HELPFUL HINTS TO HELP YOU SLEEP
You're not alone. Millions of people have
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The following tips
have been found to work for many people who have trouble sleeping.
Your Personal Habits
- For several hours before bedtime, avoid
alcohol; beverages with caffeine; chocolate; heavy,
spicy, sugary or sugar-filled foods; and smoking. They
can affect your ability to fall asleep or enjoy deep
- Regular exercise, particularly in the
afternoon, can help deepen sleep. However, strenuous
exercise right before sleep may prevent you from falling
- Restrict fluids right before bed.
- Try to establish a schedule where you go
to sleep and get up at the same times every day. This
will put your body into a good "sleep-wake rhythm."
Your Sleeping Environment
- Bedding that is uncomfortable can prevent
good sleep. Evaluate whether or not this is a source of
your problem, and make appropriate changes.
- If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it
can keep you awake. Find a comfortable temperature
setting for sleeping, and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise, and
eliminate as much light as possible.
- Use your bed for sleep and sex and not as
an office or recreation room. Let your body "know"
that the bed is associated with sleeping.
Getting Ready for Sleep
- Warm milk and foods such as bananas are
high in the amino acid tryptophan, which may help you
- Relaxation techniques before retiring may
relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension. Leave your
worries about job or family for another time.
- Presleep rituals such as a warm bath or a
few minutes of reading can help you.
- Get into your favorite sleeping position.
If you don't fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes, get up,
go into another room, and read or watch TV until sleepy.
- Several physical reasons are known to
upset sleep, such as arthritis, heartbearn, menstruation,
headache, and hot flashes. Sleeping difficulties are also
associated with psychological factors such as depression,
stress, and concern or worry about problems. Your
physician can help determine the problem and best
- Many medications can cause sleeplessness
as a side effect. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about
- To help overall improvement in sleep
patterns, sleep medications may be prescribed by your
physician for short-term relief of sleep problems. Always
follow the advice of your physician and other healthcare
professionals. The goal is to rediscover how to sleep
These tips will help most individuals but not
everyone. If you still have difficulty sleeping after following
these suggestions, please see your physician. The cause of your
sleeping difficulty may be serious enough to warrant medical
(Brochure by Searle)
Web page design by Bill Jackson, © 1996.
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