Okay, I am tracking… Now What?
Most of the apps and devices come with recommendation engines. So, while you are tracking, you will be given suggestions on other ways to improve your sleep hygiene.
Here are a few other things you can try:
Eye Mask and Ear Plugs. One of the best ways to get a good night sleep and fend off fatigue and lupus flares is to invest in an eye mask and some ear plugs. Light and noise make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. While it might take a little time to get used to, and it might seem like an overly simple solution, eye masks and ear plugs can make a world of a difference.
Don’t lie awake in bed. Thinking about not being able to sleep can actually make it harder to fall asleep. Instead of staying in bed and getting anxious, consider:
- reading a book
- practicing meditation/mindfulness
- getting another (quiet) chore done
But, be sure to avoid blue light (smartphone/tv screens) as it can make getting to bed harder.
Create a bedtime routine. This is a lot easier said than done, but can make a huge difference. The apps and devices above can also make sure you are sticking to it. Try going to bed at the same time everyday and waking up at the same time everyday (yup, even the weekends). Do the same relaxing activity before you go to sleep. Read 30 pages of a book or take a warm bath. This is signal to your body it’s time to wind down. A warm bath can also go a long way to help the pain.
Talk to your doctor. If nothing is working, make sure to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor. Sleeping aids like melatonin can have a negative impact for people with autoimmune conditions, so it’s important to work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that is best for you.