Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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GeneralHealth Info

Sleep: Tips for a Good Night

Having trouble sleeping? You're not alone. Trouble sleeping is one of the most common health complaints heard clinically. If you have difficulty falling asleep or waking up too early, here are some tips for a good night's sleep.

  • Review your diet.
    At what times in the day do you consume caffeine? Remember that soda, tea and chocolate as well as coffee have a lot of caffeine. You may want to eliminate all caffeine after 4 p.m. Avoid heavy or spicy meatls before bedtime too.

    What about alcohol? Adult women should know that even one glass of wine will interupt a good night's sleep. Alcohol interupts the REM cycle of sleep, which is the phase of deep, restorative sleep. This is a common cause of waking up about three hours after falling asleep.

  • Review your activities in the evening.
    Strenuous exercise, studying hard, or talking/thinking about what worries you an hour prior to going to bed may interfere with sleep. Plan "downtime" as you get closer to bedtime.
  • Plan peaceful rituals prior to sleep.
    People of all ages have bedtime rituals, and it's important to take the time to develop and incorporate these especially when away from home.
  • Think of what helped when you were younger:
    A bedtime story? Get a great book or poetry on tape.
    Listening to music? Perhaps you can get some of those old favorites even now.
    Did you read? Find the type of book you enjoy. (Not homework!)
    An evening talk with someone close to you? Make a quick, touching base phone call, write a note or send an email to someone that you care about before you leave your computer at night.

All these activities can be part of a bedtime routine, and enhance sleep. Find a ritual that you love, and repeat it each night.

  • Remember, alcohol interrupts sleep.
    Alcohol may make one fall asleep easily, but sleep will not be as restful and peaceful.
  • Herbal Teas can help.
    There are some that may actually enhance relaxing and sleep.

Created 11/00. Revised 5/17/02


Learn some interesting facts about sleep.

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