Do you have a hard time falling asleep? I usually fall asleep rather quickly. I have a good friend that has big problems, it takes her hours (literally) to fall asleep. I have two other friends that say they never get a good night’s sleep. I started to think I may be in the minority after reading the results of a phone study on sleep habits done by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.
Here are some highlights from the study:
I can’t sleep because….
- Aches and pains (back, joints, muscles) – 69%
- Family and relationships stressors – 60%
- Work/life stressors – 46%
- Environmental noises/distractions – 35%
- Social life stressors – 29
What I’d give up for sleep….
- Vacation day – 70%
- Lifestyle luxury (cable TV)- 62%
- A bonus at work – 32%
When I’m tired, I fall behind in chores, am late to work….
- I have fallen asleep at work – 28%
- I’ve been late to work by more than 15 minutes – 31%
- I have performed poorly at work – 50%
- I have fallen behind on household chores –74%
- I’ve missed important appointments – 38%
Those are some rather astounding results in my opinion. In response to this widespread problem, the widely recognized “Sleep Doctor”, Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D., has provided some of his best sleep tips. Here they are.
7 Tips for Better Sleep
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule-there are two systems involved in sleep. One is the drive for sleep and the other is a biological clock that tells your body it is time for sleep. By having a consistent schedule both during the week and on the weekends, your biological clock will continue to function properly and help you avoid your brain thinking it is nighttime, when it really is time to get up.
- Stop caffeine ingestion by 2 p.m. Most people do not know it, but caffeine can stay in your system up to 8 – 10 hours. Many people can fall asleep after drinking caffeine, but they stay in lighter sleep and wake un-refreshed. By stopping caffeine by 2 p.m. you can avoid this issue. Notice you can still have a cup or two in the morning.
- Stop alcohol intake 3 hours before bed. Alcohol is the #1 sleep aid in the world, but it is one of the worst. Alcohol can make you feel sleepy, but it too like caffeine, will keep your body in lighter sleep. In addition, once metabolized you will wake to urinate. Since it takes the average human about an hour to metabolize each drink, I ask my patients to stop drinking 3 hours before bed, thus allowing for a glass or 2 of wine with dinner. I also suggest adopting my ‘glass for a glass’ technique. Drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol – this keeps you hydrated and slows you down.
- Stop exercising 4 hours before bed – there are many controversies about this one. If exercise gives you a feeling of calm, exercising up until a few hours before bed can be just fine. But if exercise gives you energy, this can be far too stimulating within 4 hours of bed.
- Get 15 minutes of sunlight every morning. This simple tip will also help re-set your biological clock every morning and keep that system in sync and running efficiently.
- Make sure you have the right equipment for sleep: replace your pillow every year, make sure that your body is not telling you it is time for a new mattress (it will tell you!) and keep your alarm clock either across the room or turned around (the only information you need during sleep is your dreams).
- If you have pain making you uncomfortable, consider a pain reliever plus mild non-habit forming sedative, like Advil PM. If you have mild pain from sitting at a computer all day, a mild injury, or a strain, this pain will not only prevent you from falling asleep, but each time you move the pain could wake you up.
And now I have a giveaway for which the prize will hopefully help one of you get a good night’s sleep.
ONE winner will receive 1 (40 count) bottle of Advil PM, 1 Snuggie, and 1 Sleep Eye Mask.
HOW TO ENTER. (MANDATORY)
To enter leave a comment on this post telling me if you have any problems sleeping and which one of the above tips you’re going to try.
BONUS ENTRIES – LOTS OF THEM!
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THE SMALL PRINT.
The winner will be selected using the “And the winner is” plugin. US addresses only please, no PO Boxes. This contest will end on Sunday 12/16/12 at 11:59 pm est. If you’ve entered any of my giveaways before then you know that only comments containing all of the requested information will be eligible for entry. Good luck to everyone!
I received a prize pack like that being given away in exchange for sharing this information. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.