Resting Easy: Simple Steps to Improve Sleep
St. Mary's Sleep Center physician Dr. Kathryn Middleton shares her tried and true ways of getting better sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be tough. So when patients come to the St. Mary’s Sleep Center asking for advice on getting more restful sleep, we start with a look back at how well they slept as a ten-year-old child – before work and family stressors, financial concerns or physical ailments.
Most parents enforced “down time” before bedtime and we got up at a regular time for school. At age ten, we weren’t exposed to caffeine, alcohol or many medications. We can apply some of the same, simple principles to our adult lives to improve our ability to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after lunch, alcohol after dinner and exposure to computers or smart phones within two hours of bedtime.
- Keep the television out of the bedroom.
- Keep your room dark, cool and quiet.
- Keep naps short and take them in the middle of the afternoon.
- Try to avoid unpleasant phone calls and discussions close to bedtime.
If these suggestions don’t help, talk to your primary care physician to explore other health-related sleep issues.
How do you make bedtime a breeze? Share some of your sleep suggestions in the comments below.