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Dr. Anisa Shomo

Herald Beauty Contributor

Improving your sleep habits is one of the best ways to contribute to your health and beauty efforts. Many people underestimate the power of sleep. I used to be one of those people. Training to become a physician leads to many sleepless nights so I became accustomed to not sleeping well. Years after training I still had trouble sleeping but I did not discuss it with my family medicine physician because I did not consider my insomnia a “problem.” I thought that it was helping me to be more productive. Looking back on the time, I was often irritable and my career was unfocused. It was not until I stopped using hormonal birth control that I realized the impact of hormones on my insomnia. Now, I talk to my about their sleep habits and we partner to improve their sleep. In my experience, insomnia tends to be caused by 4 issues:

  1. Life altering events (i.e. family change, job change, financial strain)
  2. Hormonal changes
  3. Poor sleep habits
  4. Medical condition such as anxiety, depression, sleep apnea, chronic pain, migraines, etc

Most of my patients do not complain about poor sleep. I notice it when I check their blood pressure and it is higher than the recommended 120/70 values. I also ask my patients during their wellness visits: any trouble sleeping? If I find that the cause of their trouble sleeping is poor sleeping habits, then I give them 4 tips for better sleep that help me:

  1. Put in werk: Work on your eating habits and activity levels because diet and exercise affect sleep
  2. Quiet your mind: turn off the TV, put your phone down, listen to music or a book on a timer
  3. Cool it down: a bedside fan helps with white noise and most people sleep better in a cool environment
  4. Sip the tea: switch from an evening glass of wine to an evening cup of tea. Alcohol interrupts our natural sleep patterns

I follow these tips and I sleep very well now. When I compare photos of myself at age 38 vs 28, I can see that there is a reason that they call it beauty rest! 

Talk with your doctor about other ways to help you with your sleep health. Check out Health is Love for more health and beauty tips.

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