Sleep sliding away?

Picture of woman for article about trouble sleeping

Did you know that our bodies need sleep to get back energy we use during the day? Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Studies show that people who get seven to nine hours of sleep a night are more likely to be in good health.

Having trouble sleeping? You may not be sleeping well for a few reasons, including:

  • Stress
  • Pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Or as a result of side effects from drinks, foods, and medicines

Many popular beverages and some over-the-counter headache medicines may contain caffeine. Caffeine can keep you awake, as can nicotine.

What can you do to get better sleep?

  • Try going to bed and waking up at the same times every day — even on the weekend
  • Cut caffeine, alcohol and skip a nighttime smoke, or nicotine
  • Exercise earlier in the day
  • Nap less

It’s also important to try to create a sleep routine like putting away or turning off electronic devices an hour before you want to fall asleep.

Lastly, try keeping a sleep diary, especially if you plan on talking to your health care provider about your trouble sleeping. A sleep diary can help you track when you go to bed, how long it took to fall asleep, the number of times you woke up during the night and for how long, and several other reasons that affect your quality of sleep. For more information and a sample sleep diary view, Getting a Good Night’s Sleep.

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