Better in Bed: Do You Need a Sleep Makeover?

From the WebMD Archives


"I depend on Rockstar"

Sleep Makeover Marie Claire feature articleKIM DELATORRE, 34, stay-at-home mom with two kids, ages 1 and 2; married; Kalama, WA

Kim's Sleep Situation: "My kids are night owls, and my husband works from 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. I usually get to bed around midnight, but I breast-feed my daughter three times a night and also wake up when my husband comes home, so I rarely get consecutive hours of sleep — it's usually about six broken-up hours. I hate coffee but depend on Rockstar energy drinks. I usually drink about half a can a day."

The Doc's Diagnosis: "Rockstar has at least 160 milligrams of caffeine, so Kim probably has some caffeine in her body 24 hours a day. She has 'mixed insomnia,' which is difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep."

Better Sleep Rx: "Implement a firm sleep-wake schedule and an earlier bedtime for Kim and her kids."

"Give up the Rockstar. To get her caffeine fix, she should try a cup of green tea. An 8-ounce cup packs only about 25 milligrams of caffeine. This will help her fall back into a deep sleep quickly after waking up during the night."

"Invest in light boxes for dark winter months. The best thing for daytime energy is light."

The Two-Week Follow-Up: Kim has cut back on the Rockstar. When she doesn't drink it, she falls asleep faster after getting up to breast-feed. She's also putting the kids to bed an hour earlier and uses the extra time to wind down.


Is caffeine cramping your sleep style? Addicts, limit your intake to 300 milligrams a day, ideally before 2 p.m. Here, a guide to what has the most kick:

Starbucks grande drip coffee (16 oz.): 330 mg.

Espresso (1 oz.): 90 mg.

Diet Coke (12-oz. can): 46.5 mg.

Snapple Lemon Iced Tea (16-oz. bottle): 42 mg.

Dark semisweet chocolate (1 oz.): 20 mg.

Excedrin Extra Strength (2 tablets): 130 mg.

Midol Menstrual Complete (1 tablet): 60 mg.