A day of feeling tired after you stayed up too late the night before or engaged in demanding physical work is not usually a serious concern since you can likely catch up on sleep later. But if you are constantly feeling tired for days or weeks in a row, this can be a problem. This can lead to different health problems or create dangerous situations if you fall asleep when you are driving or engaged in other dangerous tasks.
There are several different causes for excessive daytime sleepiness ranging from sleep disorders such as narcolepsy to different habits that can prevent you from getting enough deep sleep. While many sleep disorders can require specific treatments, there are also various steps you can take on your own to help improve nighttime rest and limit daytime sleepiness.
Tips for Improving Your Sleeping Habits
The amount of sleep you need varies by individual. The recommended amount is often eight hours, but even this it will not be enough if the sleep is poor quality. These are methods you can use to improve both the length of sleep and the quality:
- Plan on 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep – Give yourself enough time to get at least 7 hours of sleep. If you need to make adjustments to your schedule, change your bedtime and waking times in 15 minute increments to make a routine that is easier to follow.
- Practice a Sleep Schedule – Organize your day so that you go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Eat at Regular Times – Keeping yourself on a regular meal schedule throughout the day can help balance your circadian rhythm and will prevent you from feeling hungry when you need to go to bed.
- Get Regular Exercise – Physical movement helps your body feel comfortably tired. If exercise energizes you, be sure to schedule your exercise earlier in the day.
- Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol – These can keep you from getting deep sleep so limit caffeine to earlier in the day and cut down on alcohol consumption. If sleep is particularly challenging, you may consider cutting out both altogether.
- Create a Bedtime Ritual – At the same time every night, begin preparing for bed with the same routine. Steps like brushing your teeth and reading for a while help your body feel tired and ready for sleep. Do not use any screens in this ritual as they can keep you awake.
- Reserve Your Bed for Sleep – Avoid doing work in bed since this causes your body to associate bed with mental wakefulness.
- Avoid Late Day Naps – Even if you are excessively tired, try to avoid napping in the evening if you can help it. Naps are less effective in giving you sufficient rest than a full night’s sleep.
Another good idea if you are experiencing excessive sleepiness throughout the daytime is to meet with a psychiatrist in Dallas. There are many causes of sleepiness, including both mental health conditions and physical health problems.
A psychiatrist can help you determine the cause of your sleepiness and use a combination of medication, therapy, and suggested changes to your daily routine to help you improve your quality of sleep. Aware Behavioral Health is a Dallas psychiatrist that offers effective treatment for sleep disorders to clients throughout the area. Make an appointment with Aware Behavioral Health if daytime sleepiness has been holding you back.