This is what I have learned from my Sleep Mds; and since so many questions pertain to this, I thought to share what I have learned on sleep hygiene. This is long winded, but I was trying to be thorough. Please post any other good sleep hygiene tips here for others to learn by.
A schedule and routine is very important try and set one and keep one, for example: Set a bedtime and an awakening time and stick to it. Having an established sleep routine is important for maintaining a healthy and functioning internal clock. Don't take a nap.. fight the urge. Children five and under feel free to revel in your naptime. If you have to take a nap to continue to function, set a timer and limit the nap to 30–45 minutes. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages 4-6 hours before bedtime. While alcohol may initial have a sleep inducing effect, upon being digested and broken down (normally 3-4 hours) a stimulant/wake-up effect is triggered. Need I say anymore about caffeine? It is a stimulant commonly found in many natural and unatural sources like coffee, tea, sodaa, and my fave “chocolate”! Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. This is doubly important, especially if you already suffer from heart burn or acid reflux diseases. I have LPR tomato sauce for dinner.. killer! Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Normally conclude your work out at least three hours before bed time. Regular exercise is known to deepen sleep when done in the late afternoon, but if it is within two hours of your desired bedtime. The generated endorphines, that natural runners high.. inhibit your ability to go to sleep.
Your Bedroom, what is the best environment to sleep in? Find and use comfortable bedding and a comfortable bed made for you. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. I can not sleep at my parents or in laws.. they keep things too hot. I have to have a cool room to sleep, I love to snuggle if a heavy comforter.. I like the weight. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often recommended ans supposed to be most conducive to sleep. Block out all distracting noise, the spouse or roomie playing the TV, music, or computer games loudly. Light is also consider noise and should be limited as well. When MY sleep MD told me this one I was shocked. The only recreational activity you should do in your bedroom is sex. Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. I am not saying any more.. other than a TV or computer should not be involved with either Sex or Sleep.
Relaxation tips for preparing yourself for a good nights sleep: If you are hungry it is not good, try a light snack just before bed. Things with the sleep inducing tryptophan.. turkey and bananas( I didn't know about this about bananas), warm milk or a herbal tea (chamomile). Practice relaxing letting go of your stresses. A recommendation that I have took to heart is the stress log. In a journal i make note of all my ills or ill treatment.. things too do and such. Once it is written down, I am done. I no longer have to think about it, because I can refer back to it at will. There is also yoga, deep breathing techniques, mood music, and many other things out there. Don’t take your worries to bed. The journal I keep helps me do this. It allows me to assign a "worry period" sometime during the day and I can make another list. I love lists. Establish your own special pre-sleep ritual. I take a hot shower and read. My husband eats drinks chamomile and passes out. My son.. warm bath, medicine, GN story, and his cars.. has to have a car in each hand. Get comfortable and try and have a consistant favorite sleeping position. In sleep apnea patients sleeping on your side (left is the best) relieves extra weight on your lungs making it easier to breathe in your sleep and less like to gag or close you mouth off by tongue and uvula shifting. Don't give in to the insomnia stare at the ceiling bug. If you don’t fall asleep within 15–30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read something boring until sleepy (encyclopedias, the dictionary, compressed fluid dynamic...)
Nocturnal wakings and an inability to get back to sleep.. Some times you have to wake up or are woken up(Mommy bane). If you can not get back to sleep within 15–20 minutes, hit that dictionary again and learn some new words. Have a light snack if you are hungry.. nothing stimulating. Television can be a nemesis.. it is my husband's. Watching television before bedtime is not the best idea, it is a very engaging medium and can keep us up. Same with computers and computer games. If you must have noise to sleep by try the radio a classical channel is the best.
Many things interfere with your sleep.. Several physical factors... arthritis, acid reflux with heartburn, menstruation, headaches and hot flashes (my mom let me in on this one). Psychological and mental health problems... depression, anxiety and stress are often associated with sleeping difficulty and can be a side effect of a sleep disorder. Talking with the appropriate professional will hopefully fix this. Many medications can cause sleeplessness be sure to check into all drug side effect that pertain to you. Your doctor or pharmacist sould be able to inform you of any conflict in medications.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Last edited by mkgbrook; 04-03-2007 at 07:39 AM.
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1) Exposure to light. It is helpful to expose yourself to bright light early in the day (by taking a walk in the sunshine, instance). On the flipside, exposure to bright light should be restricted in the hours immediately preceeding bedtime.
2) Temperature control. While warm showers right before bed work well for some people, they may have the opposite effect on others. What is important for sleep is that your body temperature be falling. So, if you like warm/hot showers, great, but they should be taken at least an hour before bedtime so that your body is cooling off when you hit the sack. For showers right before bedtime, try a cool shower. Cool showers work so much better for me than warm!
Again, GREAT JOB!
Last edited by Administrator; 05-27-2007 at 07:41 PM.