Include the following evidence-based best clinical practices for sleeping disorder in your Home Health Policy and Procedure Manual:
A sleep disorder can interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning. In addition to medical treatment, developing daily habits and a bedtime routine may bring you consistently better sleep.
- If not contraindicated by other existing health conditions, get 30 minutes of low-intensity (walking) every day. Regular exercise helps improve sleep.
- Napping can interfere with sleep. Some people can take a short afternoon nap and still sleep well at night. However, if you are having trouble sleeping at night, try to eliminate napping.
- Avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances: tobacco, excess caffeine and drugs also interfere with restful sleep. Alcohol is a depressant. Tobacco and caffeine are stimulants and can cause increased anxiety.
- Take a careful look around your sleep environment.
- Do you have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably in bed, or are you cramped?
- You may want to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, pillows and sheets that provide more support and comfort. If your mattress is too hard, you can add a foam topper for additional softness.
- Make the time before sleep a time of peace and quiet. Avoid things that may trigger worry or anxiety before bed, like upsetting news or graphic television shows.
- Keep your room dark during sleep hours, keep the noise level down and reserve your bed for sleeping. Take the TV out of the bedroom.
- Don't eat a large meal within two hours of bed. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods as bedtime snacks.
- Bed-time snacks that DO help sleep: glass of warm milk and half a turkey or peanut butter sandwich, whole-grain, low-sugar cereal or granola with low-fat milk or yogurt, a banana and a cup of hot chamomile tea.
- Its normal to wake briefly during the night. Stay relaxed and if you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, try getting out of bed and doing a quiet activity. Keep the lights dim so as not to cue your body clock that it’s time to wake up.