Ask the ASA: Settling an Overactive Brain

Welcome to Ask the ASA, a regular feature that allows our visitors to ask questions and receive answers from the American Sleep Association!  Use our contact form to send in your questions (or send them to us via Facebook or Twitter), and we’ll select the best ones to receive answers from the ASA.

This time around, Dr. Neil Kline from the ASA addresses a question about an overactive brain:

I wake up often while sleeping, and I also dream a lot. My brain is always over-tasked, causing me to wake up tired and fatigued. What can I do to have normal sleep like everyone does?

There are several variables that can influence sleep. In general, people should follow good ‘sleep hygiene’ before, during, and after bedtime. Sleep hygiene are actions and behaviors that you can implement to promote healthy sleep.

In addition to good sleep hygiene, having a calming ritual before sleep also can help to ‘set the stage’. Many enjoy a warm bath or meditation. Vigorous exercise in the morning has also been demonstrated to promote deep sleep. Exercising late in the afternoon can actually be detrimental to sleep. Caffeine taken to late in the afternoon can also interfere with falling asleep easily.

If you continue to have symptoms, you should talk to your doctor.

Dr. Neil Kline is a representative of American Sleep Association. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.  For more information on the ASA, visit their website.

Questions for the ASA are edited for clarity.