Sleep Hygiene…….Teach yourself to sleep.

Insomnia, waking up multiple times, trouble getting to sleep, poor sleep quality is a plague to many people. So, what are the reasons you can’t sleep? What can you do about poor sleep? Many factors contribute to poor sleep. For example, medications, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, work stress all can contribute to sleep problems. So what about sleep medications such as Ambien, Lunesta or other prescriptions? What about Melatonin?  Of course, consult with your doctor to assess or determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. Once you are medically cleared, consider medications to reset your sleep cycle with the understanding that this is a short-term solution. The mind likes predictability and rest to help you be at your best. Take a few minutes to conduct a brief inventory of your negative thoughts, attitudes and habits associated with your sleep. 
Poor sleep habits include the following:

  • napping during the day
  • drinking caffeine
  • using alcohol or nicotine
  • eating a large meal late at night
  • watching television while in bed
  • watching the clock at night increases stress making it harder to fall asleep

To enhance your sleep environment:

  • block out distractions & noise in your bedroom
  • practice self-soothing or relaxation techniques before sleep
  • go to sleep when you are tired
  • develop a pre-sleep routine or rituals
  • consistently go to bed on a regular schedule
  • balance fluid intake
  • exercise regularly (not too close to bedtime)
Reducing stress, anxiety and reducing fear can help you relax and look forward to getting a good nights sleep. 

Post Script. Alcohol MAY help you get to sleep or make you drowsy, however, the chemistry of your brain is changed such that you don’t get to the deep REM sleep you need for complete rest and dreaming. Alcohol is a depressant, so watch out.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.