Expert Sleep Advice
Having trouble sleeping? Improve your quality of life with these simple sleep tips.
- Avoid napping. Everyone loves to take a nap, but if you have trouble sleeping at night, naps—especially in the afternoon—can make your problem worse.
- Wind down. Spend the last hour of your day enjoying a calming activity, such as reading to help your body get ready for sleep. Avoid using your laptop or computer before bed. Some people find that the light that emanates from computer screens activates the brain and makes it harder to sleep.
- Keep a sleep diary. Writing down how you slept each night helps you to evaluate your sleep patterns and identify problems.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and heavy meals in the evening. Indigestion from eating large or spicy meals can keep you awake. Plan to stay awake for two to three hours after a large meal.
- Know your circadian rhythm. Your sleep/wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is the natural system that regulates when you wake up and when you are ready to go to sleep. This complex process is controlled by an area of the brain that responds to light. As a general rule, expose yourself to sunlight in the morning and avoid bright light in the evening to keep your natural rhythm balanced.
- Don’t sleep in. To further regulate your sleep cycle stick to consistent bed and wake times—even on the weekend.
Expert advice provided by Ghassan Jamaleddine, MD., Chief Medical Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
- If your sleeplessness persists, call the Sleep Disorders Diagnostic Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. The Center specializes in helping people who suffer from sleeplessness, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. Learn more about our state-of-the-art sleep study center by calling 718-245-5567.