August 3, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Helpful Habits For A Good Night’s Sleep:

Sleep problems are among the more common complaints I hear from my patients. They all long for the perfect night’s sleep. They want to fall asleep quickly, sleep through the night, and awaken refreshed and ready to tackle the day. They want to “sleep like babies.”

However, as we age, most of us begin to experience problems that interfere with sleep. Most commonly, we complain of getting too little sleep, difficulty falling asleep, or trouble going back to sleep after waking during the night. Consequently, we may feel tired or fatigued the next day.

Occasionally, some patients complain of sleeping too much or falling asleep when they want to remain awake.

Sleep patterns change as we age. It may take longer to fall asleep and there is less deep sleep and more frequent awakening with aging. Poor sleep habits are the leading cause of sleep complaints in older patients. Reading, watching television, or listening to music while falling asleep can result in wakefulness later in the night.

Medical conditions such as heart failure and prostate disease can interfere with sleep, as can certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Arthritis and other painful conditions also can disrupt sleep for obvious reasons. Psychological problems such as anxiety and depression can result in decreased sleep, although some people with depression spend excessive amounts of time in bed.

Less common is the problem of excessive sleep. People who sleep a lot during the day or fall asleep during activities despite sleeping at night have disruption in the quality of their sleep. Sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnea is a potentially serious problem that can result in low oxygen levels, confusion, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, and severe daytime sleepiness. This condition is more common in older individuals and should be checked by a physician.

Insomnia, a Latin term for “no sleep,” is defined as the inability to fall or remain asleep. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep daily for good health, safety, and optimal performance. But according to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes for Health, about 30 to 40 percent of adults report symptoms of insomnia during the year and 10 to 15 percent claim chronic insomnia.

The best treatment for insomnia is to develop good sleep habits – what we call “sleep hygiene.”

Good habits include:

• Keeping regular bedtimes and wake times for both weekdays and weekends

• Avoiding excessive alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or sugary foods at bedtime

• Creating a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, and without distractions

• Removing work materials, computers, tablets, smart phones, and televisions from your bedrooms

• Getting outdoor light or intense artificial light for at least 30 minutes a day to help reset your biological clock

• Exercising regularly. Complete your workouts a few hours before bedtime to allow time for winding down

• Eating a light snack at bedtime can help, but avoid foods that will stimulate you.

Sleep medications should be avoided in most cases because they tend to be habit-forming and only effective for a short period of time.

If you experience sleep problems – either too little or too much sleep – consult with your doctor. Careful attention to sleep habits and underlying medical problems may be helpful in improving sleep. There also are new treatments, including cognitive behavioral therapy, that have been proven effective in helping insomniacs get a better night’s sleep. Good night and good luck!

Dr. James Davis is a board-certified geriatrician with the highly regarded UCLA Geriatrics Program in Santa Monica and Westwood. For more information, call 310. 319.4371.

in Health
Related Posts

Santa Monica’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Could Be Coming to Wilshire Blvd

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

CPC Compassion inc plans to open on Wilshire blvd in December of 2021 if approved by the planning commission of...

Are You Burned Out? Answer This Checklist

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

The vast majority of people need to work in order to support themselves. We all have bills and car payments...

Prevention of diseases you should keep in mind in 2021

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Sociological research allows you to obtain operational information about the main components of life and, first of all, young people...

Leaving Home for the First Time in a Year? Here Are a Few Things to Do

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

Very few people have been truly quarantined in their house for the past year. Almost everyone has gotten outside for...

Motherly Mindfulness in a Pandemic

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

This last year has been a whirlwind for everyone, and if you’re a mother, chances are it has redefined your...

Beverly Hill’s Latest Craze is The “Busso” Experience

March 30, 2021

March 30, 2021

Dr. Mariano Busso, one of the world’s leading experts in cosmetic fillers and facial rejuvenation, has opened up additional appointment times...

The Pandemic of 2020: Lessons Learned

March 9, 2021

March 9, 2021

The 2020 pandemic took the country by surprise. Many people lost their small businesses, income, and quality of life. However,...

The Best Ways for Women to Get and Stay Healthy

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

We all want to live our happiest and healthiest lives, but it is very easy to get overwhelmed with information....

4 Tips on How to Succeed in Life

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

We all want to be successful in our lives, in our careers, and in our passions but sometimes we do...

3 Ways to Restore Self Esteem and Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle in 2021

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Every year we start filled with resolutions, hope, and determination. We know that after the year we’ve just had, 2021...

Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Living Alone

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Everyone needs to be cheered up once in a while. This can be especially true of someone who lives alone....

A Renewed Focus on Living

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

The pandemic caused turmoil for many Americans, emotionally and financially. With 2020 now in the rear-view mirror, people are using...

Don’t Make These 3 Fitness Mistakes

February 20, 2021

February 20, 2021

The great thing about the internet is that we now have access to a plethora of fitness content then ever...

5 Promising Medical Breakthroughs On The Horizon

February 3, 2021

February 3, 2021

Although we’re in a worldwide pandemic, many of us are still enjoying the comfort and convenience of being cared for...

Santa Monica Pier Closed for Five Days in a Row

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

City cites warm weather forecasted for Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro With temperatures reaching the 80s expected, city officials are...