The Chamber Review March/April 2019 - Page 37

disturb your sleep.

•Chronic pain. Back problems or arthritis can lead to sleep deprivation.

•Mental health issues. People with anxiety, depression and mania can also have difficulty sleeping.

•Medicines and other substances. Antidepressants, cold medicines, steroids, alcohol and caffeine can also make it difficult to sleep.

Typically, good-quality sleep is characterized by the ability to fall asleep within 30 minutes, sleep soundly through the night and drift back to sleep within 20 minutes if sleep is disrupted.

If you find yourself having difficulty sleeping, there are ways to achieve a better night’s rest. Try some of these simple tips:

1. Develop a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up the same time every day.

2. Make sure your bedroom is set up for sleep. Keep it dark, quiet and cool.

3. Avoid watching television or using electronic devices right before bed. Try and read a book instead or meditate to help you relax.

4. Avoid eating or drinking up to two hours before bedtime. Limit caffeine or alcohol before bedtime.

5. Make sure you’re getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Regular physical activity not only improves your overall health, but it can also help improve sleep habits.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping night after night or find it hard to function during the day, talk to your doctor to see if there are any medical or mental health issues that may be affecting your sleep.

Dr. Linda Pauls, MD, is a Family Medicine Physician at Kaiser Permanente’s Clovis Medical Offices. For more information about healthy sleep, go to and search “sleep.”