Improve habits to help sleep, weight loss
From Spotlight on Health - Spring 2010
As a foster parent, Judith Weik spent many sleepless nights caring for newborns. After the children were long gone, she still struggled to fall asleep. While living in Texas, Judith was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome (RLS). The medication prescribed for RLS made her sick, causing her to stop taking it.
After she moved to Minnesota in 2006, her doctor suggested she see Troy Payne, MD, at St. Cloud Hospital’s Sleep Center. Dr. Payne suggested a different medication for her RLS, but when that didn’t work, he referred her to sleep psychologist Eric Felsch, PsyD.
After only three visits, Judith was amazed by how simple it was to get a good night’s sleep by using Felsch’s suggested sleep techniques.
“It’s wonderful. I feel like a new person. My outlook on life has changed from depressed to optimistic,” Judith said. “I’ve lost 20 pounds, which I’ve been trying to do for many years.”
Now, at the age of 62, Judith and her husband are enjoying their second career after buying the Woodsong Campground near Mora.
||Tips to help promote better sleep
1. Maintain a regular wake time, even on your days off.
2. Wait until you are drowsy before going to bed.
3. Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex and times of illness.
4. Avoid napping. If you have to nap, do so for less than 30 minutes.
5. Establish relaxing rituals before bedtime (reading, warm bath, etc.).
6. If you have not fallen asleep and do not even feel drowsy after about 20 minutes in bed, get up and engage in a quiet, relaxing activity in another room. Return to your bed when you feel drowsy. Repeat this process if needed.
7. Avoid caffeine within six hours of bedtime.
8. Avoid tobacco use close to bedtime and during the night.
9. Don’t use alcohol to help you fall asleep as it can worsen the quality of sleep and cause difficulty with staying asleep throughout the night.
Learn more about the Sleep Center