SAN ANTONIO — That deep REM cycle sleep, it can be hard to get there and stay there some nights.
There are tons of recommendations out there, but how do you differentiate what’s really works?
We hit up a team of experts at the Sleep Therapy & Research Center to see what they recommend.
Q: If you are the type that can’t seem to get to sleep then maybe you’ve tried herbal remedies. But does lavender essential oil or a relaxing tea like chamomile really work?
“It’s ok, there’s no harm in drinking chamomile tea. Is there enough research to support that, maybe not. But some people do benefit from that,” Nagwa Lamaie, M.D. said.
Q: What if you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep. Should you stay in bed and “count sheep” as they say?
“Don’t leave the bed right away, wait maybe you will fall asleep again, but if you get to the point where you are really frustrated that you are not falling asleep leave the bed," Nagwa Lamaie, M.D. said. "Because you don’t want your brain to associate bed with being bored and not able to fall asleep."
Q: Do noise machines help you to get to sleep and stay asleep?
“For most people it does, because sometimes it’s that soothing affect to that white noise whether that’s rain or wind," Nagwa Lamaie, M.D. said. "So I will agree with the white noise machine."
Q: What about falling asleep to your TV or scrolling your phone before bed?
“That can be a very big contrast because the actual program itself and the commercials can be two different volumes and that different volumes can disturb sleep," Sarah Andry, DO said. "The blue light is also definitely an issue. We’ve seen different LED devices that have this blue light wavelength and that actually hits the back of the eye the retina and sends a signal to the brain to delay your sleep even more."
Q: And we know kids need more sleep, but can adults really survive on just a few hours of sleep?
“A lot of people have that misconception that they can get away with sleeping five hours or four hours." Nagwa Lamaie, M.D. said. “One in four million people would be able to sleep less than seven hours and function ok.
Dr. Lamaie and the Sleep Therapy & Research Center recommend you get the full seven to eight hours of sleep.
However, if none of these work for you and you still find yourself tossing and turning, be sure to consult your doctor because there may be a much bigger issue at hand.