How Veterans Can Train Their Brain to Sleep Better
courtesy of Department of Veterans Affairs
Many Veterans have trouble sleeping, but don’t know how to improve their sleep.
“I was determined to say…you go to bed early so you can get your rest. But it’s not the case at all.”
For Veterans like William who have difficulty sleeping, finding effective ways to sleep through the night can be challenging. Sometimes the things people do because they aren’t getting enough sleep, like taking naps, drinking alcohol before bed, or setting an early bedtime, undermine their ability to get a full night’s sleep.
VA’s online training course Path to Better Sleep helps Veterans learn healthy techniques to improve sleep quality, and features videos of Veterans like John sharing their sleep challenges and discussing skills they learned in the course that helped them fall and stay asleep.
“One of the rules that they told us about is…if you don’t fall asleep within twenty minutes… get up, do something relaxing, whether it’s read a book (or watch TV).”
The course teaches techniques that can help you break the association between your bed and being awake, as well as how to eliminate distractions from your bedroom, and how to schedule your sleep.
Path to Better Sleep is free, completely confidential, and can be taken online independently or in-person with your doctor. The course is based on the leading treatment for insomnia (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia), and includes a Sleep Check-up Tool and downloadable fact sheets that you can print out and bring to your doctor to help you understand your sleeping problems.
“If you’re dealing with insomnia and you want help, there’s help out there. You just have to be open-minded and willing to do what is required of you to do it. And I’m not going to say it’s going to easy because it’s not. But…you can’t expect something to change if you’re not willing to give it a chance.”
A Homey Feel
This is our son Raidyn. He was born premature 10 weeks early on February 17th weighing 3lbs 10oz. He needed to be admitted to NICU right away since he was so premature. We were able to stay at the hospital for a couple days until I was discharged. I was terrified having to go home, off post, and to leave our son behind. Fortunately, my husband and I were invited to stay at the Fisher House, which is right next to the hospital. My mom flew out the next day to be our side during this time. She had her hotel set and ready to go, and she was actually able to stay at the Fisher House with us! It took us by complete surprise, and we were so grateful to have my mom be able to stay right across the hall from us, for the entire time she was here. It was amazing to have one less thing to stress about.
We have continued to stay at the Fisher House, as our son is still in the NICU and will be for awhile longer. Being able to stay so close has been a life saver! We are able to be by our sons side multiple times throughout the day and night. The Fisher House has amazing accommodations. I'm able to do my laundry, cook meals in a wonderfully designed kitchen, and sleep comfortably in my own room. It has the great homey feel, and has been our home away from home during this tough time. Caretakers Jim and Michael have been a great people to talk to as well. They check on my husband and I every day, making sure our son is doing good and that were okay. It has been amazing having the support of the Fisher House to help us through this rough time, without it I dont know what we would have done.
from Christa and Adric
2019 Fisher House Volunteer of the Year
Continuing Her Father's Legacy
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Fisher House Foundation Expands Support for VA’s Polytrauma Centers
What do the VA medical centers in Richmond, Va., Palo Alto, Calif., Tampa, Fla., Minneapolis, Minn., and San Antonio, Texas have in common? They are all regional Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers, and all will soon have two Fisher Houses to support service members, veterans and their families. Read more.
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Pilot Flying J Steps Up to Support our Military, Veterans and Their Families
During the holiday season, we are always thankful for our partners who help support our mission of helping military, veterans and their families. We are thankful for Pilot Flying J’s past and current support. Now celebrating their 60thanniversary, Pilot Flying J is making a $120,000 donation for the construction of the Albuquerque Fisher House. Read more.
Fisher House Named Top Veterans Charity by MSN
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Adaptive Sports are Warrior’s Road to Recovery
Both the Invictus Games and Warrior Games are more than just sports events for competing athletes – they are a celebration for families who get to share in the fun and excitement. For some competitors, this is the first time their family is seeing them after their rehabilitation and seeing that there is life after injury. Having a family’s love and support, and knowing there’s a whole community rooting for them, makes all the difference to these brave men and women. Read more. >
This Mental Health Month, Share the Possibilities
This May, in observance of Mental Health Month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will highlight the life-changing outcomes and the possibilities that stem from mental health treatment. Whether you’re a Veteran sharing your story, a family member providing support, or a friend lending a hand, focusing on these positive outcomes can be a powerful way to provide encouragement and shape how Veterans and our entire nation thinks about treatment when they’re facing mental health challenges.
Read the guest blog from Make the Connection here.
A Mother's Strength
Charitable Donations: Donating your money to worthy charities
by Kerri Childress
When people donate to a charity, they want to make sure their hard-earned money is making a difference. We all do. And we want to know that the nonprofit’s funds are going to programs that make an impact.
Fisher House Foundation works hard to be a good steward of the funds entrusted to us. One of the best ways to know your donation, to Fisher House or to any organization, is making an impact is to review third-party endorsers (nonprofit watchdogs). They provide transparency – so you know exactly where your donation goes. Continue Reading
Why I Run for Team Fisher House
I first learned of Fisher House Foundation and Team Fisher House in 2011 from a fellow member of Soldier’s Race Team, James Armstrong. Knowing how strong my love was for those who sacrificed for our country, James told me of all the wonderful things Fisher House does for soldiers, veterans and their families. After reading more about the Foundation and Team Fisher House missions, I decided to join the team at the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.
I was amazed at the wonderful support I received from Team Fisher House before, during, and after the marathon. I remember waking up the morning of the race and finding my hotel door decorated with streamers and a certificate thanking ME for running for THEM. I thought it ironic they were thanking me when they were doing all the work. Continue reading.
The American Legion Has Provided Decades of Support to Fisher House
by Ken Fisher
The Fisher House program began more than 25 years ago, to support military, veterans and their families during a medical crisis. Since the beginning, the American Legion has stood steadfast in its support for Fisher House. From car washes and bluegrass music jams to yearly “Freedom Rides for Fisher House,” the Legion has raised millions of dollars for the Foundation and individual houses.
It’s not just money the Legion has given, it’s literally thousands of hours of volunteer time cooking meals for the families, planting, hosting bingo and other games to give families respite from the hospital. Continue reading.