Dealing With Insomnia

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Having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or getting enough sleep, as mentioned in our January newsletter—is insomnia!  This is a medical condition and off limits for a dentist to treat—but—an issue we see every day and can offer suggestions.  Scientific studies tell us 30% of the population experiences occasional sleep difficulties and about 10% suffer insomnia.

The good news is, that in most cases, it is pretty easy to treat—you can do it yourself, or get the help of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, who can treat it in 5 or 6 sessions.  The body likes to maintain status quo—good or bad—and insomnia is a bad habit, perpetuated by more bad habits a person uses in trying to remedy their insomnia.  We are trying too hard to get sleep and that just makes everything worse!! – So—relax, and breath deep.  Sounds a little like a yoga or meditation class—which can go a long way in training you how to slow the mind, control your thoughts, and breath more easily.

 

Below I have listed 10 basics for a better night’s sleep:

  1. Discontinue caffeine use 4 hours before bedtime
  2. If you smoke—don’t do it around bedtime or when you wake up at night
  3. Alcohol can help you get to sleep but messes with your quality of sleep—not good!
  4. Too much food at bedtime disrupts sleep
  5. No vigorous exercise 2 hours before bed
  6. Keep the bedroom calm and comfortable
  7. Keep the temperature cool
  8. Minimum noise and light—although intense bright light is great to wake you up in the morning!
  9. The bedroom is for sleep and sex—Not TV, cellphones, radio, or eating
  10. Maintain a regular sleep schedule—same bedtime and wakeup times