Sleep changes go hand in hand with common psychiatric conditions like depression and mania, but before jumping to drugs to help you catch some Z’s, psychiatrists try to understand an individual’s “sleep hygiene” – the personal habits and environment associated with sleeping.
Here are a couple things which my attending has recommended to patients struggling to sleep.
- Don’t consume any sodas, coffee, energy drinks, or any other caffeinated products after 1 pm.
- Take a warm bath and/or drink a warm glass of milk
- Avoid watching TV, using the computer, or any other engaging activities
- Try to block out all noise
- Use your bed only for sleeping – don’t train your body into thinking it’s your office too
- Avoid heavy meals before sleeping (light snacks are okay)
- Practice yoga or deep breathing techniques for relaxation