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Changing Your Sleep Habits


The following are non-drug methods of dealing with insomnia. There are several steps you can take to beat insomnia. The ultimate goal is to regain control over your sleep by altering your attitudes about sleeplessness and by changing sleep habits known to contribute to insomnia.

The following are non-drug methods of dealing with insomnia. There are several steps you can take to beat insomnia. The ultimate goal is to regain control over your sleep by altering your attitudes about sleeplessness and by changing sleep habits known to contribute to insomnia.

  • Allow yourself at least one hour before bedtime to unwind.

    Use this time as a transitional period to engage in your pre-bedtime rituals such as reading, washing, or brushing your teeth. Do not rehash events of the day or plan tomorrow's schedule. No problem solving should be done as it will over stimulate you and interfere with falling asleep.

  • Lie down intending to go to sleep only when drowsy.

    There is no reason for going to bed if you are not sleepy. This gives you more time to worry about your inability to sleep and reinforces the negative association between your bedroom surroundings and wakefulness.

  • If you can't sleep, get out of bed.

    When you find yourself unable to sleep or return to sleep within a period of 10 - 15 minutes, get out of bed, go into another room, and engage in some quiet activity such as reading. Do not sleep on the couch. Return to bed only when sleepy again and repeat this step as often as necessary.

  • Maintain a regular time of getting up.

    Set your alarm clock and get out of bed at the same time every day. This should be done consistently regardless of the time you went to bed or the amount of sleep obtained on the previous night. This will help your body acquire a consistent sleep rhythm.

  • Reserve your bed and bedroom for sleeping only.

    Do not read, eat, watch TV, work, pay bills, or worry in your bed or bedroom either during the day or at night. Sex is the only exception to this rule. This will reinforce the bed/bedroom as a cue to sleep, not for non-sleep activities. 

  • Restrict the amount of time you spend in bed.

    People with insomnia frequently spend excessive amounts of time in bed to make sure they achieve adequate sleep. Excessive amounts of time spent in bed tend to exacerbate rather than alleviate your sleep problem. As your sleep improves, you can gradually increase the amount of time in bed. 

  • Limit daytime napping.

    Daytime napping is best avoided entirely. If you must nap, limit it to no more than 1 hour per day and should be taken well before your regular bed time to minimize interfering with your sleep.

 

 

 

 

 
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