November 16, 2009 --Dr. Lisa Shives, sleep expert and founder of the Northshore Sleep Medicine Center in Evanston, visits ABC7 Chicago to talk about getting better sleep.Tips for Better Sleep: Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Be sure that you are getting enough sleep. So many Americans are sleeping less than the 7-8 hours that are needed for optimal energy and health. If you are sleeping 8 hours and you still feel tired, then something is wrong with the quality of your sleep. Seeing a sleep doctor is advised. Keep a set sleep schedule - even on weekends. Most people feel better if they keep a set schedule, going to bed at the same time and getting up the same time. Studies show that shift workers have a hard time getting enough sleep. Most only sleep about 6.5 hours. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. Alcohol disturbs the sleep and makes the sleep you get less refreshing. Try to refrain from alcohol consumption at least 3 hours before bedtime if you want to wake up and be your best and brightest. Don't eat or drink large amounts before going to bed. Eating a big meal or drinking a lot of liquids will have you using the washroom all night. A small snack is o.k. (e.g. 2 to 3 crackers and some cheese). Be sure that your bed partner is not disturbing you. Perhaps he/she has a sleep disorder that is impinging on your sleep quality. Be sure your pets are not disturbing you. Make your room cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. Don't stay "plugged" in until you turn the lights out. Besides sleep, Dr. Shives says people need more quiet, alone time to relax and reflect, a time without the computer, the cell phone, the TV, and video games.
For more information, log onto www.nssleep.com
Northshore Sleep Medicine
3451 Church St.