How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Lawrence Shulman, M.D.

A good night’s sleep is essential for having a wonderful productive day! Each of us knows the feeling and how difficult it is to function on too little sleep.

 

Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure a good night’s sleep:

  1. 1. Your body likes a routine that includes going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Maintaining a schedule helps to keep your circadian rhythm in check.
  2. 2. The bed and bedroom is a haven. If you aren't sleeping then you shouldn't be in bed. The bed isn't the place for watching TV, eating, paying bills, studying and worrying. You are allowed to do all those things, just not in bed.
  3. 3. You should avoid any caffeine, excessive sugar, exercise, bathing or showering, and you should not have a heavy or spicy dinner right before you sleep.
  4. 4. Alcohol makes you sleepy and helps you fall asleep, but it will also disrupt your sleep and make you wake up multiple times during the night. If you drink alcohol at night, try to drink earlier in the evening.
  5. 5. Make your sleep space conducive to sleep - not too warm or too cold, minimize pets and kids in the bedroom, turn the TV off, and try to eliminate as much extra noise as possible.

There are some sleep behaviors that are worrisome and should trigger the need for additional evaluation. You should consult a sleep physician if you or a loved one has:

  1. 1. Excessive snoring
  2. 2. Periods of time when breathing seems to stop while sleeping
  3. 3. Still feeling sleepy even though you've had a good night’s sleep
  4. 4. Waking up feeling tired
  5. 5. Dry mouth or headache in the morning
  6. 6. Frequent awakening at night even if it is just to use the bathroom
  7. 7. A strange itchy crawly sensation in your legs which is worse in the evening and gets better when walking
  8. 8. Abnormal dreaming or "acting out" of dreaming behaviors
  9. 9. Excessive sleep walking, talking, or eating
  10. 10. Inability to initiate or maintain sleep (insomnia)