Posts tagged ‘stress’

April 3, 2019

#568 – Live Better with RA – Tip #4


Image courtesy of  Gail  Rau.

Tip #4 – Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Relentless flares, disease-related anxieties, family issues, bills, noise, frustrations — just a sampling of the things that can keep you up at night. A lack of sleep can create a snowball of increasing sleeplessness, wreaking havoc on your RA. With a few important but relatively small changes, you can learn to cultivate good sleep habits, which may lead to a better night’s sleep.

Yeah, but How Do You Do That, Exactly?

  1. Transform your stress on a regular basis.
  2. Experiment to discover the time by which you should stop eating and using your electronic devices. Too close to bedtime and you might be too wired to sleep.
  3. Limit alcohol.
  4. Make your bedroom an electronics nogozone.
  5. Find the right bedding. For example, I prefer feather pillows, a down duvet and definitely not a soft comfort (Yeah, right!) mattress.
  6. Your bedroom ambience. For me: a cool, dark room is a must.
  7. Don’t count sheep, but instead, list all the things for which you are grateful.
  8. Practice cognitive shuffling: Choose a 5/6 letter word, such as “dream.” Now list as many words that you can think of for d, then r, and so on.
  9. Do a room inventory, once you’ve turned off the light. Slowly list everything that is in your bedroom. You might find you’re asleep before you are half-way around the room.
  10. Perhaps you have sleep apnea? Get tested.
  11. Support your jaw.
  12. Do you have painsomnia? Onboard strategies to help you manage your pain. See #1.
  13. Reset your sleep clock. Sometimes you’re simply going to bed too early. Stay up later and find your ideal bedtime.
  14. Medication can interfere with sleep. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to discover solutions and options.
  15. A hormone deficiency may impact your sleep. Talk to your doctor about getting tested.
  16. Melatonin, 5-HTP and other over-the-counter products may induce sleep. Check with your doctor to see if these products are a good option for you.
  17. Your sleep hygiene routine may include a nap on the couch.
  18. Exercise – but at the right time for you. For example, I know if I exercise in the evening, I’m too wired to sleep.
  19. Laugh. Several hours before bed, I watched several YouTube videos of one of my favourite comedians, Michael McIntyre. No, he didn’t put me to sleep with his routine; he is laugh-out-loud funny with his observational humour. All that laughter changes your chemistry – for the better.
  20. Your turn: Please share what helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Related Posts:

More in This Series:

February 14, 2013

#399 – Your Heart, My Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Heart Day!


Learning to move from the jagged rhythms on the left to the smoother ones on the right have made a huge difference in my health and well-being. Plus, with the connection between RA and heart disease, this practice is something I will do for the rest of my life.

If you want to know more, please email or call 604-507-9970.

To get started, please see Your Stress Muscles or Wash that Stress Right out of Your Hair.

Speaking of voting, may I ask for your vote to move A Rheumful of Tips to the 1st page of’s Best Health Blog of 2012 contest. I appreciate your voting as frequently as you do. The contest ends on Feb. 15th. Thankfully! :)

September 10, 2012

#357 – My Givens and a Giveaway

Be sure to get enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship.

Appreciate that you have enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship!

Schedule time for the things that bring you joy—the things that make your heart sing.

In order to manage my disease, I’ve developed a list of “givens”, which is another word for “habits“.

Here is an example of some of the things on my list:

  • Getting some form of exercise each day.
  • Choosing foods that are nutritionally sound.
  • Having my afternoon tea break which includes a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
  • Making sure I get enough rest.
  • Scheduling time with friends and family.
  • Regularly undressing my stress.

What’s on your list?

My, daily, year-long project is nearly finished. To celebrate, I’ve put together an Auntie Stress giveaway – one that will help you undress your stress, through the power of your heart. Please read on for the details.


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I often post about how undressing my stress has made a big difference to me.

Now I’m offering one reader a chance to win the following:

  • 1 hour of telephone coaching
  • 1 emWave®Personal Stress Reliever* (The emWave Personal Stress Reliever® provides advanced mobile technology that will help you reduce the negative effects of stress, allowing you to experience greater health, more energy, and improved emotional and mental clarity.)

The Rules:

  1. Complete the following: Stress is ____________ .
  2. Entries must be received by midnight PDT, on Thursday, September 13, 2012.
  3. Entrants must have a mailing address in either Canada or the United States.
  4. On Twitter? For an extra entry share the following: I just entered an undress my stress #giveaway from @AuntieStress –
  5. The winning entrant will be drawn from a hat. You will be notified via email. Your name will appear here and on Twitter.

*emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.

July 7, 2012

The Joys and Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

As you know from my blog posts, here and here, I am a big believer in the joys of pet ownership, especially dogs. Not only do they serve as a Four-Legged Personal Trainer, but they provide invaluable lessons such as these:

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is another important benefit of pet ownership, as is discussed on Pet Owners Have Healthier Hearts.

I’ve written about Heart Rate Variability on both blogs. It is also at the core of what I do as  a stress coach. It is also what has made me healthier, have considerably fewer flare-ups and more time, especially since I’m not in the doctor’s office every month or so with an infection or some other complaint.

Simply put, HRV is the way in which your heart speeds up and slows down. With the use of educational technology and a coaching program, you learn how trudging through the murky waters of negative thinking and feeling affects your heart rhythms and your health, be it emotional, mental and/or physical. You see it. You also see how you can change the rhythm from one that is jagged to a smooth one with the regular practise of techniques that bring your nervous system into balance and your body into synch. (Hint! If you’re stressed, you’ll want to watch for a future life-improving giveaway 😉 )

As wonderful as it is to own pets, it is important to recognize whether owning a pet would cause you more stress. Ask yourself whether you are constantly worrying about the health of your pet or how you will look after your pet in spite of a chronic illness. Pets pick up on your stress, so it is important to transform it, not only for yourself, but for the health of your pet.

Your pet is a wonderful stress undresser. Whether it be stroking them, playing with them or watching their antics. Or even if they do nothing but luxuriate in the sun. Which reminds me of this humorous exchange.

How does your pet enrich your life?

Thanks to Christian Johannsen at Foot Solutions for originally tweeting the link to this article.

%d bloggers like this: