All of us have heard about the adverse affects of insomnia and poor sleep. Studies have proven that there is a higher risk of heart disease and stroke in patients that don’t sleep well. Sleep is a vital part of an overall strategy to maintain good heart and brain health.
All of us have heard that we need to sleep at least seven hours of sleep each night. With the increasing number of distractions in our busy lives, this may seem impossible. Today I’d like to discuss a few simple tricks that will help you sleep. Most of them are things that we already know or are common sense. We simply need to put them into practice and have them become a habit.
Obviously, having a regular sleep schedule is very important. Unless you’re a teenager, trying to stay up late and sleep in on weekends will disrupt your sleep schedule and interrupt your bodies circadian rhythm. You’re better off going to bed and waking up at a consistent time.
Being active and doing some form of exercise during the day will also significantly improve your sleep quality. When you do go to bed, avoid watching television in your room or using any form of electronic screen for information. Reading a good old fashion book however may help you relax and actually sleep better.
If you drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, stop at least six hours before you go to bed. This will avoid the negative impact on your sleep quality. Also, do not use alcohol to help you sleep. If you are falling asleep because of alcohols sedative effects, the quality of your sleep is greatly reduced, you’ll be more restless, and you’ll wake up feeling much less rested.
Also take an honest look at your sleep environment. It should be dark and quiet and your bed should be comfortable. You may need to add blackout window coverings or a eye mask to black out the light. The type and firmness of mattress that is best for you may not be the same for someone else. Beds that provide adjustable firmness such as the sleep number bed are ideal as they can be adjusted to provide either more firmness or cushion based on individual needs.
Overall, we are sleeping much less than our ancestors. Our minds and bodies need the rest. Take care of yourself and sleep well tonight!