Why Can’t I Sleep?

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Are you having trouble sleeping? Here are some ways to improve your sleep.

Summary:

Give yourself 8 hours of sleep to ensure you’re actually sleeping at least 7 to 7.5 hours.

Develop a healthy bedtime routine. Allow your body to slow down and prepare for sleep.

Reduce your caffeine intake. It takes your body 7 hours to clear half the amount of caffeine you’ve consumed from your body.

Transcript:

Dr. Heather Tick: A lot of people come in and say to me, I can’t sleep. Why? If you were having trouble sleeping, there could be many things that are the cause and I’m going to go through a few of them today.

First of all, are you giving yourself enough time to sleep? So you need to give yourself at least 8 hours in order to be able to get somewhere between 7 to 7 ½ hours of sleep.

What are the activities that you do before sleep? Do you watch television or are you on a computer? Are you doing work? Are you having an argument with somebody? Are you watching scary movies that get you all tensed and wired? Are you drinking coffee? All of those things are going to interfere with your sleep. So you need to develop a healthy, quieting bedtime routine and allow your body to slow down and get yourself ready for sleep. It’s best not to watch screens for about an hour before you go to sleep if you’re having any trouble sleeping.

Also if you’re having difficulty, check and see how much caffeine you’re taking in. There’s caffeine in a lot of sports drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea and even chocolate has some caffeine. Now, the half life of caffeine which means how long it takes for your body to get rid of half of what you’ve taken in, is 7 hours. So that means that half of your caffeine is still around after 7 hours and if you’ve taken a lot of it even if you stopped it at 2 o clock in the afternoon, it might still be there and not be metabolized, not be taken out of your system and that might interfere with sleep. So if you’re having difficulty, try coming off of all caffeine for awhile. You have to do it slowly because sometimes withdrawal from caffeine gives you a headache so try that and see if that helps.

Heather Tick M.D.

Heather Tick M.D.

Using both the data of modern science and the time-proven traditions of complementary medicine, Dr. Heather Tick M.D. has helped tens of thousands of patients reach their peak levels of health. For over twenty years Dr. Tick has dedicated herself to researching evidence-based holistic treatments for pain and inflammation. A multiple-book author, including the highly acclaimed Holistic Pain Relief - An In-Depth Guide to Managing Chronic Pain, Dr. Tick empowers her patients to live free of pain and full of life. She is the first holder of the prestigious Gunn-Loke Endowed Professorship of Integrative Pain Medicine at the University of Washington and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the departments of Family Medicine and Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine.

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