The Path to Good Night's Sleep

PITTSBURGH, April 26 (UPI) — A U.S. sleep expert says making a few changes sometimes can help people get the sound sleep they seek.

Janice Raffa, a Pittsburgh nurse who works for Highmark Inc., a Pennsylvania health insurer, advises those seeking a good night’s sleep to try keeping a regular sleep schedule — going to bed and waking up at the same time each day — even on weekends.

Raffa encourages establishing a relaxing bed-time routine — such as a bath, a book, a game or soothing music as well as a quiet, dark, cool and comfortable place to sleep — preferably free of work materials and digital devices, including television.

Other ways Raffa says can help improve sleep include:

– Avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime. However a light snack of tryptophan-rich foods, such as milk, cheese or peanuts, two hours before bedtime may make falling asleep easier.

– Exercising everyday, limiting caffeine and avoiding late evening alcohol and tobacco.

– Journaling early in the day to express feelings, frustrations and anxious thoughts.

– Getting out of bed and going to another room to get sleepy when having difficulty falling asleep or after waking up at night.

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