“Nah, I don’t need my coffee. I got my 8 hours of sleep.” –No Adult Ever.
If you can relate to the above quote, you’re not alone. Most Americans don’t get enough sleep at night. Before you blow off a good night’s sleep, however, you might want to consider the health ramifications.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a lack of sleep can lead to a number of medical conditions, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression. If you love your heart (and not just the paper ones you see everywhere right now), then that means you need to love your sleep as well!
Getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done, however. That’s why Advanced Sleep Medicine wants to help you out by offering tips on good sleep hygiene.
First, let’s define what we mean by sleep hygiene. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s “a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.” Some of these practices include:
- Avoiding nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime. Both can speed up your heart and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime. While it can help you fall asleep faster, once your body has processed it, it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
- Do a little bit of aerobic exercise every day. Even 10 minutes is enough to help you sleep better. However, you should avoid strenuous workout late in the evening, as this can actually keep you awake longer.
- Keep the temperature of your room cooler at night. A colder room can help promote better sleep.
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Stop looking at all lighted screens about an hour before you fall asleep. This includes TVs, cell phones and computer screens. Instead, have a time where you wind down for an hour and read or meditate.
At Advanced Sleep Medicine, we’re here to ensure that you get the best night’s rest. If you’re suffering from daytime drowsiness or just can’t seem to drift off into dreamworld, make an appointment with us today!