NSF Announces New Initiative to Help America Start Sleeping Smart

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Date:
Thursday, July 31, 2008
  • into bed at least a few nights per week, including watching TV (90 percent); using the computer or Internet (33 percent); or doing household chores (43 percent).

“Prescription sleep aids are safe and effective when taken as prescribed, however, our survey found that 85 percent of all respondents believed that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids,” said Helene A. Emsellem, MD, FAASM, medical director, The Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders, Chevy Chase, Maryland and a volunteer with the National Sleep Foundation . “It is important for patients to work with their healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for their insomnia, including lifestyle changes, adjusting bedtime sleep routines, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or prescription medications that help people fall and stay asleep.”

As with all medications, it is important to take sleep aids only as directed by a healthcare professional. This means following his or her instructions about how to take, when to take and how long to take sleep medicine. Sleep aids should not be taken with alcohol, before driving or operating machinery, or before taking a bath or shower, among other things. Be sure you’re able to devote 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Patients should consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication differently than how it is prescribed. 

Tips for Sleeping Smart

  • Establish a regular bed and wake time
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise regularly (but complete the workout at least 3 hours before bedtime)
  • Establish a regular relaxing “wind-down” bedtime routine
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and cool
  • Discuss appropriate way to take any sleep aid with healthcare professional

Are you sleeping smart? For more information visit www.sleepingsmart.org.

About Insomnia

Insomnia can be a serious medical condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep (waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep), waking up too early in the morning and feeling tired upon waking. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately 30 million

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