Psychological Self-Help

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has been shown to be effective with insomnia in the elderly
Family Physician Organization has addressed too little sleep
Pediatrics has a handout for parents with children with sleep problems
( Mental Help Net has a
collection of articles at MHN-Sleep Disorders
problems are common: Restless Legs and Snoring. Go to and do a search of Mayo Clinic’s website.
about 4 times more often in obese children and in African-American
children than in other children. Breathing problems occur in about 3%
of all children and almost 10% of adults between 40 and 65. Besides
the National Institutes of Health, go to American Sleep Apnea
Association (, SleepNet
(, or enter "sleep apnea" in a search
engine. Finally, UCLA's Sleep Home Pages provide a complete 1994-to-
present searchable sleep bibliography (click on BiblioSleep at
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to stop without relapsing.
Nevertheless, as a society, we are reducing smoking, about half of all
people who have ever smoked have stopped (91% quit on their own).
After World War II, a high percentage of males smoked (75% in
Britain). Perhaps 40% or 50% of all adult Americans have been
"dependent" on cigarettes sometime in their lives. During the 1990's,
about 25% of Americans smoke, 75% of them want to stop. Two
thirds believe a smoking-related disease will kill them if they don't
quit. One third of all smokers tried to quit last year, but only 1 in 20
who tried to stop was successful. Quitting requires an average of
seven tries, often using "cold turkey" or different methods. 
Smoking in recent years is a habit for about 40% of high school
drop outs but only 10%-15% of college graduates smoke. Likewise,
smoking is more and more associated with personal and social
problems--bad experiences as children, doing poorly in school,
unskilled work, divorce, stressful conditions (more panic attacks),
unemployment, criminal behavior among males, serious mental illness,
depression, drug and alcohol use, etc. Like alcohol, cigarettes with
their nicotine content may, for some people, serve as a self-medication
for a variety of psychological problems, especially stress and sadness.
Note: a few adolescents enjoy the first puff--scientists believe this is
determined by their genes. In the main, however, smoking starts for
basic social reasons, even though it tastes bad to most, but it becomes
an addiction because nicotine is physiologically addictive and because
smoking may help us momentarily (while having "a smoke") avoid
stressful and depressing thoughts (and, thus, feelings). The truth is, in
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