March 26, 2016

Good sleep is under appreciated, until you don’t have it.

While many medicines may help (ambien, trazodone, restoril, doxepin, rozerem, etc…), the smart approach is to maximize the easy things.

Use the bed only for sleep and sexual activities. Don’t associate TV, computers or other activities with being in bed. Also keep the room quiet, cool and dark.

Other points from the Brief Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia tool reviewed recently by Dr Charles Reynolds ( ) include:

Reduce time in bed. This doesn’t mean decreasing the amount of sleep per se, but rather the amount of wakefulness that can occur during a night.

Get up at the same time every day of the week. This practice provides a kind of circadian anchor to the brain’s sleep wave rhythms. Even if you’ve slept poorly, getting up at the same time helps you to sleep better the next night.

Don’t go to bed unless sleepy. This strategy helps to increase sleep drive by keeping you awake longer. Going to bed when you’re not sleepy can lead to frustration and gives your brain the wrong message.

Don’t stay in bed unless asleep. Learn to associate lying in bed with sleeping, and not with worrying or other activities that may lead to frustration.