Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sleep Better

We hear that there is strong links between adequate sleep and good health. However, if you are often sleepy during the day, you may be like many who informed one or more signs of sleep problems. The indicators consist of:

• waking often during the night, or waking early and being unable to return to sleep

• pauses in breathing while sleeping

• feeling tired much of the time or discomfort in the legs while resting

• feeling irritable without immediate reason, depressed or confused

If you have sleep disorder, you may ask yourself whether something occuring in your life that may be causing the problem. If possible, it may resolve itself. If the problem doesn’t work itself out, talk with your doctor. He or she might prescribe medicine or tests to decide if you have a sleep disorder.

Try keeping a sleep log for a week before you see the doctor. Record the amount of sleep you get nightly, your fatigue level for each day, and any other symptoms you have and then share the information with the doctor.

Here is several changes in your behavior that can help you sleep

longer and better:

• Getting exercise in the afternoon several hours before bedtime.

• Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine or alcohol in the late evening.

• Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

• Using your bed only for sleep or sexual activity.

• Relaxation training.

• Counseling to help you change any ways of thinking that might contribute to poor sleep.

• Consider a nap carefully. A short nap (30 minutes or less) in the afternoon may give you more energy during the second part of your day, but that daytime sleep does affect nighttime sleep. Taking a nap may cause you to take longer time to fall asleep or sleep for a shorter period of time that night.

• If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes of lying in bed, just get up and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading or listening to relaxing music. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, repeat this procedure.

Source: Senior Hotline 13/I January-March 2007

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