Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sleeping Tips: “Natural sleep is healthier than drug-aided sleep,”

Many people suffering from insomnia automatically reach for sleep medications, but those drugs are rarely a good first choice, says a sleep expert at National Jewish Medical and Research Center. “Natural sleep is healthier than drug-aided sleep,” said Dr Robert Ballard, director of the Sleep Center at National Jewish. He offers some advice on good sleep habits: Prepare yourself for sleep. The calmer and more relaxed you are before you go to bed, the better you’ll sleep. Try to wind down with a relaxing activity before bedtime. Turn down the lights and avoid loud music and television. Reading, yoga and meditation often prove to be beneficial toward sleep habits.

Stick to a regular schedule by going to bed at about the same time every night. Your body will get used to that schedule and will be better prepared to sleep at bedtime and awaken in the morning. Create a sleep sanctuary. Dark, cozy environs are where people experience their deepest sleep. If you’ve spent more than 15 minutes tossing and turning while trying to get to sleep, you should get up. Insomnia often results from anxiety about not getting enough sleep.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help you sleep. But you have to exercise at the right time of day. Exercise late in the day can actually contribute to sleeplessness. Morning is the best time to exercise. Don’t eat large meals before bed and don’t consume caffeine in the afternoon. Both tobacco and alcohol can impair sleep.



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