Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rules for Better Sleep

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Mom has trouble sleeping occasionally. Her geriatric doctor has prescribed a sleep inducing medicine to relieve her of the distress it brings to her. It causes uneasiness, irritation and discomfort. Often, she would talk almost endlessly the whole night, recalling the memories of her younger days. Sometimes, it pains me to see her that way. 

Recently, I have read a short article about sleeping disorder and I’ve thought of sharing it hear. If there are people out there who are experiencing a sleeping disorder, these simple rules could be of good help.

  • Sleep only as much as needed to feel refreshed during the following day. Extended sleep will only lead to fragmented and shallow sleep. Restricting time in bed will lead to a consolidated sleep.
  • Get up the same time each morning, weekdays and weekends. Regular wake-up time will lead to regular sleep onset times.
  • Regular exercise in the morning deepens sleep. Exercising in the evening is stimulating and may lead to delay in sleep onset.
  • Proper sleep environment is conducive to sleep. Avoid extreme temperature, bright light and noise in the bedroom.
  • Late snack may promote sleep onset in some patients. Hunger or excessive fullness can disturb sleep. A cup of warm milk, a banana or a cookie is sufficient to quell hunger pains at night.
  • Avoid drinking excessive liquids at night to minimize the need to get up to go to the bathroom. Getting up (at most twice) in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom is not unusual as long as you are able to go back to sleep.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol and caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, colas) in the evening. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulating. Alcohol may initially promote sleep, however, it leads to a fragmented sleep.
  • Bed is only for sleep and sex (conducive to sleep). Remove from the bedroom all stimuli not associated with sleep. Activities like watching TV, eating and drinking, arguments, discussing and days problems and working may interfere with sleep onset.

to be continued...

Compiled by Manalastas, R. Rules for Better Sleep
Comprehensive Sleep Disorder Center,
St. Luke’s Medical Center

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