Remedy Your Sleep Issues - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

FOX Medical Team

Remedy Your Sleep Issues

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

As a nurse, Erica Pittmon knows sleep is really important, which makes not being able to get it all the more frustrating. Pittmon says, "Usually I toss and turn a little bit, then I get up, get some water, go to the bathroom."

She gets 5 to hours of sleep a night. Emory internist Sharon Horesh Berqquist says that's not enough. And, she says, a lot of us are sleep-deprived. Horesh Bergquist says, “And we're not talking about those short bouts of insomnia, because that's not what's really going to harm you. It's the chronic insomnia. It's people on a regular basis not getting that recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep."

So what can you do? Horesh Bergquist says, “To begin with, the most important is to create a good environment for sleep in your bedroom. You want cool, quiet and dark. If you have a pet that wakes you up in the middle of the night, your pet should not sleep with you.”

And, she says, lose the gadgets, “Your bedroom has got to be a no cellphone, no computer, no laptop, no TV zone. Because you want to associate your bedroom with sleep and sex."

If you have trouble falling asleep, start a relaxing wind-down about 30 minutes before you go to bed. Horesh Bergquist says.

"It could be listening to music, it could be reading a good book, taking a bath. But something that helps your body just wind down."

If you can't turn off the thoughts in your head, she says, “This is the perfect time to take out pen and paper and write down everything on your mind, put it aside, and just know that you can come back to it the next day.

Once got to bed, give yourself 20 minutes. If sleep won't come, don’t fight it. Horesh Bergquist says, “Get out of bed, go to the next room, read a book, do something quiet and relaxing. And when you feel that sleep-wave come over you, then try again. The last thing you want to do is just stare at the alarm clock.”

Exercise can help, so can napping during the daytime. If you enjoy a glass of wine, 1-2 servings is okay. But Horesh Bergquist says remember that alcohol is a stimulant. So, cut out the booze about three hours before bedtime. Cut off caffeine six hours before you go to bed.

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