Studies have shown the link between getting adequate sleep and staying healthy. In fact, many chronic diseases have been tied to lack of sleep, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Recognizing that sleep is important may help some people prioritize sleep so they get the amount needed. However, many people try to sleep the right number of hours, but struggle. For these people, the realization that sleep has a major impact on your health doesn't improve their ability to sleep. If you want to get adequate sleep but can't, consider the following tips to help you fall sleep and stay asleep.
- Follow a Regular Schedule - Trying to go to bed and wake up at varying times can be difficult on your body's clock. Instead, stick with the same schedule all 7 days of the week.
- Have a Bedtime Routine - Follow the same sequence of events each night so your body knows it is time to go to sleep. You can decide what you want the sequence to include. Many people find taking a bath, listening to music, or reading a book to be a good part of the routine.
- Appropriate Lighting - Before bed, use dim lighting to tell your body it is night-time. In the morning, use bright light so your body realizes it is time to be awake.
- Avoid Sleep Issue Triggers - Some people find they are engaging in a behavior that prevents them from being able to fall asleep or stay at night. If they eliminate that behavior, their sleep issues disappear. Examples include, napping during the day, consuming caffeine or alcohol before bed, smoking cigarettes before bed, eating heavy foods that cause stomach upset, or drinking too many fluids resulting in a need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If any of these sound familiar to you, try to make a change to increase your chance of successful sleep.
- Correct Environment - Make sure your bedroom provides the correct environment for falling asleep and staying asleep. Attempt to achieve complete darkness by using blackout curtains and blocking light from electronics. Have the temperature set between 60 and 68 degrees because people tend to get better sleep in a cooler environment. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. If it is old or uncomfortable, consider replacing it with a new mattress.
If you follow the above tips and still can not get adequate rest, consider seeking help from a medical professional. You may have an undiagnosed issue, such as sleep apnea, that prevents you from falling asleep or staying asleep. For additional information about sleep health, contact us.