Improving Quality of Sleep

A common problem associated with chronic illnesses is trouble sleeping and enjoying a disruption-free quality night’s sleep. Dr. Hrayr Attarian presented on this topic at the Patient Education Conference in October 2014.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Sleep:

  • Medcline Sleep Positioning Pillow is a supportive pillow to aid in side-sleeping and slightly elevated position to relieve nighttime GERD.
  • Establish a soothing pre-bed routine- your body will take the cue that it’s time to get ready for sleep. It might include: Light reading, listen to music, warm shower or bath, and meditation.
  • Keep your bed for sleeping only- avoid using it for activities such as watching tv. By doing this, your brain will associate your bed with sleep, and will help to induce sleepiness. Avoid “screen time” (phones, computers, tv) before bedtime because the glare of the light can stimulate your brain, instead of relax it.
  • Practice relaxation exercises- deep breathing, gradually tensing and relaxing muscles throughout body.
  • Finish meals a few hours before bedtime- trying to sleep on a full stomach is difficult and can be uncomfortable, which makes it tougher to fall asleep.
  • Avoid drinking a lot of water right before bed- doing so could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom, causing a disruption in your sleep and could make it harder for you to fall back asleep.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol within several hours of bedtime- even some pain relievers have caffeine, so be aware of that. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but it disrupts the activity of the brain during sleep, resulting in your sleep not being as restful as it should, and thus you may wake up already feeling tired.
  • Keep bedroom quiet, dark, a cool temperature and well-ventilated. A white noise machince can provide soft background noise to lull body to sleep, if needed.
  • Limit nap time during the day to 20-30 min if possible.

Harvard Healthy Sleep Tips

Sleep Foundation Mayo Clinic Sleep Tips

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