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1. Name of Booklet Sleep Well 1. What you found very interesting or Touching 2. What you learnt from it and possibly practice in real life 3. What you disagree within the booklet 4. Anything you would like to add to the topic that is not in the booklet Sleep is as essential to you as food, air, and water. Yet sometime in your life you may experience difficulty in sleeping (about one in three adults report some degree of insomnia at any one time). If you do have trouble sleeping, several changes in lifestyle can help you regain a satisfactory sleep pattern. Experiment with these helpful strategies offered here. Five Basic Strategies Never oversleep Never oversleep because of a poor nights sleep. This is the most crucial rule. Get up at about the same time every day, especially on the morning after youve lost sleep. Sleeping late for just a couple of days can reset your body clock to a different cycle — youll be getting sleepy later and waking up later. Set your body clock Light helps restart your body clock to its active daytime phase. So when you get up, go outside and get some sunlight. Or if thats difficult, turn on all the lights in your room. Then walk around for a few minutes. The calves of your legs act as pumps and get blood circulating, carrying more oxygen to your brain to help get you going. Exercise Keep physically active during the day. This is especially important the day after a bad nights sleep. When you sleep less, you should be more active during the day. Being less active is one of the worst things an insomniac can do. Strenuous exercise (brisk walking, swimming, jogging, squash, etc.) in late afternoon seems to promote more restful sleep. Also, insomniacs tend to be too inactive a couple of hours before bed. Do some gentle exercise. A stretching routine has helped many people. Dont nap Do not take any naps the day after youve lost sleep. When you feel sleepy, get up and do something. Walk, make the bed, or do your errands. While studying, get up regularly (every 30 minutes, or more often if necessary) to walk around your room. Do a gentle stretch. That will increase the flow of oxygen to your brain and help you to be more alert. Set a bedtime schedule using these two steps First, try to go to bed at about the same time every night. Be regular. Most people get hungry at 7 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. because theyve eaten at those times for years. Going to bed at about the same time every night can make sleep as regular as hunger. Second, go to bed later when you are having trouble sleeping. If youre only getting five hours of sleep a night during your insomnia period, dont go to bed until just five hours before your wake-up time. For instance, if youve been waking up at 7 a.m., dont go to bed until 2 a.m. No naps Make the time you spend in bed sleep time. Still some insomnia Go to bed proportionately later. Then, as your time in bed becomes good sleep time, move your going-to-bed time back 15 to 30 minutes a night and do that for a week or so.This is the opposite of what we want to do we want to go to bed earlier to make up the lost sleep. Learn to do what many sleep laboratories teach — go to bed later the night after losing sleep. Additional Strategies Develop a bedtime routine Stop studying and dont get into any stimulating discussions or activities a half hour or hour before bed. Do something thats relaxing — read light material, play your guitar, listen to music that is quiet, catch a mindless TV show. Some people sleep better in a clean and neat environment, so they like to straighten and clean their room just before going to bed. Find your own sleep-promoting routine. Warm bath, yes shower, no Take a long, hot bath before going to bed. This helps relax and soothe your muscles. Showers, on the other hand, tend to wake you up. Insomniacs should avoid showers in the evening. List gotta dos Keep a pad and pencil handy. If you think of something you want to remember, jot it down. Then let the thought go. There will be no need to lie awake worrying about remembering it. Stretch and relaxation Some people find that a gentle stretching routine for several minutes just before getting into bed helps induce sleep. Others practice relaxation techniques. Libraries or bookstores have books on developing stretching or relaxation routines. The To eat or not to eat Some sleep centres recommend a light breakfast and lunch to help you stay alert during the day. They advise you to make the evening meal the major meal of the day. Schedule it at least four hours before bedtime so your digestive system will be reasonably quiet by the time youre ready to sleep. Warm milk It helps some people to have a glass at bedtime. Milk has an essential amino acid, tryptophan, which stimulates the brain chemical serotonin, believed to play a key role in inducing sleep. A piece of whole wheat bread, or another carbohydrate, enhances the effect. Or try taking tryptophan, beginning with about two grams about an hour before bedtime. A piece of wheat bread will help the tryptophan to be absorbed. Avoid caffeine and tyrosine-rich foods from late afternoon on Caffeine, a chemical in coffee, colas, tea, chocolate, etc., causes hyperactivity and wakefulness. Some sleep laboratories encourage people to avoid such tyrosine-laden foods as fermented cheeses (cheddar is about the worst cottage cheese and yogurt are OK), ripe avocados, some imported beers, and fermented meats (bologna, pepperoni, salami). Also avoid red wines, especially chianti. Cut down on alcohol Alcohol might help you get to sleep, but it results in shallow and disturbed sleep, abnormal dream periods, and frequent early morning awakening. Sleeping pills Reasons to avoid sleeping pills include disturbed sleep patterns, short-term amnesia, and impaired motor skills. Research shows that benzodiazepine hypnotics, the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills, impair short-term memory, reaction time, thinking, and visual-motor coordination (such as driving). Is Your Environment Conducive To Sleep Room temperature Sleep in a cool room (60 degrees or so). Pile on another blanket or add one under the mattress pad rather than turn up the heat. A physician I know used this principle while in medical school he kept an air conditioner on in his room all year. He said it helped him sleep better so that he needed less sleep. You dont need to go to such extremes, but do keep it cool. Humidity Even a little thing like a dry throat may make sleeping more difficult. Most heating systems dry the air in your bedroom, so borrow a humidifier to see if it will help. Keeping heat down and having a window open can also keep humidity up. Noise Some people seem to sleep better if there is a white noise — a fan running, for example — in the background. For others, noise can interrupt sleep. In addition to the fan strategy, try particular kinds of music to blot out the noise. Play a recording of music that has no words, no definite melody, and not a lot of change in the volume. Baroque music is a good choice. There are many tapes of sounds that aid sleep by quieting the mind, emotions, and body. If desperate, you might try ear plugs that workers use on noisy jobs. If you use cotton, be sure to use balls large enough that they wont work down into your ear canal and have to be removed by a physician. Worrying about insomnia Focusing on insomnia might make it worse. After all, you wont die from it It is frequently a symptom of something else excessive worry or anxiety about grades, money, relationships, etc. If you think a particular worry might be keeping you awake, get up, find paper and a pencil, and jot down something you can do about that worry tomorrow. Put the note where youll see it when you wake up. You can set aside your worry and use the remainder of the night for restful sleep. If necessary, use the strategies already described to get back into a regular sleep pattern. In bed and unable to sleepIf you are in bed and unable to sleep, many experts suggest getting completely out of bed, sitting in a chair, and reading, writing letters, or doing some quiet activity. As you get sleepy, go back to bed and use a relaxation technique to fall asleep. Make your bed a place to sleep, not a place to get other things done.Dont get mad at yourself Try not to worry about not sleeping. Your bodys wisdom will take over and youll begin sleeping regularly as long as you use the five basic strategies described earlier. ExercisingThe role of exercise cannot be stressed enough Adding regular exercise — brisk walking, riding an exercycle (perhaps while watching TV), swimming — has helped many people sleep better. The more active your body is during the day, the more likely it is that youll be able to go to sleep when its time for your body to be quiet. Quiet time for sleep needs to be a contrast to a more active day. Waking up at nightWhat should you do when youre awake after just two, three, or four hours of sleep Do not drink, eat, or smoke when you wake up. If you do, youll find yourself waking up for them after just three or four nights of such treats. Do get out of bed, read, write letters, or do some quiet activity. Reactions to the stresses of everyday life can result in a level of sleep that is easily interrupted. A good stress-management program can help. Awake 4 or 5 a.m Now whatGet up and begin the day. If youre rested, youve probably had enough sleep and have a head start on most people. If youre still tired, get up anyway and go through the day, avoiding naps. Start the routines suggested in the basic strategies.Build an exercise program and stress-management training into your life. By learning to be less stressed during the day, you also learn to sleep better at night. Not managing stress very wellDifficulty in effectively managing normal, everyday stress in life is a common problem. A frequent reaction to daily stresses is insomnia, either sleep-onset insomnia or sleep-interrupting insomnia. A good stress-management program helps you learn how to manage those frequent stressors and go more easily through each day. How Much Sleep do You Need Sleep needs vary from person to person. Some need only four hours per night, but others seem to need 10. Some people complain because they sleep only five or six hours each night. Yet many of these people awake rested in the morning and function well during the day. Five or six hours of sleep is all they need most of the time. They dont have insomnia. 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