What Sleep Experts Aren’t Telling You About How to Get a Great Night’s Sleep…

Posted Posted in You Can Fix That

Tossing and turning night after night, then waking up exhausted and feeling miserable is an all too common complaint that I hear from clients.    The sad reality is that sleep disturbance is one of the major problems facing people today.  According to government studies, “Sleep loss and sleep disorders are among the most common yet frequently overlooked and readily treatable health problems. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning and adversely affecting health and longevity (NHLBI, 2003)”.   It impacts every aspect of our lives (health, relationships, and work) and creates a negative behavior loop that results in more anxiety, stress, sleeplessness and weight gain.  So, if you are one of those who suffers, YOU are not alone! And while misery loves company, you want answers and more importantly, you want to sleep now.

To better understand the contributing causes, it is helpful to understand  how our bodies function and how this impacts sleep.  The human body and our subconscious minds are wired to protect us.  One of the primary ways this happens is through the release of cortisol.  Cortisol is a powerful hormone that is triggered during the fight/flight/freeze reaction.  When faced with imminent danger the adrenaline rush that we experience is triggered by cortisol.  Our bodies are in a heightened state of readiness to respond. This state of excitement interferes with sleep.  Once we become aware of some of the causes, we can learn how to deal with those factors most likely to disturb your sleep.

There are many studies that show a clear link between foods high in sugars and carbohydrates and sleep disturbances.  The conclusions in these studies show that consumption of these foods negatively affect our sleep.  These studies go on to link sleep apnea and other sleep disorders to a rise in diabetes and obesity.  Here, we have a negative loop of sleep deprivation attributed to sleep apnea and sleep apnea being exacerbated by weight gain  The weight gain is attributable to increases in cortisol resulting from stress.  (Miller, et al., 2014) (Knutson, 2007) (New Study Links Blood Sugar Levels With Sleep Apnea, n.d.)

The most obvious food sourced chemical that impacts the quality of our sleep is caffeine.  This is not a newsflash. This psychoactive chemical is present in more foods and beverages than many people are aware of.  We are aware of the obvious sources like coffees, teas and chocolates.  Caffeine however, is also present in non-cola soft drinks like Mountain Dew® and Sunkist® Orange Soda.  Lesser known hidden sources of caffeine include protein and energy bars, ice creams and frozen yogurt, certain vitamin waters and over-the counter pain meds such as Excedrin® Migraine. (Lodato, et al., 2013). 

Another contributing factor to sleeplessness or sleep disturbance is our connection to our smart devices (phones, tablets, and computers).  They keep us connected and stimulated, and this is not necessarily a good thing.  The tendency among many of those who come to see me for sleep issues, is their constant contact to jobs and clients.  In a society where people demand immediate responses, we have no ability to decompress and step away from the stressors of work.  It is common to see couples out to dinner constantly checking their smart phones to insure they haven’t missed a text or email message.  Further, people attempt to multi-task, even while engaged in social events, in an effort to be “more efficient.”  Since the brain is not wired to multi-task, we create additional problems for ourselves including making more mistakes which increase anxiety levels, as well as interpersonal relationship problems by becoming more socially disengaged.

Our devices create issues that are even more problematic.  Smart devices keep us highly stimulated.   The brain cannot differentiate between threats and stimulating gaming.  Engaging in long periods of video gaming or viewing sports programming everywhere we go, also increases cortisol levels and keeps us in heightened states of physical and mental excitement.  Clients have reported that they are on their phones right up until they go to sleep.  This type of behavior is often a prime source of their sleeplessness.

Sleeplessness can also be caused by or compounded by medical treatments or conditions.  Among the most frequent of these are diabetes, heart disease, chemo and immuno-therapies, reflux disease and Parkinson’s.

Ignorance of the causes is costing us billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.  But the impact is also much more serious.   Sleeplessness is responsible for more than 40,000 motor vehicle accidents and more than 1500 motor vehicle deaths annually.  One of the proximal causes of these accidents are the residual effects of sleep medications that people receive from their physicians.  Commonly prescribed drugs such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants or antipsychotics often come with serious side effects, including dependency and abuse.  The sad fact is that these should be the last resort of medical professionals and not the first.  Longer term results come with empowering people to learn healthy, drug-free ways of relieving stress and breaking the sleeplessness cycle.

One of the most effective, and the safest method of breaking the negative loop of sleeplessness and the anxiety of not being able to sleep is hypnosis and mindfulness meditation.  Hypnosis, unlike prescription medications, does not have any of the dangerous side-effects of addiction or abuse.   Even more important, is the ability of hypnosis and mindfulness to improve feelings of general well-being, peace and calm.    As with many other presenting complaints, clients seeking to deal with sleep deprivation or insomnia, find that hypnosis empowers them to take back control of their lives.  It is this empowerment, along with the immediately recognizable phenomena of relaxation and calm, that creates a new, positive resource state that the client can use in all aspects of their lives.

The use of hypnosis as a means of resolving a host of issues, including sleep disturbances, dates back more than 4000 years to the Egyptians.  There are many documented instances of the presence of sleep chambers or sleep temples that utilized trance states to heal and improve various conditions.

The process of guiding people into a hypnotic trance state is fast.  The hypnotist can generally accomplish this in a matter of a few minutes.  During the session, the hypnotist works with the client at the subconscious level to resolve behaviors that are causing stress or other behaviors that are interfering with the sleep process.  Additionally, the hypnotist can install tools or anchors that help the client to relax quickly and once again experience satisfying sleep.  Additionally, the hypnotist will teach the client how to achieve the same relaxful state through the process of self-hypnosis.  Success builds on success and once again the client can return to a more productive life being more restful and present.

As more people feel the impact of increased levels of stress resulting from demands at work, little or no intimacy in relationships, or a general sense of unease because of world political situations, it is reasonable to expect a further uptick in those seeking help getting to sleep.   Hypnosis and mindfulness meditation give people the tools to untether from their computers, tablets and smart-phones, leaving them with the ability to shutoff from the constant bombardment of information and stimulation.   They report improved intimacy with others and lower levels of stress and most importantly greater satisfaction in all aspects of their lives.  The process of hypnosis and mindfulness meditation teach the individual how to take back control of their lives and begin to enjoy life by being present, perhaps for the first time.

One of the most effective tools that I have developed to assist those with difficulty sleeping is a special audio program.  The program is specially designed to be highly effective in reducing the stressors and other distractions that cause sleeplessness and induce a refreshing sleep.  The audio program, “Sleep and Dream for a Happier You”  is available for immediate download at: https://goo.gl/o5nghd .

About the Author:

Marc is an award winning, certified stage and clinical hypnotist, author and motivational speaker with experience entertaining both large and small gatherings.

Marc uses his skills and talents in a variety of areas that include self-improvement or clinical hypnosis, motivational speaking, and comedy stage hypnosis.  He has worked with individuals and corporations throughout the United States to improve outcomes in personal lives and organizations.

As a clinical hypnotist, he has helped people resolve sleep issues, lose weight, stop smoking, deal with long held fears, deal with stress and anxiety, manage pain, improve sports performance, eliminate addictions, and improve sexual function.

His performance resume includes appearances on live shows for Refinery29 Live and Elite Daily’s TrashED.  He has performed at comedy clubs, the Monroe County Fair (MI), the Osceola County Fair (Kissimmee, FL), the Red River Valley Fair (Fargo, ND), and for schools, proms, graduations, conferences, conventions and corporations.  He was a featured performer for New Jersey’s premier First Night Celebration – First Night Morris for New Year’s Eve 2018.

Marc’s book, “Staying in the Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation” helps educators, parents and students get better results in the classroom through the adoption of mindfulness exercises as part of the curriculum.

For more information about, or to book an appointment with Marc visit his website: www.hypnomarc.com or email info@hypnomarc.com.

References:

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statisticbrain.com/sleeping-disorder-statistics/

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20313656,00.html

Colten, H. R., & Altevogt, B. M. (2006). Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved 4 10, 2018, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/nbk19961

Durrant, K. L. (2002). Known and hidden sources of caffeine in drug, food, and natural products. Journal of The American Pharmaceutical Association, 42(4), 625-637. Retrieved 4 11, 2018, from https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s1086580215302345

Knutson, K. L. (2007). Impact of sleep and sleep loss on glucose homeostasis and appetite regulation. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 2(2), 187-197. Retrieved 4 10, 2018, from https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2084401

Lodato, F., Araújo, J., Barros, H., Lopes, C., Agodi, A., Barchitta, M., & Ramos, E. (2013). Caffeine intake reduces sleep duration in adolescents. Nutrition Research, 33(9), 726-732. Retrieved 4 11, 2018, from https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s0271531713001528

Miller, B., O’Connor, H., Orr, R., Ruell, P., Cheng, H. L., & Chow, C. M. (2014). Combined caffeine and carbohydrate ingestion: effects on nocturnal sleep and exercise performance in athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114(12), 2529-2537. Retrieved 4 10, 2018, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-014-2973-z

New Study Links Blood Sugar Levels With Sleep Apnea. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 10, 2018, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/07/blood-sugar-sleep-apnea_n_5084131.html

(Colten & Altevogt, 2006)

 

Photo Credit – Photo credit: Schmirn on Best Running / CC BY

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Why Don’t We Teach Mindfulness in Schools?

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

What if you had the power to change your students’ outcomes, improve their ability to regulate behaviors and emotions, and give them a life-long tool that has been proven to be beneficial to their health?  And, what if that could be done in every school, every day, without taking away instructional time or adding additional planning burdens on educators, or costing hundreds of dollars?   And, what if parents, educators and administrators also reaped these same benefits, would you do it?

As we enter a new school year, these are the questions we should be answering, with a resounding “YES”.  The scientific proofs are irrefutable.  Thousands of studies, throughout the world, have shown the benefits to the individual, the institutions and to society.  Mindfulness practice is taught, or researched in the top universities including Yale, Harvard, Stamford and Oxford.  Oxford even offers a master’s degree in mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness practice is not a religion or new age practice

Mindfulness practice is not a religion or new age practice.  Rather, it is a skill that trains people to be able to control their reactions to emotions and stimuli.  It does not negate emotion.  On the contrary mindfulness allows us to feel the emotion and become active, rather than reactive.  It gives us the ability to place a pause and to become reflective instead of reactive.  The skill of learning not to be controlled by our emotions is critical for both physical and emotional health.  It is a skill that is required to succeed in life, not just in school.  In fact, major corporations and business leaders spend thousands of dollars to learn mindfulness for themselves and to train their team members, so they can improve success rates and increase bottom-line results.

Among the results of research on high school aged children in the United States, we have found that nearly half meet the criteria for having a mental health issue.  This includes conditions such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and ADHD.  These conditions often lead to suicide attempts or ideation.  Behavioral issues are the single most cited reason for student drop-out.

Further studies on teaching mindfulness practice in the classroom have shown dramatic increases in the ability of students to regulate their emotions, demonstrate pro-social behaviors and improve academic achievement.  These are important results because they ultimately result in teachers having more instructional time, rather than less.

So, the question that must be answered is “Why Don’t We Teach Mindfulness in Our Schools?”  Why aren’t parents, business leaders, educators demanding the inclusion of mindfulness practice as a required course in the school curriculum?  These questions are confounding when we look at those schools that have incorporated mindfulness practice as part of their curriculum and the results they have achieved.

Mindfulness practice trains us to be “present”

Mindfulness practice trains us to be “present”; that is having an awareness of the moment so that you can connect with it.  It is about focusing your attention on one thing at a time, focusing on a person, a task or an event.  The result of such practice is a greater sense of calm and well-being, better understanding of self and subject, and more productivity.  Imagine the benefits that educators, students and families could reap from the inclusion of mindfulness practice in our schools.

The challenge for school administrators is recognizing the amazing benefits of including mindfulness practice in the classroom.  Most administrators are driven by the cost of implementation or push-back resulting from fears of failure.  These drivers include staff development time, impact on instructional time, result measurement, intractability of Boards of Education and Superintendents.  Another challenge is finding the experts to train staff, as well as finding the materials necessary to successfully design a program.  But, what if the cost of such a program was less than their morning coffee and bagel?  What if, there was a resource that provided a step by step, fun instructional guide for teachers and the research to demonstrate the benefits to Boards of Educations and Superintendents?

These are exactly the challenges that I sought to address when I wrote – “Staying In The Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation”.  This ebook gives you a proven path to improve student outcomes and help you once again energize you and your classroom.   Implementing mindfulness practice in your classroom significantly reduces disturbances and behavioral issues, increases student participation, and most importantly empowers you and your students to achieve more than ever thought possible.

The exercises that I give you in “Staying In The Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation” are easily adapted to any age group, including faculty and staff.  You owe it to yourself and your students to discover how this ebook gives you the exact steps to improve student outcomes… in a couple of weeks.

The best part is that I have made buying this ebook a No-Brainer!  As I teacher, I know how much of my own money I spend for my students.  So I priced this ebook at a price that guarantees you will buy it.  I want you to be able to download and use these techniques and not break the bank.  I want all of our classrooms to develop students with life-time skills.  In order to do that, I decided this ebook would be in everyone’s reach.  I have made it available for most major ebook readers and the cost is only… $2.99.

Make this year different!  Start right now just use the tab below and purchase your copy of  “Staying In The Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation”.    Please share this blog post and information with your colleagues and be sure to drop me a line about your success with the program.

Buy - Staying In The Moment

Hypnosis to Overcome Anxiety, Fear, Sadness, Guilt + More PERMANENTLY

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

Has anxiety, fear, shame, guilt or depression taken control of your life? What if I could show you a method that empowers you to take back control and feel great, maybe for the first time? You see, you are not alone.  Many of us experience horrible things at some point in our lives.  This is especially true when we are young and don’t have the tools to process or deal with the experience in a healthy or proper manner.
The result is that emotions and memories get placed into the subconscious mind as programs which constantly feed our emotional responses and information and feelings day to day even into our adult lives.  However, it is remembered as we experienced it and most importantly, at the maturity level or age it was experienced at.  Many times, these experiences are the result of repressed trauma from younger years. As adults, we can experience depression, fear or  anxiety and not know why.  Situations arise and you begin to get this overwhelming feeling, but have no understanding as to why.  You have no conscious awareness of the root cause of the feeling.  All of these feelings – fear, guilt, anxiety, depression, or other feelings of unease are symptoms of repressed memories.
The unrecalled events and traumas, or past emotional experiences resides in our subconscious mind.  Very often, we are unaware of them or may have forgotten them.  Yet, in our daily lives, the feelings that were associated with the experiences or traumas, come to the surface causing us to feel anxious, fearful or depressed.  Many seek traditional treatment and are often prescribed medications or traditional psycho-therapies that rarely, if ever get to the heart of the problem.
As a trained clinical hypnotist, I help my clients unwind the entanglement of emotions that often create negative spiral loops.  Hypnosis is beneficial for several reasons.  First, it allows you the opportunity to return to the trauma or causative event in a safe and controlled setting.  In this setting, you are able to face the experience as an adult.  An adult has the life experiences and emotional tools that the child lacked to process the experience.   Through hypnosis, the subconscious mind can release and rewrite the experience that is the underlying cause of the unease.  A second benefit that clients receive is the feeling of complete relaxation.

Through hypnosis, the mind and body come to a place where they are not fighting each other.  Additionally, I teach my clients how to use mindfulness meditation and self-hypnosis to improve all areas of their lives. This is particularly useful when we realize that the subconscious mind’s dominant thoughts control our behaviors.  If we are labeled depressed, anxious, or fearful, we generally tend to act in that way because it is the belief system of the subconscious.  When that label is replaced with positive feelings and emotions, we adopted through hypnosis and resolution of the traumatic event, our feelings change.  Simply put, emotions control thinking, thinking controls behavior, behavior controls your destiny.

Painful past experiences shape the emotional memory (in the subconscious mind).  When, through hypnosis, you resolve the pain, you are finally able to move forward.  You are no longer carrying that hidden anchor that is holding you back from achieving your fullest potential.

Let’s explore your potential and see how empowered you will become.  Let’s melt away the fear, trauma, stress and negative experiences that you subconsciously focus on and that are keeping you stuck.

Marc Marshall, CH CHMI

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

“Laughter is the Best Medicine!”

If you are anything at all like me, you have noticed a serious increase in the stress and anxiety that is around you.  Stress from an uncertain economy, a cantankerous election, the invasion of scary clowns, threats of terrorist attacks, and the ever-increasing global unrest, are all having significant impacts on people’s physical, emotional and relationship health.   Just look at number of blogs talking about stress, or the increase in angry Tweets and Facebook posts and the picture is nearly complete.  Teachers, clergy, bloggers and media personalities report an significant increase in the number of people acting out, stress-out and looking for help.

Stress Headache
Stress Headache Controlling You?

Those of us in the hypnosis field have long known that truth behind the adage “That which we focus on, becomes our reality.”   In fact, it is a main theme in my upcoming book – “Perception Equals Reality”.  It takes work to get off the stinking thinking train.  This work includes a commitment to changing one’s focus and ensuring positive actions to reinforce the focus.  Stress is a killer.  It is responsible for overeating, insomnia, heart disease, anxiety and often addictive behaviors.

More and more, I am seeing people in my clinical hypnosis practice who are suffering from debilitating anxiety and fears, problems with relationships, and stress based pain.  My clients are thankful to have the chance to experience the “mind vacation” that hypnosis brings.  They often report a sense of calm and serenity never-before experienced.  The ability to help clients achieve that level of calm and relaxation is incredibly rewarding.  It is this powerful feeling that helps their powerful subconscious minds make the changes necessary to improve their lives.  Each client that I work with is taught mindfulness mediation as part of the session.  I help them to incorporate the practice as part of their daily routine.  It is as important to their health and well-being as brushing their teeth, sleeping, and physical exercise.   Those that commit to adopting the practice report less stress, greater focus and concentration, and an improvement in their work and personal relationships.

Hypnosis is a powerful tool in other ways, as well.  When I tell people that I am hypnotist, their first response is to ask if I’m going to make them bark like a dog?  For most people, their knowledge of hypnosis is from the comedy stage hypnosis shows they have attended at a fair, or Project Graduation, or party.  They associate that experience with a fun time, filled with laughter and great memories.  What they don’t realize is the enormous health benefit they received at that show.  There is more than wisdom behind the saving that “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” 

sexcess1I have found that one of the best ways to relieve the pressure is through laughter. In fact, the Mayo Clinic agrees with me.  Their studies have shown that “A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs.Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response.A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension.Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”osceolafunnyface2

Isn’t it time for all of us to shed the shackles of the insanity that has gripped us for far too long?  Isn’t time that we committed to focusing on positive outcomes and doing good things for ourselves, families, friends and associates?   Now is the time to laugh until you feel great again.  Now is the time to come together.  See how the Hypnotic Hijinks of Hypnomarc can make that a reality this holiday season.

Hypnomarc is a comedy stage and clinical hypnotist, author and motivational speaker based out of Summit, NJ.  He performs at fairs, festivals, corporate events, post proms and graduations, private events and comedy clubs.  For more information about his services visit his website; www.hypnomarc.com.