Millions toss and turn much of the night, unable to fall asleep – or to stay asleep once they finally do drift off.
“Lack of sleep can leave you fatigued and with a weakened immune system, which could make you more susceptible to infections,” said Dr. Shab Krish, director of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of North Texas. She offered tips for those who find themselves still exhausted when morning arrives:
• Set your clock to remind bedtime is approaching. Krish suggests 30 minutes before bedtime, which should be the same every night.
• Set the mood. Make the bedroom an oasis with dark shades covering all windows and eliminating noise. Set the temperature between 68 degrees and 72 degrees.
• Follow nightly bedtime rituals, such as taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, or reading.
• Use your bed only as a bed. “Doing work or other stressful activities while in bed can make it difficult for your brain to relax when it’s time to sleep,” Krish said.
• Rule out a sleep disorder. Experiencing trouble falling asleep, waking up regularly during the night, and snoring are a few of the indications that you might have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, Krish said. “When you wake up in the morning you should feel refreshed,” she says. “If you don’t, that might be an indicator of a more serious problem, and you should consider talking to a medical professional.”