Sleep Facts ::
Practices Conducive to Good Sleep:
- Try to sleep when you are drowsy.
- If you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when – and only when – you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night.
- Maintain a regular arise time, even on days off work and on weekends.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
- Avoid napping during the daytime. If daytime sleepiness becomes overwhelming, limit nap time to a single nap of less than one hour, no later than 3 pm.
- Distract your mind. Lying in bed unable to sleep and frustrated needs to be avoided. Try reading or watching a videotape or listening to books on tape. It may be necessary to go into another room to do these.
- Avoid caffeine within four to six hours of bedtime.
- Avoid the use of nicotine close to bedtime or during the night.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages within four to six hours of bedtime.
- While a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals.
- Avoid strenuous exercise within six hours of bedtime.
- Minimize light, noise, and extremes in temperature in the bedroom.
Signs of obstructive sleep apnea
- Pauses in breathing in between snoring
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day
- Poor judgment or trouble concentrating
- Personality changes (irritability)
- Short term memory loss
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain (or obesity)
- Large neck size
- Crowded airway (enlarged tonsils or uvula, deviated septum)
- Morning headaches
- Sexual dysfunction
- Frequent urination at night
Sleep Hygiene Rules
- Stick to a regular schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- Be consistent about taking naps: Take one every afternoon or not at all. People who
take a nap once in a while usually find they do not sleep well that night.
- Exercise regularly in the morning or early afternoon, but do not engage in strenuous
physical activity just before bedtime.
- Stay away from caffeine-containing drinks after about 4:00 p.m.
- Avoid alcohol after the dinner hour. Instead of promoting sleep, a nightcap actually
disturbs sleep patterns and can cause early morning awakenings.
- Be careful about sleeping pills. These medications should not be taken for more than
four weeks. Longer use leads to increased insomnia.
- Find the right room temperature for you and maintain it throughout the night.
- Try to relax before going to bed: Take a warm bath, read a light novel, listen to
music, avoid stressful thoughts.
- The bedroom should be dark and relatively free of noise.
- Do not eat heavily just before going to bed.
- Use the bedroom for only sex and sleep.
- Go to sleep when you are sleepy, don’t force yourself to sleep.
- Further information can be found in “ No More Sleepless Nights”, by
Dr. Peter Hauri. This can be found at most book stores, but you must
ask for it in order to locate it.