Mindi Whittaker is the coordinator for the sleep lab at IU Health LaPorte. She says for those who have trouble getting to sleep at night and waking up in the morning, good sleep hygiene can go a long way, “We look at things as far as making sure you have a darked-out room, adjust your sleep times by 15-minute increments. If you go to bed early one night and then you stay up late the other night, it throws off your whole cycle, so you want to adjust your time frames by 15 minutes and then stay on that cycle for two weeks. You want to make sure that you get proper exercise, 20 minutes a day, four to five times a week.” Whittaker also says to avoid eating heavy meals before bed and using electronic devices in the bedroom.
While some trouble sleeping might be normal, she says sleep issues could get more serious, “In general, sleep issues and disorders become a disorder when it starts to interfere with your daily lifestyle and your routines. So when it becomes something that you can no longer cope with, when you notice that it’s affecting yourself, your lifestyle, and your loved ones, then it’s time to seek help.”
If you’re having sleep problems, she says you can get a referral for a sleep study from your doctor, or you can contact one of the IU Health sleep physicians.