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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

2 ways to help your patients get better sleep

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto: Taso de kafo. Français : Photo d’une tasse de caffé Español: Taza de café (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

By JULIA SCHLAM EDELMAN, MD , 5 January 2013 post at KevinMD.com

 

1. Avoid looking at back-lit screens for 60 minutes before bedtime. That means no television, iPad use, laptop use, checking the smartphone, or reading a back-lit e-reader before bed.  Reading a book made from trees is ideal, as is listening to music or having a relaxing conversation, if you remember that vanishing social custom.

2. Taper the amount of caffeine you consume. Even if you finish your coffee in the morning, you will benefit.  It takes six hours to clear half the amount of caffeine you consume.  With super-sized coffee cups, a large cup may contain more than 200 milligrams of caffeine.  Here is the math.  If you drink three large cups of coffee by 11am, you have consumed 600 milligrams of caffeine.  Six hours later, at 5pm, 300mg of caffeine remain in your body.  Six hours after that, at 11pm, 150mg remain.  At 5am the next morning, 75mg of caffeine remain from the previous morning.  This compromises your ability to fall asleep readily, and makes your mind race.  It also prevents deep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.  If your patient offers to stop “cold turkey,” don’t let her.  A slow taper prevents caffeine-withdrawal headaches.

 

Read the entire article here

 

 

 

 

January 7, 2013 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , ,

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