on the good things.
I’m very uncomfortable with good feelings because I am so unused to feeling really, truly, genuinely fine. I wake in the morning and I distrust the fact that I feel good. I am expecting crushing disappointment, sooner or later, because I don’t expect these good feelings to last.
But I’m doing all right today, and step by step things are getting better for me, and for those I care for.
I have a strategy. I know I will have bad thoughts, bad feelings, and a temptation to return to my old ways of misery. I can accept feeling bad, but I no longer have to let feeling bad take over my life again. I can accept the bad thoughts for what they are, my old demons trying to drag me down to another hellish rock bottom. I never need to let that happen again.
Today, tonight, and tomorrow I can focus on feeling good. Feeling bad is a choice I need never make again. In future I will choose to feel good.
Spencer Tracy as Mr. Hyde
In every life there will be some troubles.
Recently I was pretty ill with the flu. In between feeling very poorly, and very tired, my feverish mind wandered to some very strange places. I vividly remembered things from the past, and some of those memories were false, but even the false memories had a lesson for me.
In my fevered imaginings I realised that I had often been judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive. That I measured people by my own standards, morals, and mores. If I thought a person had hurt me, or intended to hurt me, or didn’t measure up to what I thought was acceptable standards of behaviour, then I was quite likely to attack that person. I could become a real Mr. Hyde character. That applied especially if I told myself that I cared about the person concerned.
In my fevered imaginings I realised that my judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive behaviour was totally unacceptable. Not only that, it didn’t achieve anything good, and it didn’t make me happy ~ it didn’t make anyone happy.
In fact, being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist made me so unhappy that from time to time I would try to escape my misery by drinking far too much booze. As you would expect, getting drunk didn’t make me happy either.
In fact, drinking just made everything much worse. Every single time I’ve touched booze in the past few years something extremely, irredeemably bad has happened. Every single time I’ve had even one drink I began a downward spiral which inevitably lead me to becoming Mr. Hyde.
It didn’t take fevered imaginings brought on by the flu to make me realise that I needed to make a new beginning. On December 11th last year I had the worst mental, psychological, and spiritual day of my life. My mind was broken and my soul was destroyed. I knew back then that I needed to change or there wasn’t much point in my being anything other than a lonely recluse. If I wanted a good life, then I needed to begin a new beginning as a kinder, stable, more reliable, more likeable man.
My mental health was at stake, I needed to change or continue on the downward spiral to the rock bottom of total lunacy.
I have changed, and it was both very difficult and very easy. The easy part is that all I need to do is stop being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist. Stop thinking the worst of people, stop imagining that the people I care for are trying to hurt me, and stop dwelling on the past. As I said easy.
The very difficult thing is that making a fundamental change to one’s own personality means overturning one’s core beliefs and values ~ and that’s hard. It means reconsidering what’s important in life. It means letting go of old attitudes, old habits, beliefs, outdated goals, even one’s old Life’s Purpose. It means changing how we think about relationships, love, and life.
However, we can create anything we want, if we want it enough.
Einstein said; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
I needed to do things differently. I needed to begin a new beginning. I firmly believe I have started on a different and better road. I don’t think I’m a lunatic anymore.
Three cups of coffee a day could extend your life.
Coffee is one of the worlds most commonly consumed drinks, with something like 2.25 billion cups drunk around the world every day. Coffee contains lots of complex chemical compounds including; caffeine, diterpenes,and antioxidants.
Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as sin. ~ Talleyrand
It seems coffee is healthy and good for you. New research, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, shows that the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee are highly beneficial in reducing liver disease and liver cancers, help prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of circulatory problems, ward off Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis, and helps to fight diseases of the digestive tract. As all of those diseases can kill you, drinking moderate amounts of coffee may even prevent you from suffering an early death.
There are lots of good reasons to drink coffee. Including the fact that coffee may also be good for your sex drive, (particularly a woman’s sex drive). Drinking coffee increases the plasma levels of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin that controls testosterone and oestrogen. That may well be why coffee reduces depression and suicide risk. Who knew that coffee was a female aphrodisiac?
It isn’t the caffeine that does you good, because people who drink decaffeinated coffee accrue most / some of the same benefits. However, it seems obvious that proper strong fresh-made ground coffee with all the caffeine in it will give you the most benefits. A typical cup of coffee has more antioxidants than a glass of grape, blackberry, blueberry, and / or orange juices. A typical American gets more antioxidants from coffee than from anything else. What you get from a cup of coffee is; improved liver function, reduced inflammation in the body, better glucose control, and coffee also boosts the immune system.
If you are a regular drinker of the falling down water, if you really like your booze, if you sometimes drink a little too much, if you are a practicing alcoholic ~ then you should really drink fresh coffee on a regular basis. Just one cup of real coffee a day can reduce your chances of suffering cirrhosis of the liver by 20%. Coffee will also help prevent you from getting fatty liver disease, whether you’re a boozer or not.
Cigarettes and coffee: an alcoholic’s best friends! ~ Gerard Way.
Don’t think you can get the same benefits from other caffeinated drinks that you can get from coffee, because you can’t. For example, coffee generally makes people feel happier, whereas Coca Cola will give you a caffeine high, but Coke will also make you feel depressed. Especially any diet caffeinated drink will make you feel really depressed. In general soda is bad for you, and diet sodas are bad for you in spades. So your very strong Cuba Libre is doing you no good at all.
The way you prepare your coffee has a big impact on how much benefit you get from all the good complex chemicals present in coffee beans. For example, if you use a regular coffee maker, and you also use filter papers, then you’re missing out on a lot of the good diterpenes because they are absorbed by the paper. In general the less there is between the ground coffee and your cup the better. Possibly a cafetiere / French press using a good dark roast will make you the most beneficial cup of coffee, whereas a cheap instant decaffeinated is probably next to useless in terms of health benefits and taste.
Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all. ~ David Lynch
These findings are based European study led by Imperial College, London, and the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer ~ which looked at half-a-million people over the age of 35. They found that people who drink three cups of coffee a day live longer than non-coffee drinkers. There is also an US study led by the University of Southern California ~ which looked at 186,000 people.
We cannot say that drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association. ~ Veronica W. Setiawan, USC
In conclusion, real coffee is good for you, pod coffee is pretty bad, cheap instant coffee is nasty and probably causes cancer, and Coca Cola is very nasty. Drinking coffee is cool, often sociable, and a nice woman is more likely to have an afternoon cup of coffee with a guy than she is to agree to meet him in a pub.
Coffee and smoking are the last great addictions. ~ Lara Flynn Boyle
Statistically, women who drink a lot of coffee are also likely to be drinkers of booze and cigarette smokers ~ strange but true.
buy a French press
Men who fear demons see demons everywhere.
My life has been plagued by demons; or character defects, or weaknesses, or a disease, or a mental illness, or Borderline Personality Disorder ~ call it what you will but with a new understanding I know that there are demons lurking in the deep darkness of my innermost subconscious.
We all have inner demons to fight, we call these demons, fear and hatred and anger. If you do not conquer them then a life of one hundred years is a tragedy. If you do, then a life of a single day is a triumph. ~ Yip Man
My demons have attacked me, tormented and tortured me, brought me low and taken me down the long lonely Road to Hell.
My demons have not won the final battle. Yet at times I have been overwhelmed and given in to anger, depression, drink ~ and that is exactly what my demons want.
My demons are cunning shape-shifters and change from one insidious, pernicious, torturous form to another as soon as my back is turned.
My demons are very good at finding the things that can hurt me the most, cause me the most pain, and bringing those things to the forefront of my mind in an ugly distorted form designed to torment and torture me. My demons use negative thoughts of those I care for the most to hurt me the most.
My demons assume the guise of Fear of Rejection, Worthlessness, Anxiety, Depression, Jealousy, Fear of Failure, Addictions, Obsessions, and Compulsions ~ and all of those disguises are designed to cause me the maximum suffering. And my pain never seemed to lessen, or subside, or stop. The pain always got worse than the time before.
It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster. ~ Carl Jung
My demons are my shadow side from my deep subconscious, and my demons may also exist in an evil spiritual form. Yet I have embraced my shadow side, I have accepted and acknowledged the existence of my demons. If dark spiritual forces surround me, if demons lurk in the blackness of my deep subconscious, I will make those demons face the light of my awareness.
My demons now know that they cannot win, they cannot kill me. The pain only lasts if I allow it to. Now that I am aware of my demons I can accept that all the vicious negativity in my soul is only my demons trying to hurt me. My demons want me to feel the pain, my demons want me to fail, and my demons want me to descend into drunken depression ~ and I will not give my demons the pleasure of hurting me, of witnessing me hurt others, of seeing my abject failure.
Facing my demons is not easy. Facing my demons may well be the most difficult thing I have ever done. From out of nowhere my demons can make me feel mentally and emotionally exhausted, angry, jealous, afraid…
My demons want me to stop looking them in the face and telling them that they can never again cause the kind of pain and suffering I have known in the past.
My demons no longer have ultimate power over me ~ now I have some little power over them, and now I can truly begin to recover from the poison in my soul and walk the warrior’s path.
Our very souls may be consumed by shadows.
We each have a complex relationship with ourselves. If we have ever really suffered through something like; alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to gambling, sex addiction, too many of the wrong prescription drugs, parental abuse, an abusive relationship, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, serious problems with our diet, mental health problems, failed relationships, job loss, loss of our home… (or more likely a mixture of all of these problems and more), then we also have a complex relationship with the whole world and everyone in it.
At times we can find ourselves in a very bad place where every voice is critical, malevolent, and negative ~ even our own inner voice. Our inner voice creates inner demons; anger, depression, fear of rejection, rejection of others, jealousy, judgementalism, self-doubt, self-hatred, worthlessness…
All the dark, malevolent Passions of the Soul are roused and exerted; its mild and amiable affections are suppressed; and with them virtuous Principles are laid prostrate. ~ Charles Inglis
Unless you have been there you can have no idea how bad the pain and anguish these inner demons can create. One will do almost anything to escape the crippling pain; including going back to our addictions, making big geographical moves, shutting down and numbing ourselves, isolating ourselves, psychotherapy, strong prescription drugs, attending 12 step groups, spirituality, retreating further into mental illness, suicide…
It is not just our inner demons. If we are in that bad place then we are also surrounded by demons. Everyone we know, everyone we meet, adds to these outer demons with their misplaced concerned advice, criticisms, and rejection. Many people do not want us to get well, they measure themselves against our struggle and feel superior, they add their negative demons to our own. When I was at my last rock-bottom I became aware that almost everyone I knew, everyone I met, was feeding off my pain. Few understand, few want to understand, and fewer still truly want to help.
Some especially gifted, intelligent, and sensitive people believe that there is a third layer of demons, in addition to our inner demons, and the tormenting demons gifted to us by almost everyone we know. Most spiritual and religious people also believe that there are more demons than the physiological and psychological. These special people believe in genuine demons, in the spiritual realm, and that some of us may be victims of these demons. In my mind’s eye I am very aware that in the shadows surrounding my soul lurk the powers of darkness seeking to torment and torture me.
Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways. For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no reason. That’s not just an emotion. That’s a demon. ~ Stephen Baldwin.
None of the details really matter. What I do know is that if you have truly suffered, and if you are suffering now, then you are the victim of demons who will feed off your pain, and want nothing more than to destroy you and everything and everyone you care for.
It is our demons that make us believe that our partner is sleeping with other men, that giving into our addiction will solve our problems, and that suicide is painless.
Many of us have tried over the years to face down our inner demons. Some succeed, many fail. Many fail because they don’t realise that the main causes of their misery are inner demons which seem to have an intelligence and will of their own. Many more fail because they never realise that they are also surrounded by malevolent evil demons emanating from the subconscious psyche of everyone they know. And, some fail because they are the victims of true demonic possession.
Demons are not your superiors, demons are not even your equals. All demons have is the ability to make you cause yourself pain and suffering. Demons can only torment and torture you if you let them, but most of us allow demons to torture us because we are not even aware that they are there.
Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. ~ David D. Burns.
Recovery begins with admitting that you have a problem.
I cannot yet face down my demons, but I know they are there, trying to make me torture myself so that they can feed off my pain. (Even your inner demons feed off the pain you cause yourself.)
Now, when I feel myself going down a negative path to my own personal hell, I can tell myself that it’s just my personal demons trying to destroy me, and that I should ignore their oppressive persecution. That helps me. A psychological bully can only bully you if you let them. Your demons have no physical power over you. Ignore them and your demons will go away. Eventually I shall be able to face down my demons and tell them to fuck off ~ and that will be a good day.
Demons are to be pitied. They have nothing but your pain and suffering. If you do not allow your demons to make you cause yourself pain and suffering, then those demons will eventually die and vanish into nothing.
You can and will get well if you do not allow your demons to torment and torture you.
click on the book
Take Good Care Of Yourself.
It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all. Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child
Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases. (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)
Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…
There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well. Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.
At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks. Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish. In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.
We are what we eat. Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health. I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight. It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. ~ Jostein Gaarder
Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things. When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates. Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.
Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.
I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon. Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too. Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…
Night Sweats, Night Terrors, Nightmares, Sleep Terrors.
Night Terrors are not Nightmares ~ typically a nightmare happens when you’re in deep dream sleep, whereas night terrors wake you up, so the experience of a night terror is one of wakefulness. Night terrors are also different from Sleep Terrors, because a night terror will wake you up, whereas with a sleep terror you will have all the symptoms of extreme fear, but you will stay asleep. If you are awake, or partially awake, and terrified in the night, then the chances are you are suffering from night terrors, (which are a recognised psychological disorder).
Nightmares usually occur in the early morning during REM sleep when our dreams are at their most vivid. More often than not we can remember all the cinematographic details of a long, scary nightmarish dream when we first wake. On the other hand, night terrors usually happen during the first part of the night, aren’t part of REM sleep, and we won’t remember anything much other than waking up / being awake in a terrified state.
Typically, night terrors are caused by a previous psychological trauma, (such as an abusive childhood), or by stress, or by substance abuse, (such as drinking too much just before bedtime). However, as one of the causes of drinking too much before bedtime is a mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder, which is itself probably caused by a previous psychological trauma, it’s fair to say that if you suffer from night terrors you’re probably drinking too much and suffered some severe disturbance / abuse / trauma in your past. Chances are if you’re in that situation you’re also feeling very pressured right now, and suffering from the symptoms of undue stress. It’s an illogical Catch-22 situation.
If you suffer from night terrors it’s likely that you wake very suddenly with an intense fear of something unknown / a nameless dread. Your heart will be beating fast, you will be breathing hard and fast, your blood pressure will be elevated, your eyes will be wide and staring, and you will be sweating. This is different from night sweats, which is severe and excessive sweating, without the associated terror. The common causes of night sweats are medical, and some of them are very nasty, such as cancer. However, one other cause of night sweats is drinking too much.
What night terrors will do to you is prevent you from getting the 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep that most adults need every night. As well as making you feel tired, lethargic, and irritable, not getting enough sleep can cause lots of nasty illnesses such as; high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease.
The most likely advice if you have night terrors when you get beyond your teens is that you should see a doctor. Good luck with that one, because the only real cure for night terrors is to treat the underlying problem(s). That will mean doing something about the effects of any psychological trauma in your past, and cutting out whatever drug you’re taking too much of late at night ~ including coffee, booze, prescription drugs, street drugs…
There are some very common-sense things you can do if you suffer from night terrors, sleep terror, nightmares, and / or night sweats ~ without resorting to medication and a long period of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. None of these are easy, or likely to give you a quick fix, but you should consider;
- Giving up booze completely, or cutting down a lot, and never drinking late at night.
- Quitting smoking ~ and if you smoke do not have a cigarette last thing at night.
- Stop using street drugs, and talk to your doctor about any prescription medication you are on.
- Late at night don’t drink coffee, and don’t eat a meal within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Stay hydrated. The average person needs 3 litres / 6 pints of water a day ~ but tea, coffee, wine, and beer don’t really help you to stay properly hydrated.
- Do not take a nap during the day, especially don’t take an afternoon nap.
- Go to bed at the same reasonable time every night, (if you need to be up at 7 am you need to be in bed at 10 pm), and get up at the same reasonable time each morning. Stick to this sleep schedule, even at weekends. Changing the time you go to bed, and the time you get out of bed, wrecks your internal body clock.
- Wind down in the evenings. Don’t use social media late at night or first thing in the morning. Instead practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as meditation and listening to relaxing, classical music.
- During the day get at least an hour of fresh air and moderate / vigorous / strenuous exercise.
- Make sure your bedroom is right for sleep. Your bedroom should be clean, tidy, quiet, very dark, still, and fairly cool, (between 60 and 67 degrees F). You really do need to sleep in total darkness and quiet.
- Make certain your mattress and pillows are comfortable for you. If your mattress is good quality it should last 10 years, after that, get a new one.
- Keep a sleep diary.
An episode of night terror can be brought on by worry, stress, emotional tension, fatigue, conflict, and especially too much alcohol late at night, (or more likely a combination of factors, including booze). How much is too much alcohol? Actually, too much booze is however many drinks puts your health and well-being at risk. For me, one drink is one too many.
After suffering night terrors you are likely to be utterly inconsolable, grown women, (and men), may cry, and the event may be so disturbing that your mind will wipe most of it from your memory. The next morning you won’t be able to remember what terrified you.
In adults, it is most likely that night terrors, sleep terrors, and nightmares have an underlying cause of previous severe stress, trauma, mental and / or physical abuse, and subsequent mental disorders and generalised anxiety. In fact, the underlying causes of sleep problems can be very similar to the underlying causes of addiction.
Not getting enough good quality sleep is a serious matter. The consequences are severe, up to and including death. If you’re suffering from night terrors, sleep terrors, nightmares, night sweats, then you really do need to take action right away. Start with the tips I’ve given above, but if you have to, go and see your doctor.