Tips for Insomnia for all of us

Having trouble sleeping is one of the most commonly reported symptoms I encounter in treating patients in private practice, as well as in the hospital. At a time like this, where are activities have been significantly affected, these symptoms are even more prevalent, even in people that don’t typically have difficulty sleeping. I’ve created a graphic based on information I found through a trauma research center and NYU, specifically geared toward healthcare workers. You can click on the graphic to expand it. After the graphic we will discuss information applicable to anyone:

Sleep Guide Graphic by Dr. Dhrymes

So what are some other tips that are useful for all of us:

Know your body – What are activities that get you revved up? What are activities that calm you down? These might differ from person to person, for example, typically exercise wakes some people up, but depending on the type and the person, you might feel very exhausted afterwards. Make a list of these two categories of activities and be mindful of when you are getting involved in each of them. Do your best to involve yourself in activating activities only in the morning, and in fact, try to make a regular habit of doing such activities in the morning to get you going, particularly under the current circumstances. I have other tips about this area in particular depending on your personality style and situation, please contact me if you’d like to discuss it further.

Bright light – Yes, this one was already mentioned in the graphic. But I can’t stress it enough. Exposing yourself to bright light is key to maintaining some semblance of a sleep-wake cycle. A bright light could mean being near a window or even using a special lamp. If you’d like to discuss this more, please contact me.

What the heck is a “routine”? You’ve probably heard that having “a routine” is really important. What does this even mean and is it really so crucial? A routine really means that for a period of literally HOURS leading up to bedtime, you are doing things to wind down, step by step. I’m not talking about staying quiet and doing nothing for hours before bedtime, but in a progressive way, winding yourself down such that as your bedtime approaches, lying down and going to sleep is a natural progression. Unfortunately, one thing that most of us are guilty of is the use of screens as we approach bedtime, which is not at all a way of winding the brain down. We can tailor an approach to your individual preferences, lifestyle, and personality to develop a personalized routine. Not having enough sleep can increase, fuel, and amplify feelings of anxietydepression, and more. 

Give me a call or fill out the contact form to book a free phone consult and let’s get you on the path to improving your sleep now.