Sleep Disorders Tips for Better Sleep

The Most Common Sleep Disorders

* Insomnia: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep on a regular basis with no apparent cause; un-refreshed sleep despite ample opportunity to sleep

* Sleep apnea: Common sleep disorder in which people stop breathing for brief periods throughout the night; the most common symptoms are loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness

* Restless legs syndrome (RLS): Common disorder in which "unpleasant" feelings in the legs (and sometimes arms) cause an almost irresistible urge to move the limbs; symptoms make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep

* Narcolepsy: Excessive daytime sleepiness with muscle weakness and/or falling asleep at inappropriate times and places; some people also experience sleep paralysis (temporary inability to move when falling asleep or waking) and vivid, often frightening dreams.

Tips to Help You Sleep:

* Good sleep hygiene habits to help all people sleep

* Develop a regular sleep schedule try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, even on weekends

* Create a good sleeping environment that is dark, quiet, cool, and free of distractions. If light bothers you, wear an eye mask and cover the windows. To drown out noise, run a fan or a white noise machine, or use earplugs. Keep the temperature cool to help signal the body that it is time to sleep. Turn the alarm clock away from the bed if it is a distraction

* Find a way to relax before going to bed, after you relax in a hot bath, your body temperature drops, signaling your body that it is time to sleep

* Develop a bedtime routine, try to do the same things every night before going to sleep so your body will make the connection between these things (such as a hot bath and reading for 10 minutes) and sleep.

* If you consume caffeine, do so early in the day and try to minimize the amount, caffeine is a stimulant and may disrupt sleep when taken within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime

* Avoid drinking alcohol before bed, while it may help you relax and fall asleep, it causes disrupted, often restless sleep

* Avoid nicotine, specially near bedtime and upon night awakenings, nicotine is a stimulant and the many dangers of smoking include the risk of falling asleep with a lit cigarette

* Avoid eating and drinking too much late in the evening. large meals can interfere with sleep and may cause discomfort and heartburn (the backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus); too much drinking right before bed may result in nighttime trips to the bathroom

* Try to limit napping during the day, especially after 3 PM, as it may make you less sleepy at night

* Try to get natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day; if you have trouble falling asleep, an hour of exposure in the morning can help regulate your daily sleep pattern

* Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes every day at least 3 hours before bedtime. late afternoon exercise may deepen sleep; however, vigorous exercise too close to bedtime may interfere with sleep.

* A light snack before bed, such as warm milk and a few crackers, may help you sleep

* Avoid worrying about things, especially sleep, and don't lie awake in bed, give yourself about 15 minutes to fall asleep; if you are not drowsy, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you are tired.

* Use your bedroom only for sleeping and sex, don't read or watch TV in bed, or eat or talk on the phone in bed

* Take an effective pain reliever if pain from conditions.

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