Sunday, October 18, 2009

Use Bedtime Routines and Relaxation Techniques to Sleep Better

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine examines the strategies people use to reduce daytime sleepiness.

Taking a bath was the most common sleep management practice for both men and women; 59 percent of men and 64.4 percent of women used it. Keeping a regular sleep schedule was the second most popular tactic.

People also wound down for the night by listening to music, snacking and exercising.

The results show that taking a bath and going to bed at the same time every night were the best ways to decrease daytime sleepiness. Snacking at night made people feel sleepier the next day.

One of the study’s authors said that culture influences the way people manage their sleep.

The study, conducted in Japan, includes data from 24,686 adults who completed a national health survey.

Don’t worry if you have a few sleepless nights. It is common to suffer from occasional bouts of
insomnia. Stress, irregular sleep patterns and pain can cause you to lose sleep for short periods of time. This is known as adjustment insomnia. Once the problem is resolved sleep usually returns to normal.

What are some healthy ways to get better sleep?

The AASM recommends:

  • Go to bed at a regular time each night.

  • Wake up at the same time each night, even on weekends.

  • Avoid naps if you can during the day.

  • Don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon.

Find more tips about good sleep hygiene at Sleep

Contact an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center if you have an ongoing sleep problem.

Image by Laura Taylor

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