Table of contents:
- 1. Sleeping an extra hour on the weekend is good
- 2. The snooze button makes it easier for you to get up
- 3. Exercising after dinner will make you sleepy
- 4. Nothing like medicines to treat insomnia
- 5. Melatonin helps
A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that a third of American adults sleep less than 7 hours a night. Some of the things you do to fall asleep can have the opposite effect. James Wyatt, director of the Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, clarifies what works and what doesn't:
1. Sleeping an extra hour on the weekend is good
TRUE: Waking up later on weekends alleviates fatigue and irritability from insufficient sleep.
2. The snooze button makes it easier for you to get up
FALSE: If you have to turn off the alarm every 9 minutes, you get lighter, poorer quality sleep. Get up with the first sound. Set an alarm on the nightstand and another one across the room. So, if you fall asleep with the first one, you will have to get up to turn off the second one.
3. Exercising after dinner will make you sleepy
FALSE: "Exercising before bed warms you up and then cools you down faster than normal, which helps you fall asleep." Make sure you finish the exercise two hours before bed or you will be spinning while your brain waits for your body to cool down.
4. Nothing like medicines to treat insomnia
FALSE: "In therapy, a patient develops strategies to get to the root of the problem," says Wyatt. Many insomniacs also suffer from depression and anxiety; treating conditions at the same time helps a faster recovery.
5. Melatonin helps
FALSE: "Your brain already secretes all the melatonin it needs," says Wyatt. But supplements are effective if you need to sleep during the day, if you have a schedule change, or if you work at night.