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Can insomnia be cured by online therapy

Le 6 décembre 2016, 03:46 dans Humeurs 0

Can’t get to sleep? Try online therapy. While a glowing screen is a counter-intuitive cure for insomnia, there is evidence that online cognitive behavourial therapy (CBT) can restore normal sleep patterns. In a study published in this month’s Jama Psychiatry, an online CBT programme cured 57% of those who used it, compared with 27% who had standard education about insomnia.

Insomnia affects up to half of all people – with up to 20% having a serious problem with getting off to sleep (or falling asleep again if they wake up). Chronic insomnia can last for years – making people feel sleepy during the day and anxious at night. Standard advice includes promoting “sleep hygiene”: a cool, dark bedroom; going to bed and getting up at the same time every day; and not napping. After that, it’s face-to-face cognitive behavioural therapy – but there aren’t enough therapists to go round. This may be why people are still prescribed sleeping tablets that make them feel pleasantly dissociated and are very addictive.

In an editorial accompanying this latest research, Andrew D Krystal from the department of psychiatry at the University of California says it is inevitable that internet CBT will become the first line of treatment for insomnia.

So should you be asking for it already?

The solution

There is evidence from other randomised, controlled trials of the benefit of online CBT. There are many apps offering insomnia cures, but most have not been tested in proper trials. The Jama Psychiatry study looked at the Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi) programme, which asks users to keep a sleep diary and then produces an algorithm that identifies their “sweet window” (the period of time the person should be asleep).

The study’s lead author, Lee M Ritterband from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, says that the first and hardest step is sleep restriction. “It sounds paradoxical but we are looking for sleep efficiency,” says Ritterband. “People will tell you they are in bed for 10 hours but sleep for six – which is 60% efficient. We are looking for more than 85% efficiency. So if someone only usually sleeps between 2am and 6am, they shouldn’t get into bed before midnight.” Time spent in bed then gets extended as the person sleeps more.

Sleepio is another digital CBT tool that has been evaluated in trials and, like SHUTi, can be bought online. Sleepio has an animated virtual therapist and also covers sleep restriction, managing intrusive thoughts and suggesting relaxation techniques. Both Sleepio and SHUTi coach you to break the connection between being awake and being in bed. (Bed is for sleeping and sex, not mobile devices.) Both programmes are shown in studies to have outcomes as good as face-to-face CBT.

Online CBT for insomnia is already available in some parts of the UK. But if you want to ask your GP for it, or buy it for yourself, make sure you use one backed by research – and remember it will only stand a chance if you are motivated enough to stick to it.

How to take care of your hair this winter

Le 21 novembre 2016, 07:10 dans Humeurs 0

Just like our skin, winter takes its toll on our hair; think fly-aways, dry scalps and a severe lack of moisture.

Inconvenient at the best of times, as the Christmas party invites wade in the idea of a parched, lifeless barnet is far from ideal but, what’s a girl to do?

Luckily, the beauty world has got your back with a wave of new-fangled products specially formulated to breathe a little life into your locks. In the winter especially, hair needs plenty of TLC but there are plenty of things you can do to keep it looking tip top.

Your first port of call is to invest in a moisturising shampoo and conditioner but it’s not just about the product, what you do with it matters too. GHD ambassador Zoe Irwin says that giving your scalp a good massage every day could lead to thicker, glossier tresses.

“Massaging your scalp daily for 10 minutes has an incredible effect on the hair. It will relieve tension and also increase the blood flow for thicker, healthier hair.” She also attests the importance of regular treatments like hair masks that can work to prevent and repair already damaged hair cuticles.

“The underneath section of hair is the part that gets the most abuse. It gets rubbed by your top, coat, scarf, when you sleep etc. But it’s this part of your hair that will make it look and feel healthier if it’s looked after. Use the ghd Advanced Split End Therapy (£19.95) which helps bind broken fibres together to strengthen fragile and damaged hair.”

While heat and friction are the obvious culprits when it comes to damage, for many of us, they’re an inevitable necessity. If you can’t go without heat styling opt for a tool that’s kinder to your hair.

“Invest in a quality hairdryer for fast and efficient drying and to reduce heat damage. The ghd aura® professional hairdryer reaches a maximum temperature of airflow of 137°C; this is the optimum temperature to style hair without causing damage. Plus, with Laminair® Technology, the ghd Aura hairdryer delivers a 65% more concentrated air stream for fast drying and ultra-smooth hair which is 38% shinier,” says GHD ambassador, Adam Reed.

Winter warmers: Your new season guide to staying snug and stylish

Le 7 novembre 2016, 05:00 dans Humeurs 0

Bonfire Night festivities are about much more than straw dummies, sparklers and firework displays as - for the more sartorially dedicated among us - it also sets light  to the cold-weather accessory discussion. 

As temperatures plummet, tonight marks the perfect excuse to breathe new life into your new season wardrobe; think super-soft scarves, luxe leather gloves and chunky-knit beanies to ward off that winter chill.

Rather than hunting through your drawers for that worn and torn, mismatching set you already own bring some woolly cheer to your wardrobe with some serious winter style wins.

For us Brits, cold-weather accessories are a mainstay through the cooler months as unpredictable weather cues sartorial confusion. Luckily for us though, the high street are throwing up a whole host of fashion favourites that promise to keep you warm whatever the weather throws at you.

Feeling the chill? The first thing we reach for as the temperatures begin to drop is a scarf and this season they come in luxe pastel shades and fashion’s favourite faux fur. As always classic autumnal hues of mustard and burgundy win out with modish checks thrown in for good measure. 

Gloves tend to be a point of contention as we’re forced to make the choice between chic leather and a cosy knit; either way, the new season pieces are lashing in style with on-trend leopard edging, cashmere and shearling trims.

Top it all off with a hat too but, rather than pulling on that raggedy beanie, go with something a little more stylish. If you can’t bear to part with slip-on styles, pick a hat crafted from a chunky knit, topped with a twee pom pom or better still, embroidered to the nines. Other big style wins come in the form of fedoras and structured felt riding caps.

Keeping warm has never been so stylish.

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