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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

5 ways to improve your sleep without medications

Improving your sleep hygiene can help you sleep longer and better. Here's how:

1. Go to bed only to sleep

o Don’t eat, watch TV, use your computer or play on your phone/tablet in bed

o Don’t lie awake in bed waiting to fall asleep- read, listen to music, and relax on your couch instead.

o Avoid turning on bright lights, or looking at screens of any kind

o Return to bed only when you are ready to doze off

2. Make your bedroom comfortable

o Keep temperatures between 60-75 F for better sleep

o Use blackout curtains or blinds to keep your bedroom dark, or use eye masks

o Make sure your bed and mattress are comfortable

o White noise is soothing and helpful for sleep, nature sounds, calming instrumental music, even dull mechanical sounds can work

o Don’t have a TV in your bedroom

3. Prepare for bedtime

Dos: Relax with a bath, a good book and some gentle music before bed.

Don’ts: Check work email, watch the news, have a difficult conversation or workout close to bedtime. Try to relax 1-2 hours before bedtime

4. Be active

o Moderate physical exercise improves sleep. Try to include some physical activity in your day

o Strenuous activity right before bed can increase stress hormone (cortisol) levels, which will get in the way of good sleep.

o Be mindful of the timing and amount of exercise

5. Have a consistent sleep schedule

Stick to a sleep schedule to regulate your Circadian rhythm.

o Wake up at the same time every morning

o Even if you go to bed late, don’t change your wake up time

o Avoid taking naps during the day

o Try to go to bed at the same time every night

o If that is hard to do, at most have a 2 hour window for your bedtime (say 9-11pm, 12-2 am)

Sleep well and be healthy,

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

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