Can’t Sleep? Try This.
average person should have at least 8 hours of solid sleep each night to
function well the next day.
If you can’t sleep, try these tips.*
- Plan your schedule for 8 hours of sleep.
- Maintain a regular wake time, 365 days/year.
- Go to bed only when you are drowsy.
- If you are in bed and can’t sleep for 20 minutes, get up, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity. Go to bed only when you are sleepy. Repeat if necessary.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex and recuperation.
- If you wake up to use the bathroom, avoid bright lights.
- Don’t nap during the day if you can’t sleep at night. If you nap, maintain a regular daily schedule and limit it to one hour max. Recommended time is mid-afternoon before 3 pm.
- Create a pre-sleep ritual such as a warm bath, light snack or 10 minutes of reading. However, avoid large meals before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly, but at least six hours before bedtime for rigorous exercise and four hours before bedtime for moderate exercise.
- Keep a regular schedule for meals, medications, chores and other activities to keep your internal “clock” running smoothly.
- Avoid caffeine for six hours before bedtime (coffee, tea, pop, chocolate, cocoa).
- Don’t drink alcohol when sleepy as it severely affects quality of sleep during the night and can promote insomnia.
- Avoid tobacco use close to bedtime or during the night.
- Use sleeping pills conservatively and for no more than two to three weeks. Tell your physician about any related breathing problems during sleep.
* Several tips from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
If you still have problems sleeping or feel chronically tired, you could have a serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and snoring, narcolepsy, insomnia, periodic limb movements or parasomnias such as sleepwalking or nightmares.
Left untreated, such disorders can lead to excessive fatigue, a wide variety of serious health conditions, and accidents at work, on the road or even at home.
If you have a problem with sleep, it’s time to wake up, talk to your physician and call the Center at 989.583.2930—you can rest assured with the Covenant HealthCare Sleep Center.