This week's topic
Sleep tips through the ages/Insomina
Sleep deprivation is used as a torture device. A good night's sleep is essential for our health and happiness. I brushed up and updated my earlier sleep series.
The links are below.
For all of you new parents starting out, the above link has some essential tips to get you started out with good habits
The above link review some nap and bedtime strategies
The name of the post speaks for itself, Here are some strategies for keeping your kids to adjust to the new bed and the freedom that comes along with it
Now it is time for the post for the big kids and adults.
I had promised this post over the years, but somehow never got around to doing it.
If you or your child are having sleep issues, start playing detective to see if you can figure out an obvious source.
Here are some things to consider:
The basic sleep routine matters a lot. Sleep specialists often focus on something called sleep hygiene. This means getting to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Yes, this means weekends.
Some teenagers get themselves sliding down the slippery slope by staying up late on the weekend nights and sleeping late on the weekend mornings. On Sunday evenings when it is bedtime, no one is particularly tired if they just woke up at noon. A week or so of rigid bedtime and wake up can make a huge difference.
Avoid screen time for several hours prior to going to sleep. I know this is hard for folks who are trying to finish up homework, but all the specialists are emphatic about this. Try to get your child to do any computer focused homework out of the way first. At the very least, try using a program such as f.lux or nightmode that adjusts the blue light, which is one of the issues shown to impact sleep.
Make sure there is no caffeine or too much sugar in the evening. This includes chocolate! Chamomile tea with a splash of warm milk has the combo of the tryptophan from the milk and chamomile in a nice soothing nightcap.
For the older kids, teens or adults that are having a tough night, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning any longer than thirty minutes or so. Instead, get out of bed and go sit in a chair or desk and do something boring. This is not the time to read Harry Potter or any book that is a page turner. After fifteen minutes get back in bed and try again. One way to ensure a teen gets back in bed is to limit their reading options to their textbooks (good luck!)
Consider meditation, acupuncture/ acupressure and or hypnosis. I have had many patients respond well to those.
Did you know that insomnia has a strong connection to anemia and vitamin D level? If you or your child are having chronic sleep issues, consider having your iron and vitamin D levels checked. There is no downside to making sure your diet is getting adequate iron, and that you are getting enough vitamin D, even if you don’t want to go to the lab.
While gentle yoga stretching can probably be relaxing, strenuous and heart-pumping exercise should be avoided at least two hours before bedtime.
If none of the above remedies have helped you, occasional use of melatonin is fine. Especially if it is to get over jet lag or to help you get a good night's sleep before an important test or event.
CBD is very helpful for occasional sleepless adults. It is essential that you have these stashed carefully away so that your younger kids don’t have access.