Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Three golden rules for good sleep

Sleep is indispensable for maintaining our lives. However. there are lots of people suffering from insomnia. Nearly a half of people are said to have some kinds of sleep disturbance, according to new statistics.

Pubmed: Epidemiology of sleep and sleep disorders in The Netherlands.

In Japan, almost all patients with mental disorders complain problems regarding sleep. And psychiatrists are also eager to deal with this issue. As a result, however, shamefully massive sleeping pills are prescribed. In recent years, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare started to regulate the excessive use of benzodiazepines. But there are still many patients with benzodiazepine dependence.


There are three golden rules for good sleep applicable to all people. I was surprised to know many patients do not understand them when I have a series of the sessions with patients for clinical research.

1. Do not take a sleeping pill unless you cannot sleep
Many patients take pills regardless of their feeling. Regular use of benzodiazepine cause dependency quite easily.
Patients say they are anxious to have a difficulty to fall asleep. As a result, some patients take pills much before they go to bed. It is the worst usage of sleeping drugs.
You should not decide to take sleeping pills unless it is truly difficult to sleep. If you really have insomnia this night, you can take a pill, definitely.

2. Do not go to bed unless you feel sleepy
Many patients have a difficulty to fall asleep. For example, a patient goes to bed at 23, but he falls asleep at 25 at last. Then, he thinks that he should go to bed early. He goes to bed at 21, to fall asleep at 23.
It is a bad solution. Because he is not sleepy at 21, he stays on the bed without going to sleep. He often watches a smartphone or listens to loud music. These behaviors make his insomnia worse.
When you do not feel sleepy, you need not go to bed. It is a quite natural act as a human. You can spend time on the sofa with reading a book or writing diary. When you become bored, it is the time to go to bed.

3. Do not lay in daytime
Many patients with insomnia feel tired in the daytime. They often consider the sleeping time is too short to restore their health. Then, they sleep at noon.
But, it leads to worsened night sleep, undoubtedly. Our circadian rhythm is easily disguised by the nap. Although there is a hypothesis that taking siesta is good for life, I do not recommend patients with insomnia to take a nap in the daytime.
It should be noted that only laying down is harmful. Even if you are not aware, your brain takes sleep when you lay on the bed. When you feel exhausted, take a rest with sitting on a chair for less than fifteen minutes. It will not inhibit your night sleep, I ensure.

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