Good sleep habits and patterns include:
1 – Setting a goal for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep time per day.
2 – Using the bed mainly for sleep and to go to bed only when tired. If unable to fall asleep after 30 minutes, patient should get out of bed but should not engage in any activity that requires sustained mental alertness.
3 – Maintaining a regular bedtime and wake up time on weekends or days off work.
4 – Avoiding excessive naps during the daytime. If a nap is necessary, limit it to no more than 30 minutes.
5 – Minimizing environmental noise, bright lights, and extremes in bedroom temperature.
6 – Avoiding alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and nicotine products for at least 6 hours prior to bedtime.
7 – Avoiding strenuous exercise and large meals for at least 4 hours prior to bedtime.
Discussed and education sheets given.
Sleep meditation activity taught.
Discussed increasing exercise daily and avoiding caffeine, especially after 12 or 1PM.
Discussed reducing ETOH of a heavy drinker as it may cause sleep awakening during the night.
Middle of the day sunshine can improve nighttime sleep.
Avoiding computer, iPad, and phone screens for the last hour or two before bed can also improve sleep.
Valerian Root or Melatonin OTC can be taken. Melatonin should be started at a very low dose of 0.5mg-1mg as higher doses can often cause wakefulness or daytime sleepiness the following day.
Some may benefit from a nightshade on the eyes and using orange safety glasses for the last two hours before bed.
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