How to Know How Much Sleep You Need

In my last article I listed some compelling reasons why business owners, independent professionals and executives need to make getting enough sleep a priority, at least if they need to think, have insights, be creative, or stay healthy to be successful. But how do you know how much sleep you actually need?

You need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night

The first thing to know is that almost all adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Yes, there are a few outliers—a tiny number of people who consistently sleep less than seven hours then wake refreshed, and who never seem to have their health compromised by it. If you have that particular genetic anomaly, congratulations. I am definitely jealous of you.

alarm clockFor the rest of us, that kind of sleep schedule would be physically, emotionally, and cognitively punishing. If we want to have the many benefits of good sleep, we need to start by scheduling enough pillow time.

Now, everyone’s sleep need is individual. So how do you know where you fall on that 7-9 hour spectrum?

How Much Exactly? The Test

Continue reading “How to Know How Much Sleep You Need”

I’m Giving a Sleep Teleseminar

Yesterday, September 25, I recorded four half-hour sessions for a teleseminar with Kris Ferraro of the Tapping Insiders Club. It’s an overview of my 4-step Unblock Sleep System with plenty of tapping to get people started on letting go of the stress that is keeping them from sleeping.

I think it went well. (Kris said it did, but then she is a very nice person who was most supportive.) I’ve never done a teleseminar before, but once we got going it was easy to talk to Kris, tell her what the 4 steps are and share some of my tips and techniques for getting to sleep. In fact, it was fun!

I’m told the teleseminar will “go live” on November 3rd. It will be restricted to members of the Tapping Insiders Club. If you are interested, you can check out what that’s all about at

It’s pretty exciting. It’s also a bit intimidating since it has given me a deadline to complete my Unblock Sleep System so I have ready for anyone who wants it by November 3rd. I’ve been working on it for I don’t know how long. (Years, if you count all the work with individual clients that went into my knowledge base.) Well, that just proves what I’ve been telling my clients–if you want to get something done, set a deadline.

So back to wrapping up all the loose ends on my System. I’ll make an announcement when it is available.

Sleep Aids and Alzheimer’s

A study just released has found a correlation between using benzodiazepine and developing Alzheimer’s disease.

This is scary stuff as benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep problems. Here are a few of the medications prescribed to treat insomnia that contain benzodiazepine: Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Halcion (triazolam), Restoril (temazepam), Doral (quazepam), Serax (oxazepam), and ProSom (estazolam), among others.

If I read the Harvard Health Blog correctly, people in the study who used benzodiazepine for 3 to 6 months had a 32% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those who took it for more than 6 months raised their risk to 84%. In addition, those on long-acting drugs like Valium were at a higher risk than those prescribed short-acting drugs like Ativan and Xanax.

Now correlation is not the same as causation. It could be that people had the symptoms these meds were prescribed to help because they were developing Alzheimer’s, not that the medication use caused them to develop Alzheimer’s. Still, the possibility is troubling.

It will take more research to determine what causes what. Still, the connection is alarming.

By the way, if you are currently taking a medication with benzodiazepine in it and want to get off the drug, talk to your doctor first about the best way to do that. There can be serious, even dangerous, side effects from going cold turkey.

A Better Way to Respond to the Newtown Tragedy

I need to share what I’ve been telling my therapy clients: Please turn off the news. Don’t let your children see any more than they already have. If something really important comes out, you will hear about it from friends or family. In the meantime, the repeated exposure to what happened in Connecticut will start to convince your brain that you and all those you love are in constant danger, that no one can be trusted, and the world is filled with evil, all of which can lead to anxiety and depression. Perhaps even more importantly, it will sap your energy to make change for the better.

By all means, do what you can to make the world a better place. Support and love those around you. Volunteer to serve food for the homeless. Drop off presents for families in need. If you want to do something more directly to help those affected, send thank you letters to the first responders. Just unplug from the constant barrage of news. I recommended this after 9-11 when I saw so many people (and not just therapy clients) being beaten down from what they saw and read over and over. I see it happening again. Please don’t let it happen to you.