TIPS FOR GETTING ADEQUATE SLEEP  (selections edited by Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo, July 2012)

Coping skills to Help Your Sleep – from the Mayo Clinic

No matter what your age, insomnia usually is treatable. Natural sleep is always the best. Avoid drugs if you can. The key often lies in changes to your routine during the day and when you go to bed. Try these tips:

  • Stick to a schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time on a constant schedule.
  • Limit your time in bed. Too much time in bed can promote shallow, unrestful sleep. Try to cut the time you spend in bed by one hour a night for two weeks to see if it helps you sleep.
  • Avoid trying to sleep. The harder you try, the more awake you’ll become. Read or watch television until you become very drowsy, then go to bed to sleep. Get up in the morning at the same time as usual.
  • Hide the bedroom clocks. Set your alarm so that you know when to get up, but then hide all clocks in your bedroom. The less you know what time it is at night, the better you’ll sleep.
  • Exercise and stay active. Get at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, preferably at least five to six hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Caffeine after lunchtime and using nicotine can keep you from falling asleep at night. Alcohol, while it may initially make you feel sleepy, can cause unrestful sleep and frequent awakenings.
  • Reset your body’s clock. If you fall asleep too early and then wake up too early, use light to push back your internal clock. During times of the year when it’s light outside in the evenings, go outside for 30 minutes or obtain light via a medical-grade light box.
  • Check your medications. If you take medications regularly, check with your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your insomnia. Also check the labels of over-the-counter products to see if they contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as pseudoephedrine.
  • Don’t put up with pain. If a painful condition bothers you, make sure the pain reliever you take is effective enough to control your pain while you’re sleeping.
  • Find ways to relax. A warm bath or light snack before bedtime may help prepare you for sleep. Having your partner give you a massage also may help relax you.
  • Avoid or limit naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can’t get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than an hour and don’t nap after 3 p.m.
  • Minimize sleep interruptions. Close your bedroom door or create a subtle background noise, such as a running fan, to help drown out other noises. Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable, usually cooler than during the day. Drink less before bedtime so that you won’t have to go to the toilet as often.


Cognitive behavioral therapy: A new tool for treating insomnia

For years, people who spent their nights tossing and turning didn’t have many choices. But now there is an insomnia treatment that’s an alternative to pills, even for people with severe or chronic sleep problems. Called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this relatively simple, short-term treatment has long been used to treat a range of problems, including depression, panic attacks, eating disorders and substance abuse. Now, it has also proved effective against insomnia. So effective, in fact, that for most people it works better than sleeping pills — with no side effects.   CBT can benefit nearly everyone, including older adults who have been taking sleep medications for years, people with physical problems such as restless legs syndrome, and those with primary insomnia, an intractable, lifelong inability to get enough rest. What’s more, the effects seem to last — a year after CBT, most people still sleep soundly.

If  you snore or wake up tired after good night sleep: Recommend you get a Sleep Study To diagnose whether you have Sleep Apnea.   If you do have sleep apnea very very important:   USE C PAP machine if you have sleep apnea! It can save your brain!    (Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo)

wordpress best themes - 2012 wordpress theme - magazine wordpress themes