Insomnia seminar to improve sleep

Difficulty sleeping is a common complaint, especially among older people. Some people are born with a “weaker sleep system,” but that can be strengthened, and behaviors that contribute to sleep disorders can be changed.
Cathy Pierce, director of Social Services and Lauren Hughes, coordinator of Senior Services, will lead a three-week educational seminar in understanding insomnia and learning how to develop techniques to help
improve sleep.
The initial meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 10 to 11, in the Wilton Senior Center Technology Room, 180 School Road. The group will meet at the same time on the next two  Tuesdays, Oct. 6 and 13. There is a limit of eight participants.
The seminar will be based on the work of Gregg D. Jacobs, Ph.D., an insomnia specialist from the Sleep Disorder Center at UMass Memorial Medical Center. He has developed a cognitive behavioral therapy program for treating insomnia and this seminar will draw on his model.
The first session will focus on sleep education, separating the facts about sleep from popular myths and misconceptions, which can be detrimental to a good night’s rest.
Week two will address sleep medications and sleep scheduling techniques. Participants will leave with homework, a sleep chart to help track their personal sleep patterns.
The third week’s session will cover stimulus control techniques, or how to create the optimal internal and external environment for sleep, as well as relaxation and sleep hygiene techniques so that can be learned to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer.
To enroll, call Andrea Ragusa at
203-834-6238.