Lepage Associates Newsletter
Mental Health Matters
June 2010
Lepage Associates
Call: (919) 572-0000
In This Issue
Marital Counseling
Please click on each group for a flier with complete information to include description,
Love, Sex and Relationships
July 9th: The Secrets to Maintaining Marital Bliss - Why Love Is Never Enough
Presented by Dr. Paulomi Reiji
Many couples think the secret to marital longevity is passion. While this is certainly an important component of marriage - research indicates that communication, cooperation, appreciation, positive interactions, and problem solving are the keys to long lasting and happy relationships. Come learn how to develop these areas of your marriage - which can also help you regain or maintain that all important passion.


Monthly Reader
Each month we will recommend a book that someone at our practice has found useful.
This month's books are:
7 Principle's For Making Marriage Work
By John Gottman, Ph.D. 
Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child
By Marc Weissbluth, MD 

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Summer has finally arrived! This is a great time to rejuvenate and get a jump start on feeling better personally and in your relationships.

Marital Counseling Makes Cents....
Words of wisdom from a divorce attorney
Written by Tre' Morgan

A common refrain that I hear from clients and social acquaintances is that they would have liked to try marital counseling before their separation or divorce, but they just could not afford it. 
With the scope of health insurance coverage narrowing and the increased number of people without health insurance due to job losses, there is a very real financial barrier to marital counseling for many people.  But, aside from the obvious potential benefit of preserving the marriage and an intact family, there are financial reasons that marital counseling makes sense.
Most people do not consider is the cost of the alternative to marital counseling...divorce.  Obviously, marital counseling will not save every marriage and not every couple that might benefit from marital counseling will end up divorced.  But, when people are evaluating their financial ability to obtain counseling, the cost of a potential divorce should be considered.
Using rough numbers, one session of marital counseling may cost a couple $150 per week.  Over 50 weeks, that adds up to $7,500.  And let's assume that all of that expense is out of pocket and not covered by insurance.  That sounds like a lot of money, and it is for most of us. 
But, let's compare that to the cost of a divorce.  $7,500 would be a fairly low amount for what one of these folks would spend on one attorney to resolve the issues involved in a divorce.  Now, multiply that by two because each person will need an attorney.  Add in the cost of therapy for each party to deal with the trauma of a divorce, therapy for the children to help them process the divorce, potential expert financial professionals and the miscellaneous expenses of litigation and divorce.
Also, add in the 25% to 50% increase in the cost of living to support separate households and potential lost productivity at work due to the distraction of a divorce.  In the end, the financial toll can be in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands. 
Ironically, many people who claim that they could not afford marital counseling somehow find the money to pay for a divorce.  Some people are more comfortable asking their family for money to pay for a divorce than asking their family for money to pay for marriage counseling.  I suspect that family members would be happier about contributing money for counseling than divorce. 
The point is that when compared to divorce, the cost of trying to save a marriage is minimal.  Given the potential benefits that can be reaped from marital counseling, it is an investment that should be considered before incurring the costs of a divorce.
For more articles by Tre' visit www.tremorgan.com
"Just Can't Get to Sleep........
I lay in bed, tossing and turning for hours. Sometimes, I stare at the clock just to watch time go by. I can't get comfortable, and it's like my head is turning constantly. I'm always tired during the day and even when I do sleep, I don't feel rested when I wake up..." -Anonymous

Does this sound like you? If so, you, like many people, may be experiencing symptoms of insomnia. In a recent study, 80% of Americans said that they included "getting more sleep" in their New Year's resolution. 
There are three major types of insomnia: Initial, Middle, and Terminal. Initial insomnia refers to difficulty falling asleep but sleeping throughout the night. Middle insomnia is characterized by randomly waking numerous times in the middle of the night and having difficulty falling back to sleep. Terminal insomnia occurs when people wake up much earlier than they meant to and cannot get back to sleep. It is not uncommon for an individual to display multiple types of insomnia. One of the difficulties of managing insomnia is that there are so many possible causes. 
Here are some suggestions to help you gain better sleep quality and a more meaningful waking day. 
To put it simply, you should only use your bed for sleeping and sex! Lying in bed while watching television, reading for extended periods of time, eating, surfing the web, or playing video games, can make falling asleep difficult and may lead to the development of Initial Insomnia. Your body also associates sleep and your location. If you only sleep in a bed, rather than a couch or chair, your body will become accustomed to the bed as the designated location for sleep, and you will begin to feel tired simply by laying on it. 
Food for Thought
When you eat your final meal for the day, how much time do you give yourself between that last bite and the time you plan on going to sleep?  Eating or drinking too much before bed can having you waking up in the middle of the night with stomach aches or trips to the bathroom. This can contribute to middle insomnia and minor health problems such as indigestion or acid reflux. There should be approximately two and a half to three hours between the time of eating, which includes snacks, and sleep to better your chances of a good night's rest. Do not drink caffeine after 3pm and don't eat sugar after 9pm.
Less Light
Although it seems obvious, sleep can be heavily impacted by the amount of light in your bedroom. Your body operates on a sleep-wake cycle known as Circadian Rhythm, and when there is light present, it can be interrupted. This can cause early waking or trouble getting to sleep. Studies have shown that too much light can also prevent REM cycle sleep, which is when the best quality sleep takes place. Light from the television, lamps, computers, or street lights may keep you from high quality sleep. When you are preparing to go to sleep, be sure to turn off any electronic devices which produce too much light, close any blinds letting light in, and use a blindfold if you feel that there is still enough light to keep you awake.
Worrying about your job, kids, finances, and other things can keep your mind busy at night and interrupt your sleep. Your heart actually reacts to this stress and can increase blood pressure and beats per minute causing restlessness. Unfortunately, there isn't an "off button" for stress. However, recognizing that you tend to worry before bed can help you implement preventative strategies. Exercise can help reduce stress, but make sure you don't exercise too close to bed time, try to have at least one hour to wind down before you try to go to sleep. Place a notebook next to your bed, with a flashlight for midnight awakenings, where you can jot down thoughts and get them out of your head. If you know you tend to ruminate before bed, practice some progressive relaxation techniques, meditation, or yoga. You might also try tea or warm milk. It's not an urban legend! If you find yourself depending on sleep medication, you may want to talk to your medical doctor or seek help from a therapist. If these techniques are not enough, you may want to consult with a doctor to see if you have a medical problem, or a therapist to help reduce your stress and develop healthy behaviors you can take home to end the late night restlessness.