I talk to every patient about their sleep. Many of my patients- kids, teens and adults show up with sleep problems. Indeed, statistics show that between 50 million and 70 million Americans have some type of difficulty sleeping. My patients come in complaining of fatigue, problems focusing, anxiety symptoms, depression symptoms, anger and a myriad other symptoms. I have told thousands of my patients that if they don’t get a proper night of sleep, it doesn’t matter what medication they take, it won’t matter. Our sleep affects every part of us. For example, it is extremely difficult to have a stable mood if your sleep is disrupted since the two are linked. So here are some tips for you to help you achieve a great night sleep.
Don’t do anything too stimulating before bed — That means you need to put your electronics away. Don’t get yourself all worked up and engaged in serious mental activities. Put that phone away.
Go to bed around the same time and get up around the same time every day — This will help establish a good sleep wake cycle. Shifting your sleep time from one night to the next will disrupt your sleep wake cycle. Pay attention to your body’s sleep signal. When you start feeling tired in the evening, don’t ignore your body’s cue to get ready for bed. A common reason for difficulties with falling asleep is ignoring our body’s sleep signal.
Establish a set bedtime routine that will help you to turn off from your hectic day. For example, taking a warm bath will promote relaxation.
Make your bed and bedroom your sleep temple. Establish a comfortable and calm environment dedicated to sleep and save television and other activities for other places in your home.
Exercise is a vital component of excellent sleep hygiene. More intense exercise is best to practice in the morning or late afternoon. More relaxing forms of exercise such as yoga can be practiced in the evenings as part of balancing your nervous system functions, which sets us up for increased relaxation and healthy sleep.
Pay attention to what you consume in the evening. Caffeine and other stimulants, especially in the evening or around bedtime, will promote increased nervous system activity, which can significantly impact sleep as well. Consider nature’s relaxants as a powerful tool for optimal sleep. For example, not many know that oatmeal is a fantastic sleep food. Oats are rich in melatonin, which is a natural substance found in animals, plants, and other living organisms that can greatly benefit sleep. See Full Fathom’s Nutrition link for additional foods that promote relaxation, physical and emotional health, and exceptional sleep hygiene.
Check your Mattress: Make sure it’s firm, supportive, and comfortable for your body. If your mattress is more than 8-10 years old, it might be time for a new mattress.
Follow these daily and consistently and increase restful healthy sleep.