Tips For The Insomniacs….

June 11, 2008

One of the common complaints I get from my patients is the inability to sleep.  It may seem so simple but if you are an insomniac, trying to sleep can be a torture.  We all know sleep debt makes us feel weak and sluggish.  But what is not known is that sleep debt can lead to chronic illnesses like an increased risk to develop diabetes and heart disease.

So what should an insomniac do?

Here are some simple tips from the Harvard Health Letter…

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 Changing your behavior, rather than medication, may be the first step to a better night’s sleep. And surprisingly, for chronic insomnia, the best treatment may be to cut back on the time you spend trying to sleep.

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People with insomnia often find that spending less time in bed promotes more restful sleep and helps make the bedroom a welcome sight instead of a torture chamber. As you learn to fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly, the time in bed is slowly extended until you obtain a full night’s sleep.

Some sleep experts suggest starting with five or six hours at first, or whatever amount of time you typically sleep at night. Setting a rigid early morning waking time often works best. If the alarm is set for 7 a.m., a five-hour restriction means that no matter how sleepy you are, you must stay awake until 2 a.m. Once you are sleeping well during the allotted five hours, you can add another 15 or 30 minutes, then repeat the process until you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep.

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Hope this simple formula can work well for you.  If we can do this without any dependence to medications, the better. 

Lastly…Dont go to bed if you’re not sleepy! Dont watch TV! Read a book instead on a dim lighted area favorably with a yellow light! Asscociate your bed with sleep.  Enjoy every minute of your time with your bed.  Dont think of it as a torture chamber!  Just hug your pillow and think about how nice it is to sleep.  Dont think otherwise or you will really find yourself wondering… why you’re still awake and the more you think about it…. the more you will feel frustrated about not going to sleep.

Good Sleep Keeps You Fit!

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