- Get up at the same time every day of the week. This strengthens the body’s natural cycle and leads to regular sleep patterns.
- Daily exercise may deepen sleep, although occasional exercise does not necessarily improve your sleep.
- Insulate your bedroom against sounds.
- Keep the bedroom temperature moderate. An excessively warm room disturbs sleep.
- Hunger may disturb sleep; a light snack at bedtime may help.
- Avoid excessive liquids in the evening to prevent awakening to urinate.
- An occasional sleeping pill may help sleep. However, chronic use of these is ineffective for most insomniacs.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening. Caffeine can disturb sleep even when people do not realize it.
- Avoid alcohol in the evening. Alcohol helps tense people fall asleep easier, but the sleep following is fragmented.
- Chronic use of tobacco disturbs sleep and should be avoided.
- If you feel angry or frustrated because you can’t sleep, do not try harder to fall asleep. Instead, leave the bedroom and read a book or magazine. Do not do any stimulating activity. Return to bed when you are sleepy. Get up at your regular time no matter how little you’ve slept.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping after trying these tips for several weeks, contact the Sleep Lab at Winneshiek Medical Center. Our staff is available to help you get a better night’s sleep and function better during the day. Call us at 563-382-2911.
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Asleep at the wheel
Darla Jones had coped with her sleep disorder for over a year. She says, “Every woman experiences stress in her life. Keeping a family together, working full time – I never thought my fatigue was anything different than what other women experience.”