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One sheep, two sheep, three sheep...50 sheep. If you’re tired of being tired — and counting sheep to get to sleep — now may be the time to take a look at your sleep habits. Here are a few tips to help you catch those elusive ZZZZZs and have some sweet dreams.

Breaking bad habits isn’t easy. First you need to recognize your bad sleep habits. Here are a few bedtime no-nos:

  • Watching television in bed
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine before going to bed
  • Eating a big meal late at night
  • Not exercising or exercising right before going to bed
  • Going to sleep or waking up at varying times
  • Napping late in the day
  • Not having a pre-sleep ritual

Not getting enough sleep can harm your health, contribute to poor school or work performance, and increase the risk of injury. So to avoid these negative outcomes, you will need to substitute better behaviors. You can start by changing one bad sleep habit at a time.

For example, if you like to eat a big meal late at night, instead allow at least three hours between eating dinner and going to bed or try a light snack before bed. Rather than watching TV in bed to relax, try reading a book as an alternative. And if you like to have a glass of wine in the evening, opt for a cup of tea instead. 

There will be times when you want to fall back into your old habits, but by giving yourself positive rewards and focusing on the long-term benefits of a good night’s rest, you’ll soon be sleeping like a baby. For more information about healthy sleep habits, take the free, online sleep quiz on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/SleepQuiz.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218

214-324-6100
www.doctorshospitaldallas.com

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