Replacing sleep aids with routines for restful sleep

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Sleep. It’s something many of us can’t seem to get enough of or catch up on.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average person should Sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, but for many, that is not happening. 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep.

Dr. John Boswell said that insomnia is a common problem, with many causes. Even when your work could be keeping you from getting enough sleep.

“Shift worker sleep disorder. So this is a recognized sleep disorder that is caused by the rotating schedules of some of our patients, particularly those in manufacturing,” Boswell said.

And though sleep aids are helpful, there are a few things you can do to aid a better night’s rest.

“The management of insomnia is really about making behavioral changes and not relying on melatonin or a prescription sleep aid,” Boswell said.

“Yeah, we can use medicine sometimes to help with symptoms of insomnia. But the real fix is for us to discover the behaviors that you’re doing that contribute to it,” Boswell said.

One behavior that Boswell regularly sees that keeps people from getting a good night’s sleep is the lack of routines.

“But the less pattern that you have, whether it be a child or whether it be an adult, the less pattern that you have, and less routine you have, the more you’re guaranteed to have some sleep difficulty,” Boswell said.

And for those late nappers, it’s not that you are not getting enough rest at night it may be you are resting throughout the day.

“The first thing is routine and having a regular bedtime and a regular wake time, avoiding, again for those that are having trouble with sleep, avoiding sleep outside of that routine time. So if I nap during the daytime, I’m more likely to have trouble sleeping at night. It’s just a fact,” Boswell said.

If you have insomnia, Boswell encourages you to speak with your primary care physician about possible solutions.

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