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Difficulty falling asleep, am exercising more now. Need advice on what I can do to change this

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2004
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For the past week I have not been able to actually fall asleep. I have gotten black out curtains to keep my room dark. I have been using earplugs to block out the noise. I have avoided any energy drinks, caffeine, tea and alcohol. I have kept the lights dim to off when I go to bed. The only snack I have had is a cup and half of cheerios with silk soy milk light. I have been always able to fall asleep. The only change that I have made recently is that I have been exercising more. I have now added cardio to my routine. I would normally work out at 4pm to 5pm for resistance training. I would then do some brisk walking on the treadmill from 5:00-5:30. I would have a XXXXXXX salad with grilled chicken for dinner. I don’t feel all that tired by the time that bedtime occurs. What happens is that I just lie there without going to sleep. I get up out of bed try to read a book or surf the internet. Yet when I return to bed I still continue to lie there but not fall asleep. I have done this for this past week. I need advice on what I can do to change this. I have never had this problem before when I was less physically active.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Sleep Disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 47 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

For sleep difficulty follows below principles of sleep hygiene which will help you:
•     Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. Do not be one of those people who allows bedtime and awakening time to drift. The body "gets used" to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleeping habits.
•     Avoid napping during the day
•     Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate, so be careful.
•     Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime
•     Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Avoid resistance exercise in evening.
•     Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
•     Reserve the bed for sleep. Don't use the bed as an reading, workroom or recreation room. Let your body "know" that the bed is associated with sleeping.
•     Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, XXXXXXX breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.
•     Don't take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Some people find it useful to assign a "worry period" during the evening or late afternoon to deal with these issues.
•     Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
•     Getting Up in the Middle of the Night :Most people wake up one or two times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of night and cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed "trying hard" to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later. Do not perform challenging or engaging activity such as office work, housework, etc. Do not watch television.
•     A Word About Television: Many people fall asleep with the television on in their room. Watching television before bedtime is often a bad idea. Television is a very engaging medium that tends to keep people up. We generally recommend that the television not be in the bedroom. At the appropriate bedtime, the TV should be turned off and the patient should go to bed. Some people find that the radio helps them go to sleep. Since radio is a less engaging medium than TV, this is probably a good idea. Also avoid internet use before sleep.

If all these measures do not help then XXXXXXX physician for check up and for prescription of some hypnotic medicine for short duration.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Difficulty falling asleep, am exercising more now. Need advice on what I can do to change this 5 minutes later
If I am going to bed at 2 am. When should I have stopped exersisng?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 25 minutes later
Hello again,

It is better to stop resistance exercise and continue running on treadmill on your usual time.

Wish you good health.
Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Difficulty falling asleep, am exercising more now. Need advice on what I can do to change this 3 minutes later
Please provide additional tips and strategies.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 6 minutes later
Hello again,

Above measures helpful in 90% cases of insomnia. You follow them regularly.

If all these measures do not help then XXXXXXX physician for check up and for prescription of some hypnotic medicine for short duration.

There may be need to check certain health issues like blood pressure, certain hormonal levels and psychological issues as a cause for insomnia.

Wish you good health.
Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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