Oct 152012


A:  I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  I’m tired all day but I can’t seem to fall asleep at night.

B:  Have you had problems with insomnia before?

A:  I’ve always been a light sleeper but I’ve never experienced anything like this.  It’s been like this for over 2 months now.  It started after I got my new job.

B:  Is the job causing you much stress?  Worrying or thinking too much can negatively affect people’s sleep.

A:  I don’t think so.  It’s a really relaxing job and I don’t think about it too much when I’m home.  The only thing I can think of is that I drink more coffee now than I used to.  I didn’t think that would be much of a problem since I don’t drink any after I get home.

B:  Caffeine stays in the system for a long time.  Try not drinking any coffee past noon.  You might also want to do some yoga or other relaxation techniques before bed.  You want to be in a relaxed state well before you get into bed.  It will make falling asleep much easier.

A:  What about drinking alcohol before bed.  I find it helps me sleep.

B:  You can if you want, but don’t have too much.  Too much alcohol will decrease the quality of REM sleep.

Phrases and Vocabulary used:

Insomnia:  A person with insomnia has a very difficult time sleeping or getting enough sleep.  They often lie awake in bed, wishing they could fall asleep.  A person with insomnia is called an insomniac.

Many people have insomnia
My brother is an insomniac

Light sleeper:  A light sleeper is a person who is very easy to wake up.  A light sleeper will wake up quickly after hearing even a little bit of noise.

Negatively affect:  If something “negatively affects” something else it means it has a negative influence on it.  Smoking cigarettes negatively affect a person’s health.

System:  In medicine, we often refer to the body as a “system”.

Too much alcohol isn’t good for the system.

Relaxation techniques:  Relaxation tecniques are things you can do to relax.  Yoga, listening to soft music, and slow deep breathing are all examples of relaxation techniques.

REM sleep:  REM sleep stands for Rapid Eye Movement.  It is a phase of sleep where a person moves their eyes really quickly.  It is not very well understood, but most experts believe it is a very important phase of sleep.

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