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Please complete the Berlin Questionnaire by
will help the physician get vital answers
concerning "quality" of your sleep.
Trouble sleeping? You are not
alone. Millions of people have difficulty falling
asleep or staying asleep. The following tips have
been found to work for many people who have trouble
For several hours before bedtime,
avoid alcohol; beverages with caffeine;
chocolate; heavy, spicy, sugary, or sugar-filled
foods; and smoking. They can affect your ability
to fall asleep or enjoy deep sleep.
Regular exercise, particularly in
the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. However,
strenuous exercise right before sleep can
prevent you from falling asleep.
Restrict fluids right before bed.
Try to establish a schedule where
you go to sleep and get up at the same times
every day. This will put your body into a good
Bedding that is uncomfortable can
prevent good sleep. Evaluate whether or not this
is a source of your problem, and make
If your bedroom is too cold or
too hot, it can keep you awake. Find a
comfortable temperature setting for sleeping,
and keep the room well ventilated.
Block out all distracting noise,
and eliminate as muck light as possible.
Use your bed for sleep and sex
and not as an office or recreation room. Let
your body "know" that the bed is associated with
Getting ready for sleep
Warm mild and foods such as
bananas are high in the amino acid tryptophan,
which may help you sleep.
Relaxation techniques before
retiring may relieve anxiety and reduce muscle
tension. Leave your worries about job or family
for another time.
Pre-sleep rituals such as warm
bath or a few minutes of reading can help you.
Get into your favorite sleeping
position. If you don't fall asleep within 15 to
30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and
read or watch TV until sleepy.
Several physical reasons are
known to upset sleep, such as arthritis,
heartburn, menstruation, headache, and hot
flashes. Sleeping difficulties also are
associated with psychological factors such as
depression, stress, and concern or worry about
problems. Your physician can help determine the
problem and best treatments.
Many medications can cause
sleeplessness as a side effect. Ask your doctor
or pharmacist about this possibility.
To help overall improvement in
sleep patterns, your physician for short-term
relief of sleep problems may prescribe sleep
medications. Always follow the advice of your
physician and other healthcare professionals.
The goal is to rediscover how to
These tips will help most
individuals but not everyone. If you still have
difficulty sleeping after following these
suggestions, please see your physician. The
cause of your sleeping difficulty may be serious
enough to warrant medical attention.
Here are some more Tips that may help.
Sleep is as important as food and air.
Quantity and quality are very important.
Most adults need between 7.5 to 8.5
hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you
press the snooze button on the alarm in
the morning you are not getting enough
sleep. This could be due to not enough
time in bed, external disturbances, or a
Keep regular hours. Try to go to
bed at the same time and get up at the
same time every day. Getting up at the
same time is most important. Getting
bright light, like the sun, when you get
up will also help. Try to go to bed only
when you are sleepy. Bright light in the
morning at a regular time should help
you feel sleepy at the same time every
Keep a worry journal. Many times
thoughts and thinking will keep us from
relaxing and getting to sleep. Try
keeping a small notebook next to you
with a pen and when thinking or thoughts
persist write them down using a book
light or another source of dim light.
Writing them down will help to forget
about them and allow for a peaceful
Frequent trips to bathroom.
First, if you need to get up to use the
bathroom avoid bright light. Keep mini
flashlight next to your bed and use it
to navigate your way to the bathroom.
There are several things that can cause
bathroom trips during sleep. Avoid
fluids prior to and during the night.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes
frequent urination during the night and
may need to be considered. Another
possibility can be an enlarged
prostrate. If you are avoiding fluids
and still have the problem you should
talk to your doctor.
Dealing with noise . If you live
near a busy street or have problems
dealing with any type of noise consider
a white noise generator. No need to
spend a lot of money on a electronic
system, an old fan puts out great white
noise. White noise masks disruptive
Stay away from stimulants like
caffeine. This will help you get
deep sleep which is most refreshing. If
you take any caffeine, take it in the
morning. Avoid all stimulants in the
evening, including chocolate,
caffeinated sodas, and caffeinated teas.
They will delay sleep and increase
arousals during the night.
Use the bed for sleeping. Avoid
watching TV or using laptop computers.
Know that reading in bed can be a
problem if the material is very
stimulation and you read with a bright
light. If it helps to read before sleep
make sure you use a very small wattage
bulb to read. A 15 watt bulb should be
enough. Bright light from these
activities may inhibit sleep.
Use the bed for sleeping Part 2.
For many people sex should be avoided in
the bed. Performance issues can cause
anxiety and stress, one partner may be
ready for sleep while the other feels
neglected, etc. These experiences can
create anxiety towards the bed. If you
prefer having sex in the bed it should
happen earlier in the day so it isn't
connected to a relaxing preparation for
Avoid bright light around the house
Using dimmer switches in living rooms
and bathrooms for a few hours before bed
can be helpful. Dim light helps the
brain produce melatonin. (Dimmer
switches can be set to maximum
brightness for morning routines.)
Keep bedroom dark .
Using Even a night light can disturb
sleep. Use light blocking curtains on
your windows to block outside light if
Don't stress if you feel you are not
getting enough sleep. It will just
make matters worse. Know you will sleep
Avoid exercise near bedtime. No
exercise at least 3 hours before bed.
Don't go to bed hungry. Have a
light non-spicy snack, avoid a heavy
meal before bed.
Bedtime routines are helpful for good
sleep. Keep routines on your normal
schedule. A cup of herbal tea an hour
before bed can begin a routine.
Avoid looking at the clock if you
wake up in the middle of the night. It
can cause anxiety. This is very
difficult for most of us, so turn the
clock away from your eyes so you would
have to turn it to see the time. You may
decide not to make the effort and go
right back to sleep.
If you can't get to sleep for over 30
get out of bed and do something boring
in dim light till you are sleepy.
Keep your bedroom at comfortable
temperature. Not too warm and not
too cold. Cooler is better than warmer.
Know that the "night cap" has a price.
Alcohol may help you to get to sleep but
it will cause you to wake up throughout
the night. You may not notice it. (It is
worse if you have sleep apnea because
the alcohol makes the apnea worse.)
Sometimes people snore only if they have
had some alcohol or may snore worse if
they already snore.)
If you have a sleeping partner,
ask them if they notice any snoring, leg
movements and/or pauses in breathing .
Take this information and try the sleep
test. You may have a sleep disorder or
you may just need to increase your
awareness about your own sleep need. If
you have any concerns see your doctor.
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