Many factors interfere with good sleep. Alcohol will initially put people to sleep, but interferes with long sleep periods by increasing the need to urinate in the night, and there is a rebound excitation after about 4 hours that awakens people and prevents a return to sleep—the extent of this excitation is directly related to how much alcohol is consumed. Night time heartburn is common, and generally follows eating large amounts within a couple of hours of going to sleep, so moderation and earlier eating is recommended. Many medications with stimulative effects can interfere with sleep, particularly decongestants and diet pills. Nicotine is a nervous system stimulant, and can interfere with deeper levels of sleep. And while we all know that we often gain insight into a problem when we ‘sleep on it’, psychological stressors will often interfere with good sleep as we are preoccupied with a problem.
Sleeping medication are common, but all come with some drawbacks. Some are addictive, and dependence can be hard to break. All sleeping pills will assist in getting to sleep, but are variable in effectiveness in keeping people asleep, and many leave some mild ‘hangover’ feeling in the morning. But some sleep is better than no sleep for most people. Benadryl, a sedating antihistamine, is the most common sleeping medication in over the counter products, and works pretty well for most people with minimal side effects.
If medication is not right for you look into investing in some good pillows. A high quality pillow such as the Z Pillow line by MALOUF Store offers superior pressure relief making it easier to get and stay comfortable when falling asleep. In addition to the size variances you can choose from high and low loft as well as firmness. Being comfortable when sleeping is essential for ensuring a good nights sleep.
In 2010 there should be little reason for anyone to have chronically poor sleep. Many effective interventions and medications are available to overcome sleep problems, and family doctors as well as professional therapists are very attuned to these issues, so a visit to yours can make a big difference. If you think your problem is related to a sleep disorder check out our last article on various sleep disorders for more information.
But we’ll still be keeping hectic schedules, disrupting our normal circadian rhythms, so each of us needs to devise strategies to get the best rest possible under often difficult situations.
1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends.
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book, partner massage, or listening to soothing music.
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.
7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
8. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
9. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
*100% natural Zoned Talalay Latex Pillow compliments of MALOUF Store.