Sleep & Sleep Hygiene
controlling high blood pressure, and even cardiovascular risks, not to mention feeling tired all the time. Military studies on total sleep deprivation have shown that people become frankly not themselves, occasionally even psychotic, after only 72 hours without sleep.
Yet many of us actually brag about having “pulled an all-nighter” to finish some work or project or prepare for an exam. Trust me on this, all wake and no sleep makes Joe or Jane Doe lousy company and really unhealthy. So what’s a work-hard/play-hard, multitasking, over-extended, not-so-well-rested person to do?
I’ve got two words for you: Sleep hygiene. You may not have a lot of time for sleeping, but if you’d pay half as much attention to taking care of your sleep as you do to how you look and smell (i.e. personal hygiene), sleep you do get would be more restful and more beneficial.
Good sleep hygiene includes a reasonably comfortable bed in a dark, quiet location that isn’t too hot or too cold accompanied by strategies that promote sleep.
Avoid eating large meals too close to bedtime. Vigorous exercise too close to bedtime revs you up and makes it harder to fall asleep, while moderate exercise in the late afternoon or early evening can help you sleep. Alcohol can also help you fall asleep but will often wake you up a few hours later (it has a two-phase effect on the brain – first sedating, then activating). It’s the same deal with marijuana, which also disrupts normal sleep stage progression (i.e.not as much R.E.M. or Stage IV deep sleep). Behaviorally, save the bed for sleeping and snuggling. Try not to eat, read, watch TV, text, or talk on the phone in bed.
I know this is asking a lot, but please give these strategies a try before you contact your health care provider about sleeping pills. I suspect your doctor will want to talk to you about the behavioral (sleep hygiene) approach before writing the prescription. And they should. Sedatives stop working pretty quickly and are generally addictive.
In most cases, you can learn to get to sleep and get enough rest without them. If you don’t believe me, sleep on it.
At Primary Caring of Malibu we have returned to old-fashioned style family medicine to bring our patients the exclusive personal care and attention they deserve. It’s not a new idea — it’s just an old concept brought up-to-date, with modern methods and technology making it even better.
#DocMalibu, #DrDavidBBaronKNX, #DoctorHouseCalls, #ConciergeMedialPracticeMalibu
Primary Caring of Malibu | 22601 Pacific Coast Highway | Suite 240 | Malibu | CA | 90265