Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Good Sleep Guide

The Good Sleep Guide
During the evening
·        Put the day to rest. Think it through. Tie up “loose ends” in your mind and plan ahead. A notebook may help.
·        Take some light exercise early in the evening. Generally try to keep yourself fit.
·        Wind down during the course of the evening. Do not do anything that is mentally demanding within 90 minutes of bedtime.
·        Do not sleep or doze in the armchair. Keep your sleep for bedtime.
·        Do not drink too much coffee or tea and only have a light snack for supper. Do not drink alcohol to aid your sleep – it usually upsets sleep.
·        Make sure your bed and bedroom are comfortable – not to cold and not too warm.
At bedtime
·        Go to bed when you are “sleepy tired” and not before.
·        Do not read or watch TV in bed. Keep this activities for another room.
·        Set the alarm for the same time every day, seven days a week, at least until your sleep pattern settles down.
·        Put the light out when you get into bed.
·        Let yourself relax and tell yourself that “ sleep will come when it’s ready”. Enjoy relaxing even if you don’t at first fall asleep.
·        Do not try to fall asleep. Sleep is not something you can switch on deliverately but if you try it on you can switch it off!
If you have problems getting to sleep
·        Remember that sleep problems are quite common and they are not as demanding as you might think. Try not to get upset or frustrated.
·        If you are awake in bed for more than 20 minutes then get up and go into another room.
·        Do something relaxing for a while and do not worry about tomorrow. People usually cope quite well even after a sleepness night.
·        Go back to bed when you feel “sleepy tired”.
·        Remember the tips from the section above and use them again.
·        A good sleep pattern may take a number of weeks to establish. Be confident that you will achieve this in the end by working through “The Good Sleep Guide”.

This guide has been adapted from material originally prepared by Dr Collin Espie.