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Episode Info:

Dr. Neal Morris has extensive experience with treating sleep disorders and describes some general guidelines for cognitive, behavioral, and common sense treatments. He explains

  • the different categories for sleep issues beyond the generic term of insomnia,
  • the cognitive barriers to good sleep such as how we can falsely identify ourselves as "bad sleepers," and
  • numerous methods to get through some of these barriers including basic common sense tools along with resources to find out more.

Dr. Neal Morris is a child and family and clinical health psychologist and is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine. He runs his own practice at Dr. Neal R. Morris, Ed.D. In this discussion he explains the basics of behavioral sleep medicine to listeners, including a review of basic terms and recommendations for healthy approaches toward better sleep. 

He begins with a run-down of common struggles and ways that people tell themselves that they don't need help or that they don't have a problem with sleep. By first dispelling myths and asserting that we all do indeed need 7 to 9 hours a night, he then leads into an explanation of scientifically-proven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI). 

This includes a description of issues like "stimulus control," which means if you are in bed tossing and turning, the bed is controlling what you are learning. He advises listeners how to change that stimulus message and reset the mindset that the bed is for sleeping. He also reviews the idea of sleep hygiene and how we work within our circadian rhythm. He offers numerous other suggestions as he covers why sleep is essential.

If you are searching for help, he recommends looking at the lists of board-certified experts on The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and The Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. The SAMHSA site also helps by listing first-line recommended science-based approaches to various conditions including insomnia. 

Dr. Morris practices in the District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia area and his practice website is http://morristherapyoffice.com/.

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