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Is a Good Night’s Sleep Elusive? Six Tips for Sweet Dreaming
Everyone – from infants to mature adults – requires adequate quality sleep but experiencing great sleep can be easier said than done, says Family Medicine Physician Rohin Saroya, MD, from Bayhealth Primary Care, Smyrna. Dr. Saroya, who completed a fellowship in sleep medicine, regularly treats patients dealing with insomnia. In fact, it’s estimated one in three people have trouble sleeping. Dr. Saroya offers six tips for better sleep for everyone in the family:
- Set a sleep schedule. “Don’t sleep in on weekends,” he said. While sleeping a half hour or an hour later may not cause problems, Dr. Saroya advises against altering sleep and waking times by several hours. “Both children and adults need a sleep schedule.”
- Anxiety is often linked to insomnia but may not be the actual cause of losing sleep. “It’s a matter of what comes first, the chicken or the egg.” The treatment may require flexibility, and Dr. Saroya recommends lifestyle and behavioral changes before trying medication.
- Remove electronics from the bedroom. Electronic devices include cell phones, tablets, and televisions. “They emit light wave lengths like those from the sun, impacting the body’s circadian rhythms. It promotes the mind toward wakefulness.”
- Skip the alcohol. While an extra beer or glass of wine may make you sleepy, alcohol really has an opposite effect. “Alcohol is actually stimulating after it moves out of your system.”
- Watch what you eat. “Avoid anything that leads to heartburn or acid reflux.” Although everybody has different triggers, common triggers could include caffeine, tomatoes, and spicy foods.
- Daily physical exercise is important, but there’s one caveat: Don’t exercise right before bedtime. That’s too much stimulation.
If you need a family doctor, Bayhealth’s physician referral service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (229-3627) to find a doctor that meets your needs