Helping Yourself to a Good Night's Sleep
From the National Sleep Foundation.
Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common problem. About half of Americans report sleep difficulty at least occasionally, according to National Sleep Foundation surveys. These woes - called insomnia by doctors - have far-reaching effects: a negative impact on concentration, productivity and mood.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep. The first step requires some detective work. You'll need to examine your diet, exercise patterns, sleeping environment, personal habits, lifestyle and current concerns. As you begin to see the connection between, for example, what and/or when you eat and nights of poor sleep, you can develop your own good sleep plan.
Keep in mind that good sleep doesn't always just happen. Like a successful play, a restful night of ZZZs demands a strong director's hand and a stage set appropriately. If you've been sleeping poorly for some time, you may have fallen into some bad sleep habits that reinforce your problem. Learn more at Healthy Sleep Tips.
How Can You Relax? Relaxing may mean choosing the bedtime ritual that's right for you. Does gentle music lull you to sleep? A tape of nature sounds? A calming soak in a warm bath or hot tub? Cozy pajamas? Cuddling with your partner? Meditation or a prayer? Find what works for you...and do it!
If you find your thoughts turning to worries when bedtime approaches, keep a worry book by your bedside. Jot down a brief note about what's on your mind. Schedule time the next day to focus on the problem and a solution. Problems often seem smaller in the daylight. However, if problems persist, consider talking to your doctor or a psychotherapist.
Getting Help. If your sleep problem persists, there may be an underlying cause that can be successfully treated or controlled once properly diagnosed. Call your personal physician or McKenzie-Willamette's Sleep Solutions Center, 744-8525, to schedule an evaluation.