Healthy Sleep Practices to Help Patients with Sleep Apnea
Woodland Hills Sleep Apnea Dentist, Dr. Dan P. Hilton
A good night's sleep starts with good bedtime habits. They help your body know when it's time to sleep. Get started tonight!
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day
- Keep your bedroom quiet, comfortable, and dark
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate) at least 6 hours before bedtime
- Excercise regularly, but finish at least 4 hours before you go to bed
- Don't take naps during the day
- Take a warm bath 90 minutes before bed
- Don't read, eat, or watch TV in bed - suggest turning off lights/closing eyes/listen to soft music or TV if absolutely necessary
- Don't go to bed full
- Don't drink alcohol to help you sleep
Our bodies are naturally programmed to feel alert during the day and sleepy at night. This is called the sleep-wake cycle, and it's the body's way of adapting to the Earth's 24-hour cycle of night and day. The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by our body's master clock, which is located in a very specific area of the brain. Before the day begins, the master clock sends out an alerting signal to the body, telling it that it's time to wake up. When you wake up, you should not be sleepy if you've had enough sleep the night before. As the day progresses, the master clock keeps us awake. The signal weakens throughout the day, and the sleepiness slowly builds up. Meantime, the master clock keeps track of how much time is left until it should tell the body to sleep. When night falls, the body knows that it's time to sleep. The master clock turns the alerting signal off, and the sleepiness that has built up throught the day takes over and lets you sleep. Disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle can bring about insomnia. These disruptions include everyday stress, medical conditions, pain, and medications being taken. The healthy sleep practices listed on this page provide an opportunity to help regulate this sleep-wake condition and counteract these potential disruptions to your sleep. Dr. Hilton through his residency training at UCLA has become well versed in the sleep-wake cycle and basic treatment options for insomnia.
Do you Want to Learn More About Healthy Sleep Practices? Would you Like a Consultation to Discuss Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?
Dr. Hilton is trained in sleep medicine and can help treat sleep disorders in Woodland Hills. If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact our office or request an appointment online and we will help you build a custom treatment plan.