Dr. Pohl shares how women can sleep better without using medication.
Things that you can do if you are having trouble sleeping other than taking medication are–give a good shot at going to sleep 20 minutes. If you are in bed for 20 minutes and you are not asleep, get out of bed. The best cognitive behavioral interventions which are mood-changing behaviors are don’t spend time in bed if you are not asleep. So get up, do something that’s likely to make you sleep. Smoking a cigarette—not so good; watching an action movie—not so good; reading something that’s exciting—not so good. So something that’s likely to be, you know, calming.
Meditative practice, if you have one, would be terrific at that time. Then give it another shot. If you are unable to sleep after 20 minutes get out of bed. You don’t want the bed to become an enemy. You don’t want to stay in bed ruminating over why you can’t sleep and what’s going to happen tomorrow.
There’s a way of cognitively restructuring your attitude so that it’s really, “Oh, my God, I can’t go to sleep. I’ll have a terrible day tomorrow,” becomes “Well, I’d really love to sleep more. I’ll still get six hours and six hours does me okay. I mean, I’d like eight, but six will do.”
Exercise is very important. Earlier in the day is better. You shouldn’t be exercising past 4 o’clock if you have a sleep disturbance, and if you have a sleep disturbance eliminate caffeine. I mean, caffeine is a stimulant. It’s a simple, it’s a simple fix. Most of the literature says before noon, but if you have a sleep disorder I would just eliminate caffeine altogether. Certainly no caffeine after noon.
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.