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Home Health Policy and Procedure Manual - Manage a Sleeping Disorder

Posted by Patty Jampolsky on Aug 20, 2014

Include the following evidence-based best clinical practices for sleeping disorder in your Home Health Policy and Procedure Manual:14-08-20-sleeping

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.

  1. If not contraindicated by other existing health conditions, get 30 minutes of low-intensity (walking) every day. Regular exercise helps improve sleep.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Take a careful look around your sleep environment.
    1. Do you have enough room to stretch and turn comfortably in bed, or are you cramped?
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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