Health Tip — Need Sleep? Five Ways to Rest Well 

Susan Koehler, P.A.-C. (Psychiatry Physician Assistant)

Susan Koehler, P.A.-C. (Psychiatry Physician Assistant)

By Susan Koehler, P.A.-C., Psychiatry Physician Assistant, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

Sleep is essential for a person’s health and well-being, yet millions of people do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reveal that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. Helping my patients establish healthy sleep hygiene is a foundational part of my treatment approach because good sleep is vital for overall quality of life. Here are the top five sleep tips I share with my patients, simple steps one can make to create a better sleep hygiene:

  1. Establish and maintain a regular bedtime and a regular arising time. Try to maintain a regular arising time, even if you have had trouble sleeping the night before.
  2. Have a regular bedtime routine – a warm bath or shower can be relaxing and help you drift off to sleep.
  3. Avoid naps during the day or evening.
  4. Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep. Avoid both after dinner.
  5. Regular physical activity helps sleep and well-being.

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center offers psychiatry and a broad range of mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families through 26 licensed clinicians. For more information, please visit our website: To schedule an appointment, call 515-274-4006 or email