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But rather than sympathize with her children's feelings of loss, or experience her own guilt or grief, she criticized them for expecting too much. She seemed unaware that she had changed the terms and saw it as a problem within them that they clung to old expectations. Her in-the-moment emotional experience completely drowned out the larger story across time. If you have an office, shut the door and your eyes during your lunch hour, but set the timer on your computer or phone so you wake up after thirty minutes. You may not even really sleep. You may just be in a state of resting wakefulness, which is relaxing too. If you don't have an office or a lounge, take your lunch hour a little later and just get outside to walk in nature for thirty minutes. The fresh air and quiet will rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit as well, and help you sleep better at night. * Be sure you're getting enough vitamin D. If you're having trouble sleeping, it might be a good idea to have your vitamin D levels checked by your primary care doctor. A deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to sleep problems. If you're deficient, you can try eating more vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish (such as salmon), fortified milk or orange juice, or certain types of mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light (mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to light). These mushrooms are usually labeled as such on their packaging. When you are done, slowly release the grasp on your legs and stretch your legs out. Roll to your side, bend your knees, and slowly stand up. Sitting or standing, open your mouth and eyes as wide as you can. Stick out your tongue until you feel a stretch in your face muscles. Release. Repeat two more times. What's your bedtime routine?

Do you stay on your phone or electronic device until you crash? Do you take your device to bed with you? Do you stay up late doing homework and have trouble waking up for school? When I was on the operating table undergoing my angioplasty, the doctor told me that I would have to sign a statement in order for him to insert a tiny stent to clear the passage to my heart. What am I signing? I asked. The doctor replied, In case things don't go so well, we might have to perform open-heart surgery. Are you ready to sign? Oh, that's great, I joked. I came here for a simple angioplasty, and I'm ending up with open heart surgery. Then another doctor said graciously, Maybe you want your wife to sign? I laughed, Oh, sure. Britta was seeking a meaningful path forward, but lacking an internal conversation that could link her thoughts and feelings, she fluctuated between chaos and rigidity. She was chaotic when her feelings of anxiety and deprivation felt so powerful that she couldn't reflect on her choices and learn from them. She was rigid when she repetitively turned to her unsuccessful strategy of looking for external fixes for her internal unhappiness. The psychiatrist Daniel Siegel suggests that chaos and rigidity are signposts of emotional dysregulation. Britta's problems, by her report, were over when she became involved with a new man. But just as quickly, they flooded back when the new man disappeared. Unable to use metacognition to manage her emotions, Britta was incapable of referencing an overarching story that could help her organize her thoughts, feelings, and actions.

She was both overly convinced of her story and not sure what it was. From Britta's description of her growing up, I sensed that she hadn't received the loving parental interest that might have helped her integrate her emotions with a stable sense of self. The term narcissism is bandied about as an all-purpose condemnation, but it's more usefully understood as a deep sense of lack that makes it hard to see other people as real people, with agendas and feelings on a par with one's own. Or, on the advice of your doctor, you may want to take a vitamin D3 supplement. The sleep hormone melatonin also turns out to have beneficial effects on the skin. Have enough of it in your body (one benefit of having a healthy sleep-wake cycle) and you may experience added protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays. Melatonin acts as an antioxidant, helping to suppress UV damage to exposed skin cells. This doesn't mean that getting enough sleep or having enough melatonin in your body eliminates your need for daily sunscreen (more on this in the next article). It just means that melatonin offers additional protection for your skin. Having enough melatonin in your body also allows the skin to have a healthier stress response. Because melatonin is a free-radical scavenger and a broad-spectrum antioxidant it seems to help moderate the effects of stress, both external and internal, on the skin. This could, in turn, help reduce the skin problems that develop as a result of stress, like rough, dry skin and fine lines and wrinkles. One downside of melatonin, however, is that in some people, it seems to activate the skin's pigment-producing cells called melanocytes, which can darken the skin. Do you have trouble falling asleep because your brain doesn't stop thinking? Studies show that sleep is a must for physical and mental health. For a good night's sleep, keep all devices out of your bedroom. Calm yourself before bed by reading or doing a mind-clearing exercise. Doctors recommend that teens get eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Adding mindfulness to your bedtime routine might help you clear your mind and get a better night's sleep. Follow these tips:

If you can finish homework early, choose relaxing evening activities before bed, such as reading a article, playing a board game or cards, or talking with family or friends. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks (such as soda or coffee) or high-sugar foods (such as chocolate) in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine is likely to keep you awake. And if anything happens to me, she'll have to carry the guilt with her all her life? No thanks. I don't dislike her that much. The angioplasty was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. The cardiologist inserted a catheter into my main artery via the inside of my thigh. I must have been given a local anesthesia since I didn't feel a thing. The fascinating thing about this procedure is that a tiny camera is sent through your artery, up to your heart area. I was totally awake, and could see my heart on the screen, in real time. I asked the surgeon, Is that my heart? It looks like I'm in love. Insensitive parents present children with an unmet craving for love, tenderness, and affection. The children pursue the consolation prize of admiration, seeking attention for being special in some way their self-absorbed parents might reward. The children take care of themselves in this way, but it leaves them feeling empty. Eventually, they discount other people in the same way they themselves were discounted. This is the tragedy of narcissism. Britta's sense of deprivation led her to behave in self-absorbed ways that put other people off, leaving her feeling more alone and deprived than ever. Despite my hope that people will revise the narratives that bring them pain, I have been listening to people for long enough to have a healthy respect for the unconscious forces that give our stories their stubborn power.

Just as not all attachments are wholesome, neither are all we stories. Our stories are nourished by deep streams of primal, conflicting emotions--aggression, envy, guilt, fear, and jealousy, to name a few. Our early experiences and the feelings they engender coalesce to form lasting, buried beliefs that govern the way we see ourselves and the stories we tell about life. This is a reason why I don't recommend taking melatonin supplements to help you get to sleep. In ancient times, darkness came and people went to sleep. They woke with the dawn to start their days. Doing so helped them honor their internal body clock, which ensured the proper production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Production of the stress hormone cortisol naturally lowers at night, gradually increasing throughout the night to help promote alertness in the morning. Aligning our body clocks to modern society is hard to do. Many people are just getting out of work when it's dark and others work night shifts, which is wreaking havoc on our sleep patterns and our health. Getting enough melatonin, however, allows for the five healthy stages of sleep. Going through all five stages (one full sleep cycle) four to six times a night allows for truly restful, health-promoting sleep. Have a few plants, but not too many. Chocolate also has caffeine, and a diet of too much sugar can contribute to depression. Avoid looking at your smartphone or laptop an hour or two before bedtime. The blue light emitted by devices can disturb sleep. Dim the lights around you an hour before bedtime. Bright light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences sleepiness. Cool the room where you sleep, if you can, by turning down the thermostat or opening a window a little bit to let in fresh air. Take a warm shower or bath an hour before bed.