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四种方法助你更快入睡

更新时间:2014-1-21 14:14:13 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

Trouble Falling Asleep? Ways To Wind Down Faster
四种方法助你更快入睡

For some people, the hardest part about getting a good night's sleep is winding down.

Plenty of products and services promise to help. Americans spent $32.4 billion in 2012 on sleep-related aids -- from noise machines to specialty pillows, according to IMS Health, a marketing analytics firm in Parsippany, N.J. And according to an August study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8.6 million people in the U.S. reported taking medication for better sleep in the month before.

The stress of work and daily life make falling asleep and staying asleep through the night a constant struggle for us. We tried four ways to help us shut off our racing thoughts and ease into bedtime. These methods aim to teach users how to fall asleep and awake refreshed -- without medication. We used an iPhone app, one of a number of new sleep apps available for mobile devices, and a CD set based on audio brain research. There was also a MP3 download that promised to teach us to fall asleep by listening to our body sensations; and a relaxation coach, a new trend popping up across the country.

The Brainwave Music System is a six-CD set created by Jeffrey Thompson, director of the Center for NeuroAcoustic Research in Carlsbad, Calif. The CDs use music embedded with tones to get you to sleep faster. The music sounds somewhat dreamlike with low humming and piano melodies. The CD booklet says the system is based on company research showing sound patterns combined with music can alter brain waves and a person's state of consciousness.

We tried two 30-minute sleep tracks and a 30-minute relaxation track. The booklet instructed us to play the relaxation track in the background while we went about regular activities before bedtime, such as brushing our teeth, and to play the sleep CD at bedtime.

Despite a noisy spouse moving around the room and interruptions from children, we fell asleep quickly and felt surprisingly refreshed in the morning.

Next, we hired Stacy Kamala Waltman, a relaxation coach who teaches corporate workshops, yoga and meditation classes in Buckingham, Va. Ms. Waltman offers $49.99 bedtime packages in which she will create a custom recording of relaxing music with voice relaxation instructions and help you develop a 'sleep ritual.'

Relaxation coaches only recently began popping up across the U.S. There isn't a standard certification process, but the American Institute of Stress in Fort Worth, Texas, offers referrals to stress-management professionals who can offer advice on how to wind down.

Ms. Waltman began with a one-hour phone call in which she asked about our nightly habits, such as TV viewing and our worry level at bedtime. She also asked for our preference of relaxation sounds -- such as wind chimes, Tibetan singing bowls or seashore sounds.

She told us to stop cleaning the house or working on the computer at night. She suggested we create a bedtime routine that brings down the level of activity, such as gentle stretching and a nighttime bath.

Ms. Waltman sent an MP3 track via email a few days later, along with instructions on how to create a sleep ritual. There were generic suggestions such as drinking warm milk and a bath with lavender oil, which was nice but made us itch.

In bed, we listened to the 27-minute relaxation track, which had Ms. Waltman's soft, steady voice over the sound of Tibetan singing bowl music. She said to squeeze and relax muscles moving up from our legs to our eyes. Two nights in a row, we fell asleep 10 minutes into the track.

Next, we tried the SleepEasily MP3 package, a program by Denver behavioral sleep consultant Richard Shane.

Links to download the five tracks didn't work and it took 10 days of email exchanges with the company before we could get them. The program includes a summary card of instructions and earplugs to better hear your 'inner sleep breath.' These didn't arrive by mail until two months after our order. Dr. Shane said he has since fired the fulfillment company for a string of similar problems and he updated the website to fix download problems.

The download came with a 38-page PDF of instructions, including how to use the earplugs. On the sleep track, Dr. Shane says to think about calming your jaw muscles and opening your throat for an inner sleep breath, which he says is shallow, soothing and quiet.

In the 21-minute track, Dr. Shane's words get slower and slower as he talks about imagining sounds of seashells and lullabies. His instructions made it difficult to relax so we turned off the track midway through.

Dr. Shane said most people fall asleep using his method. If the recording didn't work, he suggested reading the summary card's tips before bed. The goal, he says, is to teach you how to feel the body sensations that carry you into sleep. He says he has been refining his voice tonality and tempo for 18 years. 'It's the tonality you use with someone half asleep to let them know it's OK and to go back to sleep,' he says.

We then tested an iPhone and iPad app called 'ABC of Better Sleep.' Created by British hypnotherapist Max Kirsten, this easy-to-use app includes tips on better sleep and a 23-minute hypnosis session for deep sleep. Though the idea of being hypnotized made us a little nervous, Mr. Kirsten promises you will be able to wake and be alert in case of an emergency.

First, he takes users through a 12-minute practice session in which he explains what the ABCs of his program are. 'A' stands for 'Are my eyelids so relaxed that I couldn't open them if I tried?' and 'B' is for breath, he said. He instructed us to take a deep breath, hold it and then release it using every muscle. 'C' stands for 'the sea,' in which you imagine floating underwater.

The app included a 23-minute audio clip with the main hypnosis session to be played in bed. We fell asleep at the end of it and felt great the next day. Mr. Kirsten says in the app that once you've used it for a week, you no longer need it. Indeed, a week later, we easily got to sleep on our own.

对有些人来说,要睡个好觉,最难的就是入睡前的放松。

很多产品和服务都声称能够助人入睡。据新泽西州帕西帕尼(Parsippany)市场分析公司IMS Health统计,美国人2012年在治疗睡眠上的花费是324亿美元,方法包括噪音机和特殊枕头等。美国疾病控制与预防中心(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)于8月份所做的一项研究显示,美国有860万人表示自己在上个月服用了助眠药物。

工作和日常生活的压力导致入睡以及睡个好觉成为了令我们苦苦挣扎的一个问题。我们尝试了四种方法来帮助甩掉翻腾的思维以安然入睡。这些方法旨在指导人们如何入睡并在醒来时精神焕发──不用药物。目前有好几款最新的手机睡眠程序,我们用了其中一款iPhone应用程序;还有根据声音大脑研究所制作的一套CD;另外还有一段MP3下载音频,据说能指导我们通过倾听身体的感觉入睡;还有放松教练,这是正在全美各地兴起的一种新潮流。

“脑波音乐系统”(Brainwave Music System)是由杰弗瑞·汤姆森(Jeffrey Thompson)制作的六张CD套装,汤姆森是加州卡尔斯巴德市(Carlsbad)神经声学研究中心(Center for NeuroAcoustic Research)的负责人。这些CD中的音乐包含着能够帮助人更快入睡的音调。这些音乐有低声哼唱和钢琴曲,听起来如梦如幻。CD小册子上面说,该系统是根据公司研究研制出来的,研究显示,与音乐结合的音律能够改变脑电波和人的意识状态。

我们尝试了两段30分钟的睡眠音频和一段30分钟的放松音频。根据小册子的说明,在进行刷牙等常规睡前活动时播放放松音频,睡觉的时候播放睡眠音频。

尽管有吵闹的另一半在房间里走来走去,还有孩子们的打扰,但我们还是迅速地入睡了,而且第二天早晨神清气爽得超乎想象。

接下来我们找到了放松教练斯泰茜·卡马拉·沃尔特曼(Stacy Kamala Waltman),她在弗吉尼亚州白金汉县(Buckingham)为公司开设讲习班、教授瑜伽和冥想课程。沃尔特曼提供49.99美元的催眠套餐,她会为客户量身制作放松音乐,并且口头指导放松,帮助客户形成“睡眠习惯”。

放松教练最近才刚刚在全美各地兴起。目前并没有标准的认证程序,但得克萨斯州沃思堡(Fort Worth)的美国职业压力协会(American Institute of Stress)会推荐能够为睡前放松提供建议的压力管理专业人士。
沃尔特曼最开始和我们电话交谈了一小时,询问我们晚上的习惯,比如看电视以及睡前的忧虑情况。她还询问我们对放松声音的偏好,比如风铃声、西藏颂钵声或者海浪声。

她告诉我们晚上不要打扫房子、用电脑。她建议我们养成能降低活动水平的睡前习惯,比如轻柔的拉伸和晚间沐浴。

几天后沃尔特曼通过电子邮件发来了一段MP3音频,还有如何养成睡眠习惯的说明。她还给了一些一般性的建议,比如喝热牛奶和用薰衣草精油沐浴等,薰衣草精油很好闻,但我们用了身上发痒。

我们在床上听了27分钟的放松音频,里面是西藏颂钵音乐配上沃尔特曼温柔沉稳的旁白。她让我们从小腿到眼睛挤压和放松肌肉。连续两晚我们听了10分钟就睡着了。

接下来我们尝试了SleepEasily的MP3套装,这是由丹佛行为睡眠顾问理查德·沙恩(Richard Shane)设计的。

下载其中五段音乐的链接用不了,和公司邮件交涉了10天才下载到。这套疗程包括一张概括说明卡片,还有帮助你倾听“内部睡眠呼吸”的耳塞。这些东西在我们下订单两个月后才寄到。沙恩博士说,后来他因为一系列类似问题解雇了那家订单执行公司,他还更新网站解决了下载问题。

下载的资料是一份38页的PDF文档,上面是包括如何使用耳塞的使用说明。在催眠音频中,沙恩博士让我们想象着放松下巴肌肉,并打开喉咙进行内部睡眠呼吸,他说这种呼吸很浅、很舒缓、很平静。

在这段21分钟的音频中,沙恩博士指导我们想象海贝和摇篮曲的声音,他的语速变得越来越慢。他的口头指导让人很难放松,所以我们把音频放到一半就关了。

沙恩博士说,大多数人用他的方法都能入睡。如果音频不起作用,他建议在睡前看看卡片上的小贴士。他说,目标是教你感觉能够引导你入睡的身体悸动。他说他18年来一直在改善自己声音的声调和节奏。他说:“你得用合适的声调告诉半睡半醒的人,告诉他们可以睡觉了,可以继续睡了。”

接着我们测试了一款名为“改善睡眠ABC”(ABC of Better Sleep)的iPhone和iPad程序。这款易用的软件由英国催眠治疗师马克斯·克尔斯滕(Max Kirsten)设计,包括改善睡眠的小贴士,还有一段23分钟的深度睡眠催眠疗法。尽管催眠的概念让我们有点紧张,但克尔斯滕保证我们肯定能够醒来,并且在紧急时刻能够保持警觉。

首先,他让用户进入12分钟的练习阶段,在这期间他对程序的ABC进行基本介绍。他说,“A”代表“我的眼皮是不是足够放松,怎么试都睁不开?”,“B”代表呼吸。他让我们深呼吸一口,保持一会儿,然后用全身所有肌肉呼气。“C”代表“大海”,想象自己在水下漂浮。

这款程序包括一段23分钟的音频,躺在床上时播放最主要的催眠疗法。我们在播放结束时睡着了,第二天感觉很不错。克尔斯滕在程序中说,连续使用一周后你就不再需要它了。的确,一周以后我们自己就能轻松地睡着了。

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