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晚上睡不着?不如把头伸进冰箱

Can’t Sleep? Try Sticking Your Head in the Freezer.
晚上睡不着?不如把头伸进冰箱

A good night’s sleep can make us more empathetic, more creative, better parents and better partners, according to Aric Prather, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco who treats insomnia and is the author of the new book “The Sleep Prescription.” Sleep can help us manage stress; it can make us competent and capable and better able to take on the day. But Dr. Prather says we too often view sleep as an afterthought — until we find ourselves frozen in the middle of the night, our thoughts racing, fumbling for rest or relief.

研究失眠的加州大学旧金山分校心理学家阿瑞克·普拉瑟近日出版新书《睡眠处方》,根据他的理论,一晚好眠可以让人更具同理心和创造力,成为更好的家长和伴侣。睡眠有助于压力管理:使人有余力、有能力且更好地开始新的一天。但普拉瑟表示,我们往往不重视睡眠——直到发现自己在半夜时分目光呆滞,思维跳跃,难以休息或放松。

Some people might reach for a supplement or sleep aid. A 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found that one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids. But Dr. Prather said there are simple steps we can take throughout the day and night to get better rest, which he outlines in the book, out Nov. 1 from Penguin Life. “It’s not something you do,” he added. “It’s something that comes to you.”

有人可能因此服用补充剂或助眠药。美国疾控中心2013年的一项调查发现,八分之一有睡眠障碍的成年人报告称使用过助眠药物。但普拉瑟表示,我们可以在一天的时间里用一些更简单的办法来获得更好的休息,他在这本11月1日由企鹅生活出版的书中概述了这些办法。“这不是要你去做什么,”他还补充道。“而是一些顺其自然的行为。”
 

Here are some of his science-backed tips for sounder sleep.

以下是他的一些有科学依据的睡眠建议。

During the day

白天

Carve out time for “scheduled worry.”

为“既定忧虑”腾出时间


“No one ever says, ‘I was awake in the middle of the night, and I was only thinking of good things,’” Dr. Prather said. Throughout the day, we might be too busy to linger on our thoughts, but at night, when we try to let our brains pause without distractions, “our thoughts can get very, very loud,” Dr. Prather wrote.

“从来没有人说,‘我半夜睡不着,脑子里想的全是些好事’,”普拉瑟表示。白天我们可能因忙碌而无暇顾及各种思绪,但到了晚上,当我们努力让大脑活动停下来不受干扰时,“我们的思绪可能会变得非常非常活跃,”普拉瑟写道。

To beat back nightime rumination and anxiety, Dr. Prather recommended in an interview devoting part of your day to worry. Block out a 10 to 20 minutes to write down what you’re anxious about, or just think about it, without searching for a solution. If you do that consistently, he said, your worries won’t seep into the night — and if they do, you can remind yourself that you have a dedicated time to address them the next day.

为了抑制夜间沉思和焦虑,普拉瑟在一次采访中建议,把一天的部分时间花在担忧上。抽出10到20分钟时间,写下让你焦虑的事情,或者只是想一想,但不用寻找解决方案。他说,如果坚持这样做,你的担忧就不会影响夜晚的休息——就算焦虑找上门来,你还可以提醒自己第二天还有专门的时间来处理。

Instead of reaching for caffeine, plunge your head in the freezer.

与其寻找咖啡因,不如把头伸进冰箱。


If you regularly reach for coffee to get you through an afternoon slump, you’ll still have caffeine in your system by bedtime, said Dr. Prather.

普拉瑟表示,如果经常靠喝咖啡撑过下午的倦意,那等到晚上睡觉前你的身体里仍会含有咖啡因。

Instead, he recommends getting an energy boost elsewhere. You can go for a brisk walk in the afternoon, or spend five to 10 minutes taking a break from work and engaging your brain in a simple task — pull weeds in the garden, reorganize a bookshelf, turn on some music and really focus on a song. Focusing on a non-work task can energize our brains, Dr. Prather said, jolting us out of our routine. Or, for a more extreme option, stick your head in the freezer. That brief shock of cold activates your arousal system, Dr. Prather said, like jumper cables on a car battery to wake you up — no coffee run needed.

相反,他建议用其他办法来刺激精神。可以在下午进行简短散步,或是从工作中抽出五到10分钟时间,让大脑做一件简单的事——给花园除草、整理书架、听听音乐并真正专注于听一首歌曲。普拉瑟说,专注于一项非工作任务可以给大脑充能,让我们从日常节奏中挣脱出来。或者,一个更极端的选择,就是把头伸进冰箱。普拉瑟说,这种短暂的寒冷刺激会激活你的觉醒系统,就像连接汽车电池的充电电线一样,让你在不需要喝咖啡的情况下也能清醒过来。

Declutter your bedroom

整理你的卧室


Your computer, a heap of laundry, the pile of sticky notes reminding you of all of your unfinished tasks — clear those all out of the room where you sleep. If that’s not possible, at least move them so you can’t see them from your bed, Dr. Prather advises. You want your sleeping area to calm you down, not remind you of everything you need to get done.

把电脑、要洗的衣服、提醒所有未完成工作的便利贴都从你睡觉的房间清理出去。普拉瑟建议,如果不能,至少将它们移开,这样你在床上就看不到它们了。睡眠区应是能让人平静的地方,而不是提醒你还需要完成的一切。

To further set yourself up for sleep, get blackout curtains to block out light, or invest in a comfortable sleep mask. And consider turning down the heat — or turning up the air conditioning — so that your sleeping area is between 60 and 68 degrees at night. You want your room to be dark and cool, Dr. Prather said, in order to prod the core temperature of our bodies to drop, which happens naturally as we sleep.

为了让自己更好地进入睡眠,可以用遮光帘挡住光线,或是找一款舒适的睡眠眼罩。应考虑调低暖气——或是打开空调——保证睡眠区域晚上的温度在16至20摄氏度之间。普拉瑟说,要让自己的房间保持阴暗凉爽,以促进身体核心温度下降,这种现象会在我们入睡时自然发生。

Before bed

睡前

Stop treating your brain like a laptop.

别再把大脑当作笔记本电脑


You can’t expect your brain to instantly power down the way a laptop does when you close the lid, Dr. Prather said. Instead, you should plan a transition period that lets your brain wind down. Sometimes that’s not possible, he acknowledged; work deadlines and parenting responsibilities might mean you’re engaged right up until you turn off the lights. But ideally, you would give yourself a two hour period to “turn down the volume on your sympathetic nervous system,” he said, cuing to your body and brain that you’re gearing up to rest.

普拉瑟说,不要指望大脑能像笔记本电脑那样关上盖子就能立刻休眠。相反,你得计划一个过渡期,让大脑放松下来。他承认,有时这是不可能的任务;工作截止日和育儿责任可能意味着你必须要忙到熄灯为止。但在理想情况下,你应该给自己两小时的时间来“调低交感神经系统的音量”,他说,向身体和大脑提示你准备休息了。

You should spend that time doing something pleasant and soothing, like listening to a favorite podcast, chatting on the couch with your partner or watching TV. Dr. Prather offers his patients what he calls a menu of options for that power-down period — they can take a luxurious bath, write in a gratitude journal or even sit outside, weather permitting, and look at the stars. The goal is to find “low arousal” activities that you enjoy, he said.

将时间用于做一些令人愉快和舒缓的事情上,比如听最喜欢的播客,与伴侣在沙发上聊天,或者看电视。普拉瑟为他的患者提供了他所谓的断电期选择清单,包括洗一个舒舒服服的澡,写一篇感恩日记,甚至在天气允许的情况下坐在户外看星星。他说,目标是找到你喜欢的“低觉醒”活动。

Rewatch your favorite show.

重温你喜欢的节目


Many clinicians caution against screen time before bed, but Dr. Prather said he pays more attention to the content of what people consume as they settle down for the night, rather than whether they’re looking at a laptop, a paperback or their phone. A thriller — whether it’s a novel or a movie — can prompt you to stay awake a bit longer or to mull over the answer to a mystery as you’re trying to fall asleep. Instead, he recommended watching something calming, and ideally, a show you’ve seen before. Dr. Prather turns to “The Office,” which he said he’s rewatched more times than he can count, because he already knows what happens next.

许多临床医师都建议在睡前少看屏幕,但普拉瑟说,不管是看笔记本电脑、平板还是手机,他更关注的是人们晚上入睡前看了什么。惊险故事——不管是小说还是电影——会让人清醒更久,或是在想要入睡的时候还在思索某一谜团的答案。因此,他建议看一些舒缓的内容,最好是你以前看过的节目。普拉瑟会看《办公室》,他说自己已经看了无数遍,因为他知道剧情接下来会发生什么。

If you’re struggling to stay asleep in the night

如果晚上辗转难眠

If you can’t sleep, move.

如果睡不着,换个地方。


As people age, especially in their fifties, sixties and seventies, sleep can become more fragmented, Dr. Prather said. People may need to urinate in the night more frequently, or pain might keep them awake. But it’s essential that older adults get sufficient rest — a recent study found that adults over 50 who slept for five hours or less each night had a greater risk of developing chronic diseases than those who slept for at least seven hours.

普拉瑟说,随着人们年龄的增长,尤其是在50、60和70岁时,睡眠会变得更加零散。人们可能需要更频繁地在夜间小便,或者可能会因为疼痛而一直醒着。但老年人获得充足的休息至关重要——最近的一项研究发现,50岁以上每晚睡眠时间不超过五小时的成年人患慢性病的风险高于睡眠时间至少七小时的人。

In general, if you are struggling to fall or stay asleep you should get out of bed, Dr. Prather said. Give yourself 20 minutes or so to try to sleep, but if you’re still wired, head to the couch or living room and do something quiet, Dr. Prather advised, like knitting or meditating. You only want to associate the position you sleep in with actually falling asleep; if your body gets used to staying awake, and struggling to sleep, in that position, you’ll have a harder time conditioning yourself to sleep through the night.

普拉瑟说,一般来说,如果你难以入睡或睡得不实,应该从床上起来。普拉瑟建议,给自己20分钟左右的时间尝试入睡,但如果你仍然不困,那就去沙发或客厅做些安静的事情,比如编织或冥想。你需要将你睡觉的位置只与实际入睡联系起来;如果你的身体习惯于保持清醒,并且难以入睡,那么在那个状态下,你将很难调整以让自己整夜入睡。

If you don’t want to move, or are unable to, even sitting up in the bed can help rewire your brain or flipping over and placing your head where your feet typically lay. While in that new position, you can read, listen to soft, gentle music or put on a soothing podcast — any activity that winds you down, until you feel sleepy again and are ready to get back into your sleeping position.

如果你不想移动或无法移动,即使在床上坐起来也可以帮助你的大脑重新适应,或将头和脚调换位置。在这个新姿势下,你可以阅读、听轻柔的音乐或播放舒缓的播客——任何让你放松的活动,直到你再次感到困倦并准备好回到你的睡眠姿势。

Don’t beat yourself up about one night of bad sleep (or several).

不要因为一晚(或几晚)睡眠不好而自暴自弃。


When people are in the throes of a sleepless night, they often stress about how the lack of sleep will clobber them the next day, Dr. Prather said. But one, or even a few, nights of little rest won’t ruin the way you sleep long-term, Dr. Prather said. “Any parent of small kids can tell you that you can survive on less sleep,” he said. “You can have these off nights. Your body is resilient.”

普拉瑟说,当人们在一个不眠之夜中痛苦挣扎时,他们经常担心,第二天睡眠不足会给他们带来怎样的打击。但普拉瑟说,一晚,甚至几晚很少休息不会破坏你长期的睡眠方式。“任何有小孩的父母都会告诉你,睡得少也能活下去,”他说。“你会经历这些糟糕的夜晚。你的身体是有复原力的。”

If you consistently find yourself unable to sleep, you might want to seek out a therapist or clinician trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, which Dr. Prather uses to treat insomnia. Even in chronic cases, he said, poor sleep is curable. A sleep specialist may also prescribe medication in extreme cases or treat underlying conditions that can lead to poor sleep, like sleep apnea.

如果你一直发现自己无法入睡,你可能需要寻找接受过认知行为疗法培训的治疗师或临床医生,普拉瑟用这种疗法来治疗失眠症。他说,即使在慢性病例中,睡眠不足也是可以治愈的。睡眠专家也可能在极端情况下开药或治疗可能导致睡眠不佳的潜在疾病,如睡眠呼吸暂停。

“When people have insomnia, because it’s so distressing, they’re trying to figure out all the things they can do to allow sleep to work again, like, ‘What can I fix?’ And that kind of effort is actually incompatible with sleeping,” he said. “Sleeping’s about letting go.”

“失眠是如此令人痛苦,当人们失眠时,他们尝试所有能做的事情让睡眠进行下去,比如,‘有什么是我可以解决的?’而这种努力实际上与睡眠是对立的,“他说。“睡觉就是放手。”
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