What’s the magic number when it comes to how much sleep you need each night? Experts say we should aim for at least seven or eight hours in order to thrive the next day. Sleep allows us to recharge our brains and bodies. However, in today’s jam-packed world of always on the go, coupled with stress and anxiety, many of us fall short.
Sleep is key to all aspects of our lives, including health, relationships and overall well-being. Without enough sleep, our bodies begin to shut down and the negative side effects start to take over. Lack of sleep can be linked to poor work performance, relationship problems, car crashes and much more. Sleep deprivation can also raise your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.
So what can you do to get a restful night of sleep? Try these five healthy sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation for a better night’s sleep:
- Be consistent: Pick the same time to go to bed and wake up each day. Stick to them as much as possible (even on weekends) to help set your body’s internal clock.
- Bedtime ritual: Practice a relaxing routine like reading a book or taking a bath before going to bed. Avoid any bright lights, including TV, computers and smartphones one hour before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol and big meals: Eating a big or spicy meal can make it hard to sleep. Try eating at least two hours before going to bed. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can also disrupt your sleep.
- Exercise daily: Any exercise, even light exercise can help you sleep better.
- Bedroom check: Make sure you have a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillow. If your mattress is 10 years or older, it may be time for a new one. Cooler temperatures (60-67 degrees) and darkness are ideal for sleeping. Your bedroom should also be free from any distracting noises.
Getting a good night’s sleep is good for your health and well-being. Try to make sleep a priority and incorporate some of these helpful sleep tips into your daily routine.
Submitted by: Halle Pardun, Burnett Medical Center Marketing Director
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