Saturday, November 8, 2008

Getting a Better Night's Sleep by Dr. Donnica Moore, M.D.

  • Practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time each night. 

  • Wake up at the same time every morning. 

  • Avoid naps unless they are scheduled to make up for a sleep deficit the night before. 

  • Avoid caffeine for 8 hrs before bedtime. 

  • Avoid nicotine. 

  • Avoid late night sugar snacks. 

  • Limit alcohol to fewer than 2 drinks. 

  • Get regular exercise. 

  • Establish a pre-bed routine. 

  • Avoid watching TV in bed. 

  • Avoid large evening meals and spicy or greasy foods that might give you an upset stomach or indigestion. 

  • Aim for a dark, quiet sleep environment with a comfortable temperature and humidity. 

  • Avoid crash diets or skipping meals. 

  • Use reliable sleep aids when necessary:  decaffeinated hot tea, milk, a warm bath, a massage, and sexual activities are great sleep inducers. 

  • Melatonin is a popular over-the-counter sleep aid, but has been shown to have a weak effect in sleep disturbances other than jet lag. 

  • If these practices still don't offer the sleep you need, talk to your doctor about an evaluation of the problem and short-term prescription drug therapy.