Question

Healthy Sleeping

What are some tactics that'll help me sleep better?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered

    Sleep medications may be helpful for some insomnia sufferers, but before you reach for the pills, consider some easy tips for better sleeping:

    Evaluate your sleep hygiene. Avoid watching TV, eating, or working in bed. Make the bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Keep the temperature a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house, and hide bedroom clocks so you're not constantly checking the time as you try to fall asleep. Try sticking to a sleep schedule and limiting naps or daytime sleeping.

    Get active. Thirty minutes of exercise each day (at least 5 to 6 hours before bedtime) will help you get more restful sleep at night.

    Avoid triggers. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine or large meals before bedtime can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep throughout the night. Though many people use alcohol to get to sleep initially, alcohol actually compromises the quality of sleep you get overnight. 

    Check your medications. Make sure they don't contain stimulants. Talk to your doctor about other options if you think your prescriptions are preventing you from getting good sleep.

    Stressful life events also commonly trigger insomnia. If you think anxiety is the underlying problem behind your insomnia, relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and deep breathing exercises may be helpful techniques to fight off tension at bedtime.

    Whatever the cause, insomnia can have devastating consequences on your health and quality of life. The key to relief is resolving the underlying cause.


    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    If you have trouble falling asleep, you may need to include some sleep tactics in your bag of bedroom tricks.
    Do nothing in your bedroom but sleep and have sex. If you work, watch TV, surf the Net on your laptop, or work out to fitness DVDs in the room, you're basically training your body to be alert in that bedroom space. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from the normal hustle and bustle of life.
    Practice good sleep hygiene. That means you should make a sleep schedule (plan your eight hours); before that eight hour period starts, give yourself 10 minutes to do the quick chores (like make lunch for the next day) absolutely needed for the next day, another 10 minutes for hygiene and 10 minutes for meditation (all before starting the eight hours). Some even dim the lights in their bedroom several hours before sleep to transition from artificial light to darkness. Another helper: Make sure your room is cool; the ideal sleep temp seems to be a room that's around 67? F.
    Add in a power nap. Just make sure to keep it under 30 minutes. Any longer than that and you'll slip into a stage of deeper sleep so close to the dreamy REM phase that when awoken from it, you'll feel hung over and drowsy (that feeling by the way, is called sleep inertia, and is associated with making bad financial judgments and getting into auto accidents). At less than 30 minutes, a nap can be invigorating.

  • AEdward Pearson, MD, Genetic Medicine, answered

    Agreed with both of the above expert opinions. However, in todays highly toxic, synthetic, and medicated world 3 basic processes need to occur to restore the ability for healthy deep sleep to occur easily.

     DETOXIFICATION:  of the excesses of chemicals, from medications to poisons, that are stimulatory in nature and stored deep within the fatty excesses (or natural tissues) of the system. Many of these are excitatory and never truly allow for a relaxed state. Of course, excess nicotine / sugar / caffeine don't help either

    HORMONAL BALANCING:  part of this falls back to the above and removing the excess stimulatory estrogen, leptin, and insulin from our systems. But also replenishing the nearly ubiquitously deficient relaxing hormones to our system (deficiencies once again caused by the excessive toxic interferences but also nutritional deficiencies and stress) have a TREMENDOUS and often nearly curative effect on sleep issues. Beginning with Androgens, these deficiencies also include Adrenal fatigue issues, Thyroid, and sometimes Growth Hormone and other more central nervous system fatigue / interference issues. Find a doctor proficient in optimal but conservative bio-identical hormonal balancing.

    NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY:  a functional biochemical analysis of your system will uncover other important and common relaxing nutrient deficiencies in your body. Restoring these efficiently, while learning how to follow a much more organic and balanced diet to remain in balance for the future, will have tremendous impacts not only on sleep but your future health and wellness, and overall vitality.

    There is really no one 'fix all' for sleep issues, and through an efficient but comprehensive healing program truly enjoyable sleep, and life, can be reclaimed.

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