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Healthy Sleep Habits

Consider seeking help form the UNM Health System Sleep Disorders Centers if:

  • Your sleep is unsatisfactory for three or more weeks.
  • You sleep when you do not plan to in the daytime.
  • An observer notices unusual or concerning sleep behaviors.

Here are some suggestions to help ensure you get a full, restful night’s sleep every day:

  • Establish a regular schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Do not go to bed until you are sleepy.
  • Exclude or limit naps.
  • Plan for a comfortable bed and bedroom. It should be slightly cool, dark and quiet. Get a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Use your bedroom for only sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment.
  • Sleep alone if your bed partner disturbs your sleep.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine, which might include a warm bath, music and meditation.
  • Provide your body with good nutrition and fluids.
    • Go easy on liquids in the evening.
    • Avoid heavy meals late in the evening. Finish eating two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
    • Light evening snacks are okay.
    • Avoid caffeine-containing products such as coffee, tea, soda, etc.
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages, especially after dinner, as it can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.
  • Avoid nicotine, especially near bedtime.
  • Walk for 30 minutes or more daily at a set time, early in the day.
  • Get daily sun exposure for 30 minutes or more (be sure to use sunscreen!)
  • If you tend to worry, schedule a time early in the day to worry. Write your worries with possible solutions in a journal or talk them over with a friend.
  • When unable to fall asleep get out of bed. Go to another room to relax with music, TV or a book until you are sleepy.

Schedule an appointment: (505) 272-4866

Contact Us

For more information, call one of our two locations:

UNM Hospital Sleep Disorders Center 
(Serves adults and children)

1101 Medical Arts Ave.
Building 2
Albuquerque, NM, 87102
Phone: 505-272-6110

UNM SRMC Sleep Disorders Center
(Serves adults only)

3001 Broadmoor Blvd. NE
Rio Rancho, NM 87144

Phone: 505-994-7397 (day) 
505-994-7861 (evening)

Types of Sleep Disorders

Conditions experienced by patients with sleep disorders include difficulties with falling asleep or staying asleep at night or problems staying awake in the daytime. Most sleep disorders can be helped, but effective treatment depends on a thorough evaluation, accurate diagnosis, and the most up-to-date therapy.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Many people who snore have a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA results from the breathing passage in the back of the throat falling shut during sleep, causing repeated episodes of struggling for breath. Most people with sleep apnea snore loudly but are otherwise not aware of any sleep or breathing problem. Family members however, may observe the person struggling to breathe or stop breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is also a major cause of daytime sleepiness.

Sleep Walking

Sleep walking, sleep talking, nightmares, night terrors, teeth grinding, rocking, groaning, bedwetting and other undesirable behaviors during sleep are called parasomnias. Some are relatively harmless, while others may be symptoms of serious medical conditions, disrupt sleep or put the patient into dangerous situations. Sleep apnea or restless legs may trigger parasomnias.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

These disruptions of the body's internal clock are most common in individuals doing shiftwork or after multi-time zone air travel, and can cause both sleepiness and insomnia at inappropriate times. Adolescents and young adults often suffer from a circadian rhythm disorder called delayed sleep phase syndrome, which causes them to have difficulty falling asleep at a normal time at night and difficulty awakening in time for school or work in the morning. Circadian rhythm disorders can respond to bright light therapy and behavior modification.


Some patients have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or wake up early in the morning not feeling refreshed. If chronic, insomnia may be an indication of a significant condition such as depression, anxiety or breathing problems. Many insomniac conditions can be treated with behavior modification techniques.


This condition causes profound sleepiness punctuated by sleep attacks, episodes of muscle weakness, vivid dreams and automatic behavior. This is caused by an abnormality in the way the brain controls wakefulness and sleep and is treated by a variety of medications.

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