Relieving chronic pain and controlling medical conditions such as frequent urination may improve sleep in some people. Treating depression can also improve sleep.
Sleeping in a quiet place and drinking a glass of warm milk before bed may improve the symptoms. Other ways to promote sleep include following these healthy lifestyle tips:
- Avoid large meals shortly before bedtime.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine.
- Get regular exercise early in the day.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. (Don't take naps.)
- Use the bed only for sleep or sexual activity.
If you can't fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity such as reading or listening to music.
Avoid using sleeping pills to help you sleep, if possible. They can lead to dependence and can make sleep problems worse over time if you don't use them correctly. Your health care provider should assess your risks of daytime sleepiness, mental (cognitive) side effects, and falls before you begin taking sleep medications.
- If you need sleeping pills, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and Rozerem can be safe when used properly.
- It is best to NOT take sleeping pills several days in a row or for more than 2 - 4 days a week.
- Alcohol can make the side effects of all sleeping pills worse and should be avoided.
WARNING: The FDA has asked manufacturers of certain sleep medicines to put stronger warning labels on their products so that consumers are more aware of the potential risks. Possible risks while taking such medicines include severe allergic reactions and dangerous sleep-related behaviors, including sleep-driving. Ask your doctor about these risks.