HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?
(AUGUST 24–SEPTEMBER 23)
Once a year your ruler visits your sign, but it’s not every year it forms a grand trine with Saturn and Uranus, and a minor grand trine with Jupiter and Pluto. In celestial terms, you’re being handed every advantage. But too much choice can be the enemy of happiness; having so many doors open can lead to procrastination. As long as you keep taking action, you’ll find optimism and luck will accompany you this month. Four minutes on the phone can make September special. Call 1900 957 223. sometimes what’s best for our heart isn’t what we expect, and with Uranus in your sign surprises are never far away. Your heart will be feeling an infectious enthusiasm that can strengthen a key relationship. This transformation will involve a challenge or two, but that will add to the excitement. Your forecast for September is ready. Call 1900 957 223.
GEMINI Although busy people get things done, they often have a hard time prioritising. When we have an endless to-do list, it’s tempting to choose the easiest items instead of tackling the issues that make the most difference to our workload. But you have the strength to do more than you think. Address the root of your problems and then you’ll harvest the fruits of your endeavours. September is a powerful month. Call 1900 957 223.
(MAY 22–JUN 22)
CANCER There’s no font that suggests sarcasm, but if you want to shout, you can use CAPITALS. And it’s easy to express alarm with exclamation marks! In the age of emojis, there are many ways to convey feelings, but subtlety is hard to detect. Focus on your communication skills as you balance sensitivity and creativity. Just make sure someone’s perception doesn’t hold you back. In September, the power of the planets can change your life. Call 1900 957 223.
(JUN 23–JUL 23)
LEO As a parent, I deal with my fair share of tantrums. Usually they’re caused by tiredness – what my son really needs is sleep. You’re aware you could do with a break. And although it might not last as long you would like, Jupiter’s links will help you regain control of your schedule. Once you relax, think about what you really want – because you can now have it. September brings great potential for change. Call 1900 957 223.
(JUL 24–AUG 23)
Even though I’m known as The Sleep Doctor and have numerous credentials on sleep [Dr Breus is a clinical psychologist, a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine], I’m not immune to the stresses of life that can impact rest. I’m still human, after all.
When I started my career, I wasn’t interested in sleep medicine, a medical speciality devoted to the diagnosis and therapy of sleep disturbances and disorders. I was interested in sports psychology. But then I did a residency program, which had both sleep and sports psychology in it, and when I started doing sleep medicine, I just absolutely fell in love with it.
My love stems from the immediacy of sleep medicine – it is a way to help people almost instantly. In traditional psychology treatment, gains can take weeks, months and years, but I’ve been able to change people’s lives within 24 hours. I’m still in awe of that.
It’s an exciting time for sleep research and medicine. Every month we learn something new. My mission is to teach everyone how to sleep better and give the latest information on sleep disorders, including how they’re diagnosed and the treatment that is available.
We all know when you don’t have a restful night, it can have an effect on your mood, health, family and job. Sleep is the third pillar of health, along with diet and exercise. Australians may have a global reputation for being relaxed, but 83 per cent don’t set time aside to unwind every day. On top of that, 65 per cent of Australians struggle to get a good night’s sleep even while on holiday.
We don’t 100 per cent know why sleep is so important, but we know what happens when the body doesn’t get sleep. It’s not pretty – mentally or physically. Sleep is not an on/off switch; there’s a process that has to occur.
The easiest way to increase the quality of your sleep is to reduce caffeine. Caffeine can have a half-life – the time it stays effective in your system – of between eight and 10 hours. I am not saying to give it up, but try a method called caffeine fading: have your highest caffeinated beverage in the morning, and then slowly move to less caffeinated beverages throughout the day. By 2pm, try to be caffeine free.
A simple way to help improve the quantity of your sleep is to give yourself a bedtime. Yes, like a kid. Many of my patients tell me that they get involved with something – television, the internet, a good book – and then look at the clock and it’s 1am.
There are many things that prevent people from falling asleep, but two that are quite common include your body not being ready and your mind racing. To help fall asleep more quickly, try a hot bath about an hour before bed. And to prevent your mind from racing, count backwards from 300 by threes (so 300, 297, 294…). It is complicated enough that you cannot think of anything else – and so boring you are out like a light. Dr Michael Breus is a sleep expert for The Dr. Oz Show, WEDMD and for Princess Cruises. Visit thesleepdoctor.com.