I’m sure you’ve heard many people complain about how tired they are, and how they didn’t get a good night’s rest. It seems to be a daily complaint for most people, and Family Nurse Practitioner, Carrissa Hankins says it’s a good idea to have good sleep hygiene habits.
“Going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time, if you can. Clearly people who do shift work, that’s not really an option, but for the rest of us who have to get up at the same time to go to work, you might as well keep that same schedule on the weekends. The same as going to bed,” says Hankins.
Dr. Kirsanov, a doctor of Medicine understands the difficulty of getting sleep while doing shift work.
“We work shifts of seven days, 12 hour shifts, so it’s quite a long shift. At times we work nights so we don’t sleep at night,” says Kirsanov.
Kirsanov says he tries to take naps whenever possible. If not he will become sleep deprived, which means not getting enough sleep. When you’re tired, your motor functions don’t work as they should.
“For some people, if you’re sleep deprived enough, there’s no difference in function in a person who is severely sleep deprived, versus a person who is drunk,” says Hankins.
“The ability to react, is unfortunately very decreased,” says Kirsanov.
Hankins recommends having a bedtime routine.
“We recommend avoiding bright light before you go to bed, especially in the evening, and nothing too stimulating. Having a good bedtime routine is helpful. Because that tells the brain that okay, these are the things we do before we go to sleep.
Now an important thing to keep in mind, is that you need to train your brain that your bed is for sleeping. It’s not for other activities like watching tv, eating or being on the computer. Because once your body hits this bed, it needs to know that it’s time to sleep, and it’s not time to watch tv, or do other activities.
Hankins says that exercise can help with sleep. Don’t go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a huge meal either. She also says you should avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime, and says if you think you have a sleep problem to talk to your doctor. Everyone should be able to get their recommended 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a night.