In my practice I see many patients that are suffering from chronic pain. One of the common health findings with all these patients is inadequate amount of sleep and/or poor quality of sleep. In other words, most of these patients often find that they are either not getting enough sleep or that they are not well rested. Medicinenet.com describes sleep as “a complex process of restoration and renewal for the body…..[Sleep is also] believed to be important in many physiologic processes including the processing of experiences and the consolidation of memories. ”
What are the effects of sleep deprivation on your health?
What are some tips for a better sleep?
It is very important to get adequate and good quality sleep for a better health. Here are 20 TIPS recommended to patients for getting a good night sleep.
- Let your daily stress out by RELAXING at nights.
- Increase exercise levels during the week. The more tired you get the better you’ll sleep.
- Avoid caffeine a few hours before sleep.
- Don’t drink alcohol before sleep. You might have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Do some light reading. Pick a book that doesn’t stimulate your brain too much. This helps relax the brain.
- Writing a journal or diary right before bed.
- Avoid watching tv or working on the computer right before bed. TV and computer screens stimulate the brain too much.
- Listen to soft music or relaxing music before bed.
- Put your work away at night at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.
- Sleep in a dark room. The darker the better. Wear eye masks if there is light coming into the room.
- Wear ear plugs if there is noise from the outside; or if your partner snores.
- Take a nice warm shower/bath before bed. This helps relax the body.
- Don’t eat at least 2-3 hours before sleep. Body’s metabolism slows down at night and especially during sleep so if there is food in the system to be digested it will take much longer and your body will be working all night long to digest the food.
- Go to the bathroom before you sleep to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.
- Wear socks if you get really cold feet at nights causing you to wake up.
- Change the temperature of the room to 18-22°C. Not too warm and not too cold is good.
- Create a sleeping routine and do it every night.
- Get a firm and comfortable mattress and pillow. This provides more support for the body and also decreases the amount of disturbance if your partner rolls and moves around too much at night.
- Eat healthier and avoid foods that upset the stomach.
- Plan and try to get between 6-8 hours per night. This is an average for adults.
It is important to consult your doctor if you are still experiencing sleep disturbance after making these changes. There might be other underlying factors such as adrenal insufficiency and hormonal imbalances that might cause sleep disturbances.