Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Improving Sleep Part I

Sleep Disorders Linked to Alzheimer’s, Sleep Aids Can be Dangerous, Sleep Hours Linked to Life Expectancy—these are common topics found in recent headlines. 

But getting a good night’s sleep may be just within your reach of a pen and a piece of paper. Mosher and Danoff-Burg (2006) discovered that people who wrote a letter to a person who negatively affected them experienced improved sleep and fewer sick days.

It is difficult to have lived to be an adult without ever having been hurt by at least one person. Many people wish they had the courage to speak their minds, but they don't. So, they hold on to the resulting bitterness and allow it to simmer and brew. It grows and expands and it heats up--hotter and hotter and hotter. And sometimes it explodes, but usually not anywhere near the person who may have been responsible for its existence. It's usually projected on to an unsuspecting person who happens to be nearby when it explodes. 

Search your heart. What have you longed to express to the person who hurt you? Express yourself in a letter to him or her—a letter you will never mail. It will be a letter in which you release your anger. Expressive writing is a way to empty yourself of emotions that have burdened you.

Expressive writing is best accomplished by freewriting. For a set period of 15 minutes or longer, write the words that rage within your soul. Fight through the tears, if any, and express your deepest woes. How did you feel during the incident? How did you feel after the incident? How has it influenced you over the years? What have you learned from the experience? What has it kept you from accomplishing?

After you’ve written the letter, destroy it. Either shred it or opt to not save the file on your computer. It has served its purpose of being a vessel to empty your negative emotions.

What feelings do you have of a person who influenced you negatively? Express it in a letter. How did you feel after writing the letter? This is the story in you. Share it.


#Alzheimer's   #insomnia   #improvesleep   #difficultysleeping   #sleepaids   #freewriting   #expressivewriting   #journalwriting   #peacefulsleep   #sweetdreams   #emotionallyhurt   #bitterness   #forgive   #yourstory

Mosher, C. E., & Danoff-Burg, S. (2006). HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXPRESSIVE LETTER WRITING. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 25(10), 1122-1139. Retrieved from

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