I realize it’s been a while since my last post. As promised, I’m putting up this addtional post on sleep.
Getting adequate sleep promotes good health, and is important in functioning well during the day. This includes driving (if you’re sleep deprived, it’s as though you’re driving with a high blood alcohol level!). Rather than totally repeat what I posted last time, I’ll talk mostly about how to maintain good sleep hygiene.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Avoid sedatives (even alcohol) to go to sleep. Granted there might be occasions where using something like Zolpidem for a night or two is apropriate, but all medications can effect the sleep cycle in untoward ways (some affect how deeply one sleeps, others can affect how much REM sleep one gets).
- If you snore (if you live alone you might not know), or are overweight there’s a high chance of you having OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). OSA can predispose one to arrythymias, diabetes, and daytime sleepiness for starters.
- Don’t eat within three hours of eating (this is more to prevent reflux than food’s effect on sleeping) and avoid caffeinated beverages too late in the day.
- Certain foods such as cherries can affect melatonin levels (whether it is because they contain melatonin or affect it’s degredation by the body is a different story), so having foods which can increase melatonin levels might help sleep. Though my preference would be to have whole, unrefined foods rather than taking suppliments.
- Regular exercise can help people sleep better.
- As mentioned in the previous post, if you can’t fall asleep in about 10-15 minutes, get out of bed and do something else for a while
- Use getting into bed for sleeping (and enjoying one’s spouse/significant other), not for reading, watching TV or other activities.