Have problems falling asleep at night?

Have you tried a sound machine with some soft music? These are just a few tips you might get from a medical professional who works in the field of sleep medicine.
Sleep medicine is a recognized medical subspecialty which shows just how many people are having trouble sleeping in our modern society. Doctors who specialize in sleep medicine help people who are unable to sleep well. Sleep doctors are able to detect and treat both common and rare sleep disorders. Some common sleep disorders are insomnia, jet lag, sleepwalking, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by chronic problems falling asleep, staying asleep or only sleeping for several hours and being wake unable to fall back to sleep. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake.

Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. There are also easy ways to make your bed and your bedroom more comfortable. The most important thing to change bad habits into good sleep habits is to create an optima sleep environment.

• Make sure your bed is comfortable. Different types of mattresses help with different issues. Some mattresses are made to accommodate different types bedmates’ sleeping habits and comfort levels. Others are made to adjust to your firmness preferences. In addition, try therapeutic-shaped foam pillows that cradle your neck or extra pillows that help you sleep on your side. Make sure your sheets are com¬fortable and clean.

• Ensure your bedroom remains primarily a place for sleeping. Don’t use your bed for paying bills, doing work, etc. Help your body recognize that this is a place for rest or intimacy. So take the television out as well as the computer.

• Keep your bedroom peaceful and comfortable. Make sure your room is well ventilated and the temperature is consistent, and try to keep it quiet. If you have a problem with out¬side noise, a fan or a “white noise” machine can help block it out. In fact, the white noise machines, have become very sophisticated now, and offer not just white noise but the sounds of waterfalls, rain on a tin roof, the sounds in the rain forest as well as the beating of a heart to help with a baby’s sleep. Gentle, slow music is another remedy that can help to improve sleep without medication. Sleeping machines with sounds is really a marvel of new technology. You can get ones that have all the rain sounds or waterfalls, included with AM/FM radio, coupled with a CD player for your relaxation techniques. When I worked the night shift, I began using one to block out daytime sounds, and 15 years later, I am still using it. In fact, can’t go to sleep with out it. I highly recommend for you to add one of these machines to your sleep environment.

• Hide your clock. A big, illuminated digital clock may cause you to focus on the time and make you feel stressed and anxious. Place your clock so you can’t see the time when you are in bed.

There are also some habits you should develop during the day to help with night sleep.

• Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after awakening. This will help to regulate your body’s natural biological clock. Likewise, try to keep your bedroom dark while you are sleeping so that the light will not interfere with your rest.

• Do not nap during the day. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try not to nap during the day. If you are feeling especially tired and feel as if you absolutely must nap, be sure to sleep for less than 30 minutes, early in the day.

• Limit caffeine and alcohol. Avoid drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages for several hours before bedtime.

• Don’t smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

• Exercise early in the day. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure to exercise in the morning or afternoon. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bedtime may make falling asleep more difficult.

• Check your iron level. Iron deficient women tend to have more problems sleeping, so if your blood is iron poor, a supplement might help.