Taking steps to change your behavior in the hours leading up to bedtime may be all it takes to get a good night’s rest. Experts suggest the following:
- Don’t have anything with caffeine after the noon hour.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol near bedtime.
- Don’t eat a large meal near bedtime, but don’t go to bed hungry, either.
- Some medicines may cause insomnia-talk with your doctor about finding something that won’t keep you up.
- Try taking a soothing shower or warm bath before bed.
- Sleep in a quiet, comfortable, and slightly cool room.
- Avoid taking naps during the day.
- Exercise in the morning or during the middle of the day.
- Make a sleep schedule-go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time.
- Practice deep-breathing techniques or meditation to relax before sleep.
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Then go back to bed. You might also benefit from keeping a sleep diary. This can help pinpoint a potential cause of insomnia. If your sleeplessness persists longer than a month, it may signal a greater problem. Chronic insomnia can be triggered by a number of causes, such as stress or menopause. It has been linked to serious disorders such as depression, heart disease, and an overactive thyroid.
Talk to you doctor about your sleep habits today. For a complimentary referral to a physician near you, click here or call 1-800-681-2733.