Whether or not you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, you can improve your ability to fall asleep with a few simple lifestyle changes. Many reputable sources, including the Mayo Clinic, recommend similar tips:
- Do not drink caffeine in the evening (coffee, sodas, tea, chocolate, etc.)
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol before bed
- Don’t eat or drink too much before bed
- Exercise daily
- Drink a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated tea before bed
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day
- Avoid the news and loud television shows before bed
- Create a dark, quiet, and cool environment in your bedroom
- Don’t take naps during the day
- Go to the restroom, let the dogs out, and lock the doors before you get into bed
- Turn off the lights when you go to bed
- Use a comfortable mattress and bedding
- Before bed, begin to wind down and limit stimulation
When you get into bed, practice deep breathing, picture a warm, comforting scene, and purposefully relax your body, starting with your toes and working up to your head. Some people like to listen to soft, relaxing instrumental music or enjoy some light reading to help them become tired.
I’m Dr. James Stewart, and I treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in my Livonia dental office. If you try these tips and continue to have trouble sleeping soundly, give me a call.