Leila Cruikshank

Improve your Sleep

If you are having difficulty sleeping, consider the following tips. Remember to speak with your care team about your sleep situation so they can assess if further testing is required.

Preparations for a good night's sleep actually begin during the day:
• Try to get up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Similarly, try to set a bedtime around when you feel tired. This should also be around the same time every night.
• Exercise vigorously during the day; avoid exercise at night.
• Avoid caffeinated beverages 8 or more hours before your bedtime. Caffeine lasts in your system for a long time.
• In most people we suggest avoiding naps because they can throw off the bedtime routine

In the hour or two before bed:
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature. Reserve the bedroom exclusively for sleep and remove all distractions.
• Relax and unwind. Avoid work or stimulating activities.
• Try some light stretching exercises or yoga.
• Try taking a warm bath.
• Try deep breathing or meditation
• Avoid heavy alcohol use or heavy use of sedatives.
• Avoid heavy meals.
• Avoid smoking.

When you go to bed:

• Try to keep a regular bedtime, even on weekends.
• If you are having difficulty falling asleep for more than 15 -30 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing or distracting. If you get up, keep the lights dim. Try to go back to bed 10-15 minutes later. If you wake up again during the night, the same rules apply.
• Do not stare at the clock. Set the alarm and turn it around so you cannot see the time.