By Dr. Robert Brown
Sometimes life is not a bowl of cherries, as was said in an old song. Our daily challenges can result in stress and responsibilities that can fill our minds with so much that getting a good night’s sleep can be really tough. Here are some tips that have proven to be useful.
- Try to have a natural rhythm to your activities.
- Do your best to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
- Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends or after staying up late.
- Fight after dinner drowsiness. An activity or hobby that is not too stimulating or talking to a friend can help.
- Taking naps can create wakeful nights. (If you must nap, limit it to 20 minutes.)
- Control your exposure to light and to the type of light you experience.
- There is a natural brain clock that can be set by looking at a bright light. Expose yourself to sunlight as soon as possible after waking.
- Get as much natural light a possible during the day.
- All through our evolution, after sundown, the only light we had was firelight. Firelight stimulates your melatonin production. Watching TV, looking at a phone screen, computer or Kindle before bed stops this.
- If you must work on a device before bed, wear glasses with a yellow lens that will help to block the harmful effects of the blue light.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If you have to get up use very dim light.
- Get regular exercise.
- Vigorous exercise 3 hours or more before bed should be avoided.
- Relaxing, low impact exercise, before bed can promote sleep.
- Exercise has been shown to improve sleep for people with sleep disorders, including
- Watch what you eat and drink.
- Cut down on caffeine. In some its effects can last 12 hours.
- Avoid big meals with desserts and try to allow 2 hours without food before bed.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. It may help you fall asleep but will wake you up later.
- Avoid drinking anything an hour or two before bed to prevent bathroom trips. Stay hydrated all day to avoid waking up thirsty. Balance is the key
- Some natural supplements can help promote sleep such as Magnesium citrate and valerian tea.
- Learn to calm yourself and become relaxed with worries dismissed. The best book that has taught me to control stress is Happiness, by Matthieu Ricard. He teaches the reader to break down their problems in order to be able to understand them so well so that they can laugh at them. Guided meditation can also work miracles.
At the Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Center our only two specialties are TMJ and Sleep Apnea. Dr. Robert Brown of Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment center cam be reached for a free consultation at 925-837-8048. You can also visit his website at www.aodtc.com.