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I don't love it when I feel sad or lonely or scared. But now I also understand that I am having these feelings for a reason. They are telling me something that I need to hear. Sadly, our always-on culture in the twenty-first century often gets in the way of good quality sleep. Part of our attachment to busyness means that we often remain connected to our work or social networks well into the evening and even through the night. As we saw in article 8, our devices, apps and networks all deliberately exploit our brain's dopamine system to give us a powerful neurological urge to check new messages and notifications. Anecdotally, I come across many people that sleep with their phones by their bedside table and check new emails as they arrive through the night. The science tells us that short-changing ourselves on sleep is a poor idea. Charles Czeisler is the Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and has spent over three decades researching the relationship between sleep and the physiology of the human circadian clock. His research has established clearly the negative impacts of the lack of sleep on cognitive performance. Going without sleep for 18 consecutive hours will be detrimental to reaction speed, both short- and long-term memory, ability to focus, decision-making capacity, cognitive speed and spatial orientation. If we limit our nightly sleep allowance to less than six hours for several consecutive nights, then a sleep deficit will multiply these factors. In an interview in the October 2006 edition of the Harvard Business Review, Czeisler describes the machismo `always-on' work culture that equates sleeplessness with high performance as akin to the bygone era in which men that could hold their drink were celebrated. Part of these people's insecurity is usually the inability to relate to other people meaningfully as other human beings successfully. Self-absorption Don't be fooled by covert narcissism. These individuals are as dangerous as any other subtype of narcissists. Some may highly emphasize one personality more than the other. A person with an outgoing personality can easily show-off. They may also need to be at the center of everything since they are pretty much attention-seeking.

A person with an outgoing personality may be very narcissistic when it comes to bullying and victimizing others. They may also become stubborn when it comes to initiating successful projects either at work or school because such people are driven by the fact that they can easily destroy others in a blink of an eye. At the same time, these individuals want to work with people who have no control over their lives. They are moving me forward. And when I listen, they say their piece and move on, making space for me to fully be there for whatever other feelings and experiences follow. I can tell you honestly that, for as full of fear and detached from myself as I once was, I am no longer like that. I changed, evolved, and came more fully alive. I feel and understand joy and connection in ways I never could have before. And, I promise you that if I can do it, so can you. You Are Not Your Brain When we think of psychology, it generally conjures up images of Freud and analysis. We think of it as an almost entirely verbal and cognitive process. When I first introduce the idea of body-based psychology to people, I have to help them understand that while it focuses on the nervous system, it is not entirely non-verbal. We now know that 24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0. We would never say, This person is a great worker! He's drunk all the time! Great sleep is not just about preventing the negative impacts of sleeplessness. It is also increasingly understood that it helps with important processes such as creativity and problem-solving. Short naps are also proven to help with creativity in particular and have been favoured by writers and artists for centuries. Just as we need to avoid interruptions and distractions when we are working on our goals, so we need to do so with sleep to ensure that as much of it as possible is rapid eye-movement or REM sleep, since this is where physical recovery takes place.

As we get older, we are already likely to be faced with more disruption. After the age of 40, our sleep becomes more fragmented as we are more sensitive to noise, our own increasing bodily aches and pains and the onset of sleep disorders such as apnoea, when breathing briefly ceases, causing us to wake up. Here are some tips for better sleep: They want to be the center of attention when it comes to initiating peaceful projects. They are majorly attracted to self-centeredness since they wish to take over every project but in the wrong way. Such individuals are not pushed by the need to address issues in a positive manner in the society. Instead, they are focused on how they can change their lives by harming others in every way that they can. Some of these people are self-absorbed individuals who are not easily identified. Some of them are also focused on challenging individuals in different ways that may seem manipulative. On the surface, it can be challenging to identify these people. They can appear to be pretty shy and anxious. They can also look humble. You should not be confused by these characters because they are just on the surface. However, the emphasis is different from what we are currently programmed to expect in therapeutic settings. While talk therapy breaks down the story, Somatic Experiencing breaks down and examines the way in which our story impacts our body. In other words, talking will only get you so far in body-based psychology. In SE, we view the body as the primary communicator. To heal, it's our job to listen because the body can tell us things that words never could. Top-Down Therapy Those forms of therapy we are most familiar with in the modern world--psychodynamic (more commonly known as talk therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)--are all top-down approaches.

They teach people to change their thoughts and behaviors. While this approach may have some surface-level efficacy, it does not get to the root of the problem. It fails to address the underlying piece that needs to be healed. Avoid caffeine after 1pm. Caffeine has a half-life of around nine hours so drinking it late in the day is likely to inhibit sleep or the amount of time spent in REM. This applies most obviously to coffee and tea but also to caffeinated soft drinks. Do not have electronic devices in the bedroom. If you use your phone as an alarm, turn it to airplane or do not disturb mode. Avoid all electronic devices that emit blue light for two hours before bedtime. This has been shown to tamper with the body's creation of melatonin with negative impact on our circadian rhythms. Kindle devices do not emit blue light and are an exception. Get outside for a walk at some point during the day, ideally around the middle of the day. A short spell of natural light at this point has been shown to help us get to sleep at night. The actual person lies in the self-absorption nature of the individual who seeks to manipulate everything to suit their gains. Their gratification can also be pretty indirect through their emotional investment in a different person. With that said, it becomes challenging to decipher the traits of a person, especially when they have been hiding their true traits. They take things personally, in many cases. They feel distrustful and mistreated as well as unappreciated. An individual with an outgoing trait may always show off because they need to be the center of attention in different ways. As such, it may be impossible to seek help from these people because they are likely to judge you.

Such individuals may also come across as bullies. They may be entitled playboys or authoritative people who may be over-excited with becoming over-controlling over other people's lives. On the surface, it can be challenging to identify these people. Top-down therapy does have a place. I do believe there is some value in understanding our own story and also in feeling heard by another person. So many times, trauma occurs simply because a person feels unheard. I know that I have benefitted from that sense of having a witness in the course of talk therapy. However, the real goal with therapy is to live a better, more peaceful, fulfilled, and connected life moving forward. And that is the piece that talk therapy often misses--arming clients with an understanding of how their past impacts their lives today and, most importantly, how to alleviate that rather than causing retraumatization by re-living painful past experiences. So, while talk therapy does serve a purpose, in my opinion it is only part of the puzzle. Patients might use it to gain witness, insight, and to put voice to their story, but it should not be the only or final step in healing. These days, psychodynamic therapy, CBT, and DBT are the most common forms of therapy, largely because insurance supports them. In psychodynamic therapy, the patient is guided toward free association thoughts in an attempt to bring unconscious patterns of behavior into their awareness. If ruminating over recent events or worries about present issues prevents you from falling asleep - or inhibits you from getting back to sleep if you wake up during the night - use mindfulness to help you. A healthy diet Diet is a hugely complex part of our health and wellbeing and one where science is making new discoveries daily. Just in terms of cognitive performance there are a few things that can help. We've mentioned caffeine in the context of sleep where its half-life can be a barrier to good sleep. Nevertheless, there is evidence that caffeine does help with focus and alertness so some good coffee first thing in the morning is by no means a bad thing. What might surprise you is that nicotine is also proven to help with cognitive performance.