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Western Kentucky University

Sleeping Problems

Sleeping Problems:

 

Adjusting to college life, new sounds, new surroundings, new tasks, and perhaps a new time zone could be causing a sleep problem for you. Everyone gets sleepy from time to time, but if sleepiness is keeping you from doing the things you need to do on a daily basis, you may be suffering from sleep problems or disorders. Sleep problems can be related to psychological disorders or medical disorders. This is a guide, if you think you may have a sleeping disorder then consult a nurse or doctor.

How do I know if I have a sleep disorder or problem?

Many people have a sleep problem or disorder and do not realize it. You may have a disorder or problem if you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, if you doze off at random times, like class or driving. Other attributes may include poor performance, concentration, difficulty remembering, slower responses, more emotional. If you find yourself frequently tired, taking a lot of naps, or any of the above attributes, then you should consult a nurse or doctor.

What can I do about my sleeping problem?

If you think you may have a sleeping problem you should consult a nurse or doctor. Other options may be to avoid naps, do not drink caffeine, alcohol, or smoke before bed. Keep a sleep diary and expose yourself to light after awakening. Check your iron level and exercise early in the morning or day.

How can I improve my sleep environment?

Have a comfortable bed used mainly for sleeping and try to have peaceful, well vented sleeping area. Avoid or hide illuminating appliances and light while sleeping, and use a fan or something similar to block noises.

What should I do before bed?

Try to go to bed and wake up at similar times every day, and do not oversleep if you stayed up late or missed some sleep. Avoid stimulation and relax before going to bed. Do not eat a heavy meal, instead have a light bedtime snack to help with sleep. Set aside a time before bed to jot down or think about any worries. Avoid sleep aids and contact a nurse or doctor for assistance or questions.

How do I get back to sleep after I wake up?

If you cannot sleep then get out of bed, use some relaxation or visualization techniques. Do not do stimulating activities and eat some turkey, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, tuna, or cashews. If none of those work then think about changing your bedtime and or consulting a nurse or physician.

Helpful links:

Sleep Disorders: Types, Diagnosis, Risk Factors from Helpguide.org
Information on Sleep Problems from HealthierYou.com
Common Sleep Problems from the Nemours Foundation
Understanding Sleep Problems from the SleepSite.com

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 Last Modified 9/24/14