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Healthy Habits: Simple changes can make big difference in daytime fatigue

Mar. 08, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

If you are a slow-starter in the mornings and don't feel like you ever fully wake up, you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you are among millions of Americans who suffer from excessive sleepiness and fatigue. At least 20 million have occasional sleep problems.

If you notice that you are routinely drowsy throughout the day it is important to first take a look at your own schedule to see what you can do to improve your sleep health. Sometimes simple changes can make a big difference. Making sure you get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night can raise your energy level.

There are ways that will help you on your journey to have a good night's sleep. Try following these recommendations for improving your sleep habits and waking hours:

"Do not drink caffeinated drinks before bedtime.

"Develop a sleep routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time throughout the week. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends to catch up on sleep.

"Exercise helps sleep. Strive to exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day, but be careful, exercising too close to bedtime may interfere with your sleep.

"Avoid alcoholic beverages or eating heavy meals before bedtime.

"Relax before going to bed.

"Sleep in a quiet, dark and comfortable environment.

"Don't lie in bed if you're unable to sleep.

"Manage your stress before bedtime so it doesn't rob you of sleep.

If you try these simple solutions and your sleeplessness and fatigue persist, talk to your physician about your sleep health. Working together, you may find the cause to your sleep struggles and can work to wake up more refreshed. Next week's feature will explore insomnia.

Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary's Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one; to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhabits2013.

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