Understanding Sleep Problems -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Sleep Disorders?

Many sleep problems cannot be prevented directly, but they may be linked to other preventable health conditions. For instance, many people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight, and weight loss may help alleviate their sleep problems. Prevention of iron deficiency may reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

In general, good sleep hygiene is your best defense against many sleep problems. Good sleep hygiene practices include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, limiting daytime naps, creating a relaxing bedtime routine and environment. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy meals before going to bed as they can disrupt sleep.  Exercise and a balanced diet can also help you sleep better at night.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on November 05, 2019


SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians. WebMD Medical News: "Trouble Sleep? It Could Be a Warning Sign of Depression In Older People." American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Lucile Packard Children's Health Services. Medline Plus: "Narcolepsy." Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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