Don't let longer daylight hours disturb your slumber
SUNDAY, July 7, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Those extra hours of daylight in the summer contribute to sleep problems experienced by many Americans, experts say.
The Loyola University Health System team offers tips on how to get a good night's sleep.
At least an hour before bedtime, start quieting down and relaxing. Don't exercise or do any other vigorous activities. Turn off handheld devices and remove them from the room. Darken the room and create a comfortable environment in terms of temperature, bedding, mattress and sleepwear.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Don't have any food and beverages for several hours before bedtime. This will reduce the chances that you'll have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom.
Make a list of worries, future errands and other things that are on your mind before you go to bed. This can help reduce anxiety, organize your thoughts and prepare you for sleep. Think twice about allowing pets to sleep with you. If they move in the night and make noise, they disturb sleep.
Some people who take medications before bed may do better to take them in the morning or the other way around, according to a Loyola news release. If you think this is an issue, talk to your doctor about changing your medication schedule.
Train your mind and body to associate the bedroom with relaxation and sleep, not exercising, playing games or watching TV. Discuss good sleep strategies with your partner. You need their cooperation for your efforts to succeed.
If your sleep problems persist, you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, the Loyola experts say. Talk to your doctor about undergoing a sleep study.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about sleep (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm ).
SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, June 28, 2013