As we enter the new year and find ourselves reflecting, it is our hope that this article helps you sleep and rest better if you have been struggling with insomnia. People with insomnia often experience irregular sleep times, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, early awakening, daytime fatigue, excessive napping….and the list goes on. In fact, current statistics show that [Read more…]
In the fast-paced streets and schedules of New York City, it is no surprise that many New Yorkers find it difficult to get a restful night of sleep. To help you snooze successfully, here are some scientifically supported sleep hygiene tips to help you fall and stay asleep:
- Maintain regular bed and rise times. Try to go to sleep and to wake at regular times each day, including weekends. Given that weekend routines can often deviate from weekday routines, a good rule of thumb is to rise no more than 2 hours later on a weekend morning compared to weekday mornings. A second rule of thumb is to maintain strict rise times no matter the bed times. So that means no matter how late the party ended on Saturday night, you must still rise and shine as close to your regular rise time on Sunday morning! These two simple rules reset our circadian clock each morning and allow us to achieve consolidated sleep at bedtime throughout the week.
Insomnia and alcohol
For those of us who have trouble falling asleep at night, one often enjoyable fix can be an alcoholic beverage. “A glass of wine puts me right to sleep,” say many insomnia sufferers glad to have found a seeming solution. This may be true, but it will typically not lead to sustained and undisturbed sleep though the night. (One obvious drawback to using alcohol to get to sleep is the likelihood of needing to get up during the night to use the bathroom. For some insomnia sufferers it can be difficult to get back to sleep afterwards.)
Even people who drink more than the recommended maximum of seven drinks per week for women — fourteen for men — need not let alcohol interfere with sleep. It’s drinking close to bedtime that is most problematic. If alcohol is consumed several hours earlier, it will have much less of an effect on nighttime sleep than if consumed just before going to bed.
Many people with insomnia fail to recognize the impact of napping and dozing on nighttime sleep. It is tempting for people with insomnia, after a bad night’s sleep, to try to take advantage of opportunities to sleep when they can, even if it’s a mid-morning nap. The problem with napping is that when we nap for more than 25 or 30 minutes, we enter into slow wave sleep. This type of sleep will interfere with nighttime sleep because our bodies only need so much of it per day. So is [Read more…]
Recognizing the amount of sleep our body needs is an important part of managing insomnia. Many, but not all, insomnia sufferers have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
There can be several reasons for this type of problem. One possibility is that the sufferer is overestimating how much sleep his or her body needs. For example, let’s say your body needs [Read more…]