Getting good sleep is an important component of overall health. Being tired and sleepy all day can make you lethargic and lower your willpower to make healthy choices in diet and exercise. Additionally, not getting enough sleep can depress the body’s immune system or make you more susceptible to some medical conditions. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep every night, try these tips for getting better sleep.
We need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night, and our bodies are set up to expect a regular schedule. Light levels will trigger hormonal reactions in our brains and bodies that prepare us for sleeping or waking up according to the natural rhythms of the day. But whatever your schedule is, it’s important to keep a consistent bedtime and a consistent time to wake up. If you have to stay up late, you should still wake up at the same time rather than sleeping in so that your body remained accustomed to the schedule. If necessary, take a nap during the day, but make sure it isn’t too long, nor too close to your regular bedtime. Despite after-dinner drowsiness, be sure to stay awake until your normal bedtime. If your body knows when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake, the sleep you do get will be deeper and more refreshing.
One way to make sure your body is getting itself ready for your approaching bedtime is to find a bedtime routine that helps you relax. If you try to cram in work or errands right before bed, your body will ramp up and your sleep might be disrupted. However, meditating or reading a book or magazine as part of your nightly ritual can help you relax. This will make it easier to fall asleep and allow your body to achieve a deeper, more restful sleep.
Constant distractions and interruptions while you’re sleeping will greatly disturb your sleep. Try to do whatever you can to cut down on these disruptions. If there are nighttime noises that might distract you or bring you out of a deep sleep, try using a fan or white noise generator of some kind to drown out those sounds. If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom at night, as their nighttime antics can disrupt your sleep. Additionally, make sure the temperature is on the cool side, as a too-warm bedroom can make sleep difficult. Also, you want to associate your bed and lying in bed with sleep, so try to limit use of the bed to sex and sleep so that your body knows that lying in bed equals time to sleep.
Food and Exercise
Exercising during the day is a great way to spend energy and make sleep easier and more fulfilling. On the other hand, try to avoid exercise within the four hours before your bedtime, as the boosted hormones and adrenaline from exercising can make falling asleep more difficult. Likewise, limit your caffeine intake to the mornings, and try to refrain from caffeine after the afternoon so that your body can process it and it won’t affect your sleep. A healthy diet can help you sleep better, and some doctors might suggest certain supplements, depending on your needs. One of the most important things to do if you have trouble sleeping is to quit smoking, as smoking can disrupt your body’s sleep patterns.
There are many things you can do to get healthier sleep, and healthy sleep will greatly help with your overall health. If you have any sleep-related concerns, or any concerns about your health overall, be sure to contact our Internal Medicine, Lipid, and Wellness of Fort Myers, Florida today. Call (239) 362-3005, extension 200.