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Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to get a good night's sleep

Everyone should be getting 7 -9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. This also includes Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors. I used to sleep 4-6 hours per night (I mean before I started working on good sleep hygiene and before the doctor prescribed me sleeping pills, but after my car accident) - I kiss Ambien for improving my quality of life!

I try to organize my sleep according to the following five rules. I saw a nice improvement in my quality and length of sleep when I started using this list. Now I take Ambien (just 5 mg) every night and this combined with the below hygiene list and WOW. GEEZE. HOT-DIGGITY. I feel like a normal woman most of the time. I'm practically the Jennifer Mosher that I used to be!
  1. Create a regular sleep routine. Stick to going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. Some people find that setting a bedtime alarm as well as a morning alarm is a good reminder of when it’s time to go to sleep. You’ll find that once your body adjusts to a regular routine, you’ll start to wake up refreshed.
  2. Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex only. Avoid stressful, sleep-robbing activities, such as watching TV news or scary movies, (or paying bills!). Some people find that a hot bath or soothing music before bedtime helps. If insomnia does strike, leave the bed and walk around for a while.
  3. Don’t go to bed hungry. Enjoy a high-protein snack, such as, reduced-fat cheese, a slice of deli turkey, or reduced-fat yogurt and a few nuts before going to bed.
  4. Avoid caffeinated beverages or other foods containing caffeine after about noon, and limit alcohol in the evening. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, and while alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep initially, it also causes more frequent nighttime awakenings.
  5. Refrain from exercise three hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is encouraged during the day because it can give you more energy and help you sleep better at night, but it also releases the hormone epinephrine, which can make you more alert. That’s why it’s best to exercise earlier rather than later if you suffer from insomnia.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Good tips, I will definitely try them for myself, though kids don't seem to care if they interrupt my sleep. The one I was grateful to see was the insomnia/get out of bed. I get mad when I am awake and can't go or get back to sleep and I feel like if I get out of bed I am just rewarding myself, but really I shouldn't stay there and think about how I can't sleep. Thanks!