Improving and Maintaining Healthy Sleep Habits

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Here is an example of a normal sleep and wake cycle. No matter what time a person plans to go to bed the brain releases more melatonin which makes. you sleepy when it gets dark outside 1 2 This helps most people sleep at night and stay awake during. the day If a person is around bright lights at night the brain will not release very much melatonin. Bright light sources include indoor lights as well as screens from a TV computer tablet or phone. Cortisol a key stress hormone goes down overnight and then spikes in the morning to help get. your mind and body going for the day It can also spike during the day if needed or as a response to. stress If you are stressed or unable to calm down in the evening your cortisol level may stay high. and keep melatonin from being released in the brain This is one reason why it is important to find. good ways to relax and manage stress during the day so your daytime worries don t keep you from. sleeping overnight 1 9, When we get older sleep is not as deep and it is common to wake up more often during the night 10. This is partly because our bodies make less melatonin and growth hormone but also because of an. increased need to urinate at night When we age our brain makes less antidiuretic hormone a. hormone that controls how much water is in our urine especially at night We produce more urine so. we have to get up once or twice If the signal comes more than once or twice it is likely that we really. do NOT have to urinate and can just try to go back to sleep. Older age makes sleep apnea stopping breathing in your sleep for short amounts of time more. common More than 2 3 of us have it 11 Treatment may consist of sleeping on your side CPAP air is. pushed into the nose by a machine to keep airflow going or weight loss Decreasing apnea can. improve memory mood and other areas of health 12 Restless legs are also common as we age. Exercise during the day and pedaling a cycle before going to bed help Another non medical. treatment is a vibrating pad that slows and stops automatically when we are asleep Talk with your. health care provider if you think you have apnea or restless legs. Are there medications or supplements that can interfere with sleep. There are several medicines supplements and substances that can get in the way of a good night s. sleep If you are taking any of these it may be worth talking with your health care team to see if a. different medicine or lower dose could help improve your sleep 1 2 14 16. Improving and Maintaining,Healthy Sleep Habits 2,PATIENT HANDOUT. University of Wisconsin Integrative Health,www fammed wisc edu integrative. Medicines That Can Make It Hard To Sleep, or Limit How Much Melatonin Your Brain Lets Out at Night. Amphetamines methylphenidate dextroamphetamine other medicines to treat ADD or ADHD. Antidepressants many classes ask your health care team. Asthma rescue inhalers albuterol, Beta Blockers atenolol bisoprolol carvedilol labetalol metoprolol propranolol.
Decongestants phenylephrine ephedrine, Diuretics also called water pills especially if taken at night furosemide torsemide. bumetanide metolazone chlorthalidone hydrochlorothiazide spironolactone triamterene. Histamine blockers ranitidine famotidine and antihistamines loratadine fexofenadine. cetirizine, Steroids prednisone prednisolone betamethasone cortisone dexamethasone fluticasone. mometasone, Some thyroid replacement medicines liothyronine natural and other thyroid supplements. containing T3 tri iodothyronine, Supplements and Other Substances That May Make It Hard to Sleep. Caffeine including coffee green black tea sodas energy drinks. Nicotine tobacco, Weight loss supplements Ma huang ephedra bitter orange.
What are some conditions that make insomnia worse, Here are some medical conditions that can affect a person s ability to get good sleep If you have any. of these it does not mean that you will never be able to sleep well It does mean that you may need. to try several approaches i e not only a medicine or only supplements etc 1 5. Anxiety panic disorders or PTSD,Asthma emphysema COPD and other lung diseases. Depression,Diseases of the central nervous system,Heart failure. Pain any cause, Restless leg syndrome periodic limb movement disorder. Sleep apnea,Substance abuse,Improving and Maintaining.
Healthy Sleep Habits 3,PATIENT HANDOUT,University of Wisconsin Integrative Health. www fammed wisc edu integrative, What is an integrative approach to treating insomnia. The best way to improve your sleep habits is through a healthy lifestyle This will raise your melatonin. at night and lower your cortisol stress hormone in the evening and help to keep it at a healthy level. all the time 1 4 5 It will help to balance out your body chemistry in many other ways as well. Take steps to allow your own hormones to come into balance Listed below are some of the most. effective changes you can make that will help you sleep both longer and better Create a plan for. yourself Change the habits that you can one at a time Do not try to do too many new things at. once 1 2 4 5 What you do related to where and how you sleep is called your sleep hygiene. Recognize that you may not be able to do this alone Research tells us that one of the most. helpful ways to fight insomnia and restore a healthy sleep pattern is to get insomnia focused. counseling This is called cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia or CBT I There is more. information about this below,Regularly spend time outdoors or in bright light. Exercise daily There is good evidence that regular exercise improves restful sleep and it. helps people feel more awake during the day, Get up from bed at the same time each day no matter what. Keep a sleep diary The National Sleep Foundation has an example of a good one on their. website https sleepfoundation org sleep diary SleepDiaryv6 pdf Track your sleep then talk. about this information with your health care team,Eat fresh foods that are healthy for you.
Reduce stress Find ways to regularly relax, Cut out bright lights an hour before bed Dim inside lights turn off the TV or wear sunglasses. inside if others object to the low lighting, Develop a relaxing pre bedtime routine just before going to sleep Some ideas listen to a. recording of guided imagery practice a muscle relaxation exercise massage tense muscles. take a warm bath etc, As the temperature drops at night our brain gets the signal that it is time to go to sleep Turn. down the thermostat at night to lower the temperature If drinking something hot or taking a. hot bath or shower at night do so at least an hour before bed to allow for a drop in body. temperature, Go to bed at the same time each day no matter what. Keep the bedroom quiet when sleeping or use a source of white noise e g a fan white. noise recordings, Keep the bedroom dark to facilitate sleep This increases production of melatonin the sleep.
Use your bed only for sleep and sex, Remove electrical devices from around your head when you sleep e g radios cell phones. outlet connectors Easy access to your phone or tablet may cause you to use it more in bed. This can lower melatonin levels both from the light of the screen and any stress that may be. related to your interactions,Improving and Maintaining. Healthy Sleep Habits 4,PATIENT HANDOUT,University of Wisconsin Integrative Health. www fammed wisc edu integrative, Keep your feet and hands warm Wear warm socks and or mittens or gloves to bed if your feet. and hands tend to be cold, What doesn t work for my mind and body Remove barriers that may be.
preventing a good night s sleep 1 5, Try not to engage in stimulating activity just before bed such as playing a competitive game. watching something exciting on television or having an important discussion with a loved one. Do not have caffeine in the evening coffee many teas chocolate soda etc. Avoid watching television or using your phone tablet in bed and reading material that excites you. or wakes you up, Do not use alcohol to help you sleep Alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle and suppresses REM. sleep which can contribute to depression,Do not go to bed too hungry or too full. Stay away from daytime naps If napping subtract that time from night time sleep total. Do not try to command yourself to go to sleep or worry about not sleeping This only makes your. mind and body more alert and often upset Research shows us that worrying about not sleeping. actually makes it harder to sleep Remember that there are several safe remedies and. approaches to help you sleep, Try to steer clear of medicines supplements and substances that can make it difficult to get good. What are some integrative things to try if I still can t sleep. Following are the top three most effective ways to fight insomnia. 1 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia CBT I, The first step is to see what is really happening Fill out a sleep diary for a week An.
example of a good one is available from the website of the National Sleep Foundation. https sleepfoundation org sleep diary SleepDiaryv6 pdf. The next steps involve visits with a trained counselor CBT I works because it takes into. account a person s health medicines habits thoughts and feelings and helps to make a. sleep plan that is tailored just for you It may include some of the sleep hygiene techniques. listed above It often includes practicing relaxation techniques setting specific sleep hours. and using techniques that help calm the mind and reduce nighttime and daytime stress. The counselor will also help set up a plan for what to do if sleep problems come back. CBT I is very safe and the skills learned in this type of therapy can help you for years to. 2 Melatonin supplements A melatonin supplement helps boost the levels of the rest related. hormone made in the brain People generally do well starting at 1 mg each night Many people do. better on smaller rather than larger doses For this reason it may help to try 1 2 mg or 1 4 mg at. night if the full 1 mg dose does not help at first It is safe to increase the dose up to 10 mg if. needed Try the same dose every night for 1 2 weeks and see how it works It is important to. take melatonin at least 60 90 minutes before going to bed and 7 8 hours before you plan to wake. up 1 3 5 15,Improving and Maintaining,Healthy Sleep Habits 5. PATIENT HANDOUT,University of Wisconsin Integrative Health. www fammed wisc edu integrative, 3 Music Therapy Music can affect people s physical bodies as well as concentration feelings. mood and overall well being It can be played or listened to and is quite safe For some it works. best to use calming music Others find that it helps to play music to match their mood at first and. then transition to calmer more restful music 1 2 4 6. What are some other techniques to help with sleep, Make the bed a place for sleeping If lying in bed awake for more than 20 30 minutes get up. and go to a different room or different part of the bedroom Participate in a quiet activity e g. reading that does not wake you up too much Then return to bed when you feel sleepy Do this. as many times during the night as needed 1 2 4 6, Guided imagery visualization recordings Listening to these helps you relax They.
may also help your mind to process stress more easily 1 4 5 There are many good and. free options Try the following, o www fammed wisc edu mindfulness meditation podcast series. o http www healthjourneys com kaiser download download healthfulSleep asp. Biofeedback The idea behind biofeedback is to become more aware of heart rate breathing. patterns and other body functions that you might not always be noticing As you become more. aware you learn to have more control over these functions Biofeedback devices can help you. move your body from a fight or flight state to a place of more relaxation Biofeedback is also. used for several other purposes including better mood focus blood flow and overall well being. Many biofeedback devices can be purchased online including the Stress Eraser HeartMath and. many others 1 2 4 6, Healing Touch and other self care biofield approaches These can easily and safely be done. before bed or on an as needed basis to help manage stress and support your body s own ability. to rest and heal itself 3 5 One example called the Self Chakra Connection is included here. https www healingtouchprogram com content assets docs current Self CC handout1 pdf. Progressive muscle relaxation PMR This is a technique that involves tensing specific muscle. groups and then relaxing them to create awareness of tension and relaxation It is called. progressive because it proceeds through all major muscle groups relaxing them one at a time It. eventually leads to relaxation of all your muscles You Must Relax is a helpful book by the. developer of this technique Edmund Jacobson 1 2 4 6. Step 1 Find a comfortable position You may lie down Loosen any tight clothing Close your eyes. and be quiet, Step 2 Assume a passive accepting attitude Focus on yourself and on getting full relaxation in. specific body muscles Tune out all other thoughts, Step 3 Tense and relax each muscle group as follows. o Forehead Wrinkle your forehead try to make your eyebrows touch your hairline for five. seconds Relax and allow those muscles to loosen,Improving and Maintaining.
Healthy Sleep Habits 6,PATIENT HANDOUT,University of Wisconsin Integrative Health. No matter what time a person plans to go to bed the brainreleases more melatonin which makes you sleepy when it gets dark outside 1 2 This helps most people sleep at night and stay awake during

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