Many of my patients come to me complaining of feeling tired all of the time. They say they go to bed early yet still wake up tired. They complain of sleepless nights followed by a dragging, depressed, semi-alert feeling each day. Here are some tips for setting yourself up for the best possible night’s sleep. If these tips don’t work, or if your bed partner complains that the problem could be related to snoring, look into getting tested for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) a serious, yet treatable health concern. First, try these great tips for setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep!
Curtail the electronics before bed: You’re not the only one. Most of us use our phones, ipads, and computers in the hour before bed, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep In America poll. But did you know that the the blue light emitted from TV, laptop, tablet and smartphone screens disrupts the brain’s natural melatonin production and can trigger alertness, keeping you awake later?
Lose yourself in a book: Studies show that reading lowers stress levels quicker and more effectively than other common stress reducers, like walking or listening to music.Reading for six minutes eases the tension of stress in the our bodies.The faster you can de-stress, the faster you can fall asleep. Rather than carrying around all the stress of the day when you crawl into bed, picking up a book allows you to let go of the things hindering our minds and bodies from relaxing and sleeping well.
Give yourself enough time for a good night’s sleep: most people require about seven to nine hours to feel and function their best. Risk for a number of the serious consequences of short sleep, like heart problems and obesity, increases dramatically when people get fewer than six hours a night.
Watch what you eat and drink before bedtime: Experts recommend ditching caffeine six to eight hours before bed to make sure it’s out of your system by lights out time. Alcohol, while it can help lull you to sleep, is only disruptive later on in the night. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of fatty foods too close to bedtime, since they can lead to fewer hours of sleep, and sleep-disrupting issues like indigestion and acid reflux.
Don’t wait it out: Getting out of bed may be the last thing you feel like doing when counting sheep just won’t work, but it can actually help you fall back to sleep faster — and reduce the stress of staring at the clock.
Treat Your Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Make this the year you let us help you improve your sleep, your health and your relationships.