Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category

Are you sleeping?

My alarm clock just let me know it’s time to wake up… but it’s still dark outside. The nights are getting progressively longer and even the days are darker when it’s raining. While my alarm clock is working fine my body clock is confused.

Disrupting decent sleep even more is that darn Daylight Saving Time. In the fall, when you turn the clocks back an hour you might think you can get an extra hour with the sand man. But few of you will actually get that additional hour of sleep. In the week after changing your clocks, you might wake up earlier than usual, have more trouble falling asleep, and be more likely to wake up during the night. You’re adjusting to shorter, darker days that just get shorter and darker.

All of this can affect both your health and your attitude. When it’s hard for you to get a good night sleep you might find that you’re irritable, groggy, and lacking focus during the day. You might also feel anxious or depressed.

Do you suffer from blues throughout the winter? If yes, you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder. The condition is defined by symptoms such as lethargy, low mood, excessive tiredness, and even weight gain. A drop in serotonin levels may play a part in the development of SAD. Not to get too technical, but less of this neurotransmitter at the nerve synapses is something those of you with ADHD are already dealing with.

What to do?

You may recall me harping on routines. Having a regular routine for winding down and going to bed at more or less the same time each night is important. This will help your body clock. You might also look into full spectrum lighting. The light therapy boxes mimic outdoor light and cause a change in your brain that modifies the impact of the long dark days.

Electronic screens can disrupt the brain cycles needed for sleep, so shut down the computer, television, tablet, and cell phone 30-60 minutes before bed. Need something to do in that 30-60 minutes? Read a book or do a crossword (both are available in paper formats).

Read more about how artificial light impacts sleep here:

Homeopathic Approach for People with ADHD

Homeopathic medicine is holistic and effective and can restore balance and health to people with a wide range of conditions, including those with impulsivity, focus and attention issues, as with those who have ADD and ADHD. Most Americans mistakenly think the term “homeopathic” is a general term for all natural medicine, but that is not correct – it is its own system of medicine developed by a German doctor over 200 years ago, and is the second largest form of medicine in the world today.

For more general information about homeopathy, including informational videos and the latest in scientific and clinical research, spend some time on the National Center for Homeopathy’s informative website.

In homeopathy, there is no one remedy for one condition, but typically a great many. The homeopathic remedies are ultra high dilutions of substances in nature. The symptoms which that substance can produce if taken too much or too often are the symptoms which the homeopathic remedy (ultra high dilution) can resolve.

Each remedy has a range of conditions, symptoms, and qualities associated with it which are complex and specific. For example qualities of pain differ for the same condition in the different remedies, such as speed of onset, sensation of pain, heat, location of pain, sensitivities, and emotional expression or lack thereof in health and imbalance.

For people who have ADHD there are very common symptoms such as impulsivity, restlessness, and distractability. There are hundreds of homeopathic remedies which can address these symptoms. Finding the one which will efficiently help an individual depends on other more specific qualities such as what happens when you are stressed out, how do you cope with it? The child who hits and lacks empathy needs a different remedy than the one who will be very anxious and develop a nervous habit under stress.

Likewise, there is a quality to restlessness which can be matched by different homeopathic remedies, moving the individual towards greater calm: there is totally impulsive and physical restlessness, there is rhythmic restlessness, nervous fidgeting, restless legs or whole bodies in bed at night, there is manic euphoria, and many other expressions. These all indicate a different homeopathic remedy.

Finally, homeopathic remedy selection is also based on they types of other symptoms and conditions a person has had in their lifetime, and also family health history.

The featured pictures of substances represent homeopathic remedies useful in resolving ADHD: Tarentula, Stramonium, and Sulphur.

So what does getting better look and feel like with homeopathy if you have ADHD?

First of all, if you are not taking other medications, then you probably begin by taking the remedy just once or twice, and then evaluating your response over about one month.

That is because the remedy acts as a trigger to your own healing response, which is very different than the conventional or even nutritional or herbal approach.

Depending on the health of the person, and sensitivity, you may or may not need to repeat the remedy more frequently.

The person should notice improved balance on the mental and emotional level first, or at the same time as any chronic physical symptoms – this is the “direction of cure” created by homeopathy (and your body!).

This often means less impulsivity, more ability to focus, less runaway or rushing thoughts if that was an issue, and even greater empathy.

How long does it take?

It very much depends on the individual. For kids who haven’t had pharmaceuticals of any kind, the response time is often very short. For someone who has lived with these issues for decades and perhaps also had suppressive drugs, it can be a longer and more complex process.

Most of the kids in my practice have had tremendous benefit with several months of treatment. The good news is that with the right remedy, eventually the gains can be sustained without continuing the homeopathic remedy. This is how homeopathy works with the vital force of the individual to bring about greater health.

Kathleen Scheible, CCH
Bernal Homeopathy, San Francisco
415 647 7919 X2

Ten Tips to Keep Up During the Holiday Season

The days are getting shorter as we approach winter, and you might feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done; especially during the holiday season. Is it possible to keep up? Or even get ahead? Here are some tips.

1. Look at the dates of the big holidays you celebrate. What do you typically do for each of them. Think about how long the preparations have taken in past years and schedule start dates for the tasks.
2. Do you have to do everything yourself? Consider what you can delegate and let others take care of those things.
3. Are the items on your list tasks “must do” or just “it would be nice to do.” Focus on the must do items.
4. How much time can you free up to do the things that are actually important? Is watching television or hanging out on Facebook really necessary?
5. Plan each day every morning. Think about what tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
6. Learn to say no. It’s okay to set limits.
7. Less is more. Think about what is enough and what might be more than necessary.
8. If things feel overwhelming just pick three things you will do that day and put your energy and time into doing them.
9. Give yourself credit for anything and everything you accomplish no matter how small.
10. Get plenty of rest no matter what.

Think of being the person who designs your life.

Need help? Contact me for a complimentary half hour phone coaching session before 11/30/14.

Addressing ADHD: A Whole Person Approach–video series


• Are you someone who fears the clock? Does it seem like you don’t have enough time to do what needs doing?
• Is losing and forgetting and issue for you? How many times have you lost your keys? Cellphone? Umbrella? Mind?
• Are you terrible at delegating — whether to other people, or to technology.
• Is procrastination an issue for you?
• When you do begin a task, are you likely to get sidetracked?
• Are you more likely to focus on your failures and overlooking your successes?
• Have you been criticized by others for your behaviors?
You may have Attention Deficit Disorder–ADHD. Coaching is one way to get the support you need to address your challenges. But there are others. Find out what other professional have to offer in the Addressing ADHD video series on YouTube.

Synchronize Your Brain


Do you: have trouble prioritizing, show up late for appointments or miss them all together, find it hard to set boundaries, procrastinate, have to circle around work before starting? These issues and others are frequent challenges for those of us with ADHD.

Getting organized may be easier said than done. However, it is possible to make improvements in all of these areas. If you have attention deficit disorder it is a neurobiological condition. It’s how your brain works (or doesn’t).

So let’s look at how to help your brain function optimally. That might include getting sufficient sleep. Develop a sleep/wake schedule and routine. Exercise is also good for your brain and your body. Your diet is how you feed both your body and your brain, so think about what you eat and what nutrients you’re getting. Posture is important, too. Your brain and spinal cord are constantly communicating with the rest of your body. If you’re out of alignment you have a road block in communications.

Stay tune for upcoming posts that will feature tips in all these areas and more!
Let me know some of your challenges so I can have my collaborative network of experts share ideas and advice.

Overwhelmed? Stick a Needle in it.

As an acupuncturist Marie Bowser gets to help people shift out of a state of stress and into a state of balance with acupuncture and herbs.

“This shift from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest” allows body systems to operate more efficiently, including brain function, focus and mood. Whether you have an ADHD diagnosis, or you just have a lot on your plate and feel overwhelmed, there are additional things that you can do ON YOUR OWN to further enhance focus and reduce stress.”

“NOURISHMENT: When we forget to eat, blood sugar drops, cortisol levels rise and a stress response is triggered. One of the most important things that you can do to improve mental focus and calm the nervous system is to eat regular, nourishing meals. If remembering to eat is a problem for you, make sure you’re setting a timer or electronic reminder.”

“SLEEP: Sleeping gives the body an opportunity to integrate information and recover from stress. If you are struggling with following through on your vision and to-do list I highly suggest getting 8 hours of sleep and ideally falling asleep by 11 P.M. If you get too little sleep because of insomnia, this can be addressed with acupuncture and herbal medicine.”

“MEDITATION: Meditation is my favorite prescription for reducing stress, re-setting the nervous system and creating focus. “Insight Meditation” and “Transcendental Meditation” are systems that do not require that you “control” your mind and might be easier to learn. Taichi, qigong, yoga and running also elicit a meditative state. My personal favorite meditation technique is knitting.”

“Nourishment, Sleep and Meditation are just a handful of lifestyle shifts that I advise patients to incorporate in order to improve mental focus and mood. Certainly, having support from a coach or acupuncturist can help you to incorporate these things and make bigger shifts in your health and experience.”

Find Marie Bowser, LAc, Dipl OM at Solano Avenue Acupuncture
1498 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA 94706

Missing Out on Those ZZZZZ’s?

Are you one of the many who have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up? Do you seem to have so many thoughts, ideas and things to do that you’re up way later than you “want to be” and then can’t seem to wind down and fall asleep? Or do you fall asleep fairly easily but wake up once or more with endless thoughts that keep you from returning to that desired sleep state?

It’s your brain! People with ADHD have an imbalance of neurotransmitters. Low levels of serotonin is one of these that may be contributing to sleep issues. There are strategies that can help you get more and better sleep.

Hypnosis or self hypnosis may work for you. Some have found neurofeedback to make a big difference. Committing to a regular sleep/wake schedule with a winding down ritual is another process that can aid in falling asleep.

Then there’s always the counting sheep idea. The way I recommend doesn’t actually involve sheep. Instead, simply count backwards from 100, one number each time you exhale. Stay focused on your breath and the number. Start over if you must.

Sweet dreams!