What Can I Do To Help Me Sleep Better?

Question: What can I do to help me sleep better?

Answer: Well, we all need a good night's sleep, and sometimes during illness it becomes harder to do that because our routines change so much. The first thing you want to do is just jot down in a little notebook, "What do I normally do to go to sleep at night?" And make sure that there's a routine. Routines help. The second thing you want to do is remember to try not to oversleep during the daytime.

Naps are fine, but you don't want to sleep long periods of time during the day and then expect that you'll be able to sleep your normal eight hours at night. Routines help in terms of you should not go to bed hungry; not a big meal, but don't go to bed hungry. Avoid caffeine from four or five hours prior to going to bed. And that includes not just the coffee but the chocolate and the colas, too. And you also want to think about getting your environment ready to go to sleep. Many of us go to bed armed with our book or our television, and we sit there thinking we can fall asleep while we're trying to do other things.

You really need to get the environment quiet, get the lights turned down, and don't go to bed till you're ready to go to sleep. If you're going to read, read from the chair. Put the book away, and turn the TV off. If those things don't work, there are some little tricks that help some people.

There's machines that make noise, kind of like the blowing trees or rainfall. But be careful. Some of that rainfall could make you think you have to go to the bathroom, and you'll be back awake again. You need to make going to sleep a pattern, and make it such that you're in the position to allow your body to go to sleep.

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