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Catch some zzzz's: 6 techniques to aid in sleep

When falling asleep just won’t happen, you may decide to turn to a sleep aid.  Here are a few safe and effective techniques to aid you in getting a good night’s sleep from Dr. Kelly Carden with Sleep Medicine of Middle Tennessee, an affiliate of Saint Thomas Physician Services. 

  • Sleep hygiene –Sleep hygiene refers to a set of simple behaviors that promote quality sleep.  A few basic tips are:
    • Go to bed and get up the same time every day
    • Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening
    • Watch what and when you eat at night
    • Engage in relaxing activities before bed
  • Stimulus control –Stimulus control is the development ofcalm, sleep-promoting activities prior to bedtime (and even in the middle of the night with awakenings).  Things that help include:
    • Removing the computer and television from the bedroom
    • Using the bed only for sleep, sickness, and sex.
  • Cognitive therapy –A type of treatment that helps people to understand and counter their negative thoughts and behaviors about sleep.
  • Sleep restriction – A term used to refer to the practice of limiting the number of hours in bed to only what you need in order to improve the quality of sleep.
  • Relaxation techniques – Various methods to promote good sleep with the use of imagery, deep breathing, meditation and muscle relaxation
  • Biofeedback – A way to help people to identify and learn to control physiological factors that affect sleep.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Carden to discuss your current sleep habits and improve your overall sleep patterns, please call Sleep Medicine of Middle Tennessee at 615-284-7533.

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