We’ve reached the end of Better Sleep Month, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop talking about it! In fact, with the way research is going it looks like there will always be something new to explore and consider when it comes to understanding sleep and discovering ways to improve it. Here are some studies and ideas that caught our eye, and we’d love to hear what you think of them.
We’ve all faced sleepless nights. Sometimes the biggest struggle seems to be
Do I stay in bed and try to sleep or just get up and do something?!”
In one study, people who couldn’t fall asleep immediately were instructed to get out of bed and go to another room. Over time, researchers noted, “...by associating the bed with ‘It’s time to go to sleep’ and not with other activities (reading a book, just lying there, etc.), participants were eventually able to quickly fall asleep due to the repeated process: it became almost automatic to fall asleep in their bed because a successful trigger had been created.” This prompts us to ask: what activities or environmental factors do you associate with sleep? Do they contribute to a good night’s sleep, or do you need to change something?
Considering a sleep aid? Like any other prescription or over the counter medicine, it’s important to understand exactly how sleep medications work (they’re not all the same), potential interactions with other medicine and how sleep aids can affect the way you think and feel. What else can you do during the day to help your body feel and work its best, while setting yourself up for better sleep? These are great things to discuss with your MOBE Guide as well. For even more insights, this news story looks at the use of sleep medications, behavior modifications and an approach called “sleep restriction” in helping people improve their sleep. It also includes a closer look at how most sleep aid medications work.