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5 Tips to Help You Sleep Better Tonight!

Having troubles sleeping? Looking for ways to help you sleep better at night so you can feel rested during the day? Everyone has trouble sleeping now and then but here are some ways to help you to start sleeping better today!

  1. Find some time to relax. Make sure that you give your body time to shut down from your hectic daily schedule and just plain relax. Read a book in a quiet room, take a hot bath or just plain stop cooking and cleaning and take some time for you. It doesn't have to be for long, an extra 15 to 20 minutes will do your body wonders!
  2. Reduce your caffeine intake. Did you know that it can take up to 8 hours for caffeine to work its way through and out of your body? Eliminate caffeine a minimum of four hours before bedtime, you will fall asleep easier and sleep better through the night.
  3. Make sure naps are short. Try to avoid taking naps throughout the day but if you feel the need to take a nap make sure your nap isn't longer than 15 to 20 minutes. The best time to take a nap is about eight hours after you woke up for the day.
  4. Don't mix alcoholic beverages with medications used as sleep aids. You might fall asleep faster, but having alcohol in your system mixed with sleep aid medication may cause you to have a restless nights sleep. Mixing the two medications will make it more likely that you will be awake during the middle of the night.
  5. When should you exercise? If you seem to feel "awake" after you work out? Then exercising in the evening might not be the best time. Regular exercise is good for your body and can help you in getting a better night sleep.

Sleep Quiz

The following questions will help you measure your general level of daytime sleepiness. Answers to the questions are rated on a reliable scale called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Use the scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation.

Scale:

0 = would never doze 2 = moderate chance of dozing
1 = slight chance of dozing 3 = high chance of dozing

Situations Scale
Sitting and reading 0 1 2 3
Watching TV 0 1 2 3
Sitting inactive in a public place (eg. meeting, movie theatre) 0 1 2 3
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break 0 1 2 3
Lying down to rest in the afternoon 0 1 2 3
Sitting and talking to someone 0 1 2 3
Sitting quietly after lunch (when you've had no alcohol) 0 1 2 3
In a car, while stopped in traffic 0 1 2 3

With a score of 10 or more, we recommend that you contact your family physician to discuss your daytime sleepiness.