Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Keep Your Sleep Clean as a Whistle - Tips on Sleep Hygiene for the Insomniac

More and more patients are coming into the office looking for a quick fix for their "insomnia".

Inability to sleep can be due to many reasons, but medications are not always the only solution or the best solution. 

Here are some lifestyle modifications to try at home when you're having difficulty catching some z's:

1) Only go to bed when you are tired. Don't force it! If 20 minutes has passed and you still aren't sleeping, get out of bed and go to another room.
2) Keep a regular sleep schedule. I.e. if you have to be up at 5am on the weekdays, staying out till all hours of the night on the weekends isn't going to help you.
3) Once you feel rested, get up! Don't sleep your life away. 
4) Quit the bad stuff: don't smoke, drink, or have coffee before bed. Actually, don't even have a coffee after lunch. Also, quit taking naps!
5) Do the good stuff: exercise 20 minutes a day, 4-5 times per week, eat healthy and don't go to bed famished
6) Deal with your worries before bed. Rumination can keep you up all night. 
7) All in all, think of your bed as a sacred space that can only be used for sleep and sex. Don't read, watch tv, look at your phone or do anything else in your extra special sleep zone. 
8) See your doctor if you still can't sleep. 

Sweet dreams everyone!



Stephanski EJ, Wyatt JK. Use of sleep hygiene in the treatment of insomnia. Sleep Med Rev. 2003; 7(3):215. 
Bootzin RR, Perlis ML. Nonpharmacologic Treatments of insomnia. J Clin Psychiatry. 1992 Jun;53 Suppl:37. 

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