What Is Normal Sleep?
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night. However, some may need less than four and others more than 10. When you receive an adequate amount of sleep, you should feel refreshed and alert throughout the day.
How Do I Know if I Have a Sleep Disorder?
Ask yourself the following questions. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may have a sleep-related disorder:
- Are you always tired?
- Do you have morning headaches?
- Are you unable to go to sleep and stay asleep at night?
- Have you been told you snore constantly and occasionally stop breathing when you sleep?
- Do you have trouble with concentration or fall asleep when you should normally be awake and alert?
- Do you experience a "creepy or crawling" sensation in your legs or arms when you’re awake or at rest?
The causes of sleep disorders are as different as the conditions themselves. Sleeping pills, tea or warm milk may not always work. Discuss your sleep problems with your doctor for more information.
What Can I Do at Home to Sleep Better?
It’s important to develop regular sleep patterns. There are many things that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, and a good sleep pattern is an important one. Here’s a list that can help:
- Avoid or limit daytime naps to 30 minutes.
- Avoid alcohol in the late evening to help with sleep.
- Avoid nicotine, especially near bedtime or night awakenings.
- Avoid stimulating medications at bedtime, such as asthma medications and decongestants.
- Cut down on your fluid intake before bedtime.
- Don’t ingest any caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime and minimize caffeine overall.
- Establish a bedtime routine.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule.
- Exercise early in the day. Vigorous exercise within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime may interfere with sleep.
- Minimize noise, light and extreme temperatures while you sleep.
- Use your bed for sleep and intimacy only.
- If you can’t sleep after 30 minutes, leave the bedroom. Come back when you’re sleepy.