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Does Counting Sheep Work? Tips For A Good Night's Sleep

Arne Coomans

According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome. Ross Reynolds interviewed Dr. Sarah Stolz, the medical director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Swedish Medical Center.

Tips For A Good Night's Sleep: 

  • Bedtime: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even weekends. 
  • Time in bed: Don't go to bed until you are sleepy. Plan to do something relaxing, such as reading, for 30 minutes before bed. 
  • Sleep duration: Find and maintain a consistent sleep duration. Do not vary on weekends, and don't sleep in after a poor night's sleep. 
  • Lying in bed awake: When awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something sedentary and boring in dim light. Stay off the computer. 
  • Bedroom activities: Limit activities in bed to sleep and sex. No reading, video games, TV, bill paying, or worrying. 
  • Napping, dozing: If naps are absolutely necessary, limit to one 20-minute nap around mid-day. 
  • Caffeine: No caffeine after noon. 
  • Alcohol: No alcohol within three hours of bedtime. Alcohol disturbs sleep. 
  • Physical activity: Maintain a regular exercise plan. No exercise within three hours of bedtime. 
  • Clock: Set an alarm so you need not worry about oversleeping, but turn the clock away so you cannot see it during the night. 
  • Worry: Set aside "worry time" during the day. Don't do your worrying in bed. 

More sleep resources: Swedish Sleep Center