According to the results of the 2020 Philips Global Sleep Survey, out of 13,004 respondents from 13 countries, over have are unsatisfied with their quality of sleep every night. In the long term, lack of sleep can result in numerous health issues such as obesity, depression, impairment in immunity, lower sex drive, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure,, or stroke, according to Dr. Harneet Walia, MD at the Cleveland Clinic. Chronic sleep deprivation is no joke. So, if you find yourself being among the many tossing and turning at night, lying awake instead of getting those crucial 7 to 9 hours in, here are some tips to help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
It’s no secret that stress levels can impact and interfere with your nightly rest. Having your thoughts racing through your mind, being full of worry and anxiety can shift your focus away from getting quality sleep. If you’ve noticed your stress levels have been higher than usual, and that is impacting your sleep, engage in some stress-relieving activities before bed. For example, drinking hot water has been proven to reduce stress levels. Exercise is another proven stress reliever, but make sure not to do this too close (within two hours) to bedtime. Your adrenaline levels will be too high, and as a result, sleep will be difficult.
Establishing a consistent routine is crucial to sleep. Make sure you have a consistent time you go to bed and get up in the morning. Having a schedule will help you train your body to know when it’s time for sleep and time to be awake. Using your bed exclusively for sleep and no other activity (looking at your phone, work, eating, etc.) will also dramatically improve your sleep because your brain will pair being in your bed with sleep and nothing else. Limiting day time nap and sleeping in other places that are not your bed will also aid in creating this consistent schedule and improve sleep. By creating this rountine and pairing of your bed with sleep, you will train yourself to fall asleep faster and have a more restful night.
Of course we know that injesting caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other similar stimulants close to bedtimewill cause difficulty sleeping. But, did you know that being too hungry or too full will also cause trouble sleeping? Avoid eating heavy meals too close to bedtime, as discomfort and possible digestive issues, such as heartburn, will keep you up at night. If you don’t eat enough before bed, those hunger cues will keep you up and focused on getting food rather than on sleep.
Though limiting light exposure into your space when you sleep will help your ease of sleep, there’s a bit more too it. For example, getting more bright light exposure from the sun during the day will improve your sleep at night. This is because your circadium rhythm, the body’s way of regulating sleep, relies on sunlight (or lack thereof) to determine if it’s time to be awake or asleep. By getting more sunlight exposure during the day, your brain, body, and hormones will know when it’s time to be awake versus when it’s time to be asleep. Limiting blue light exposure during the evening will also help improve your sleep. Blue light comes from your screens such as the television, smartphone, and computer. Blue light decreases the production of the hormone melatonin in the brain, which helps you feel “sleepy” and relaxed enough to go to bed. Limiting screen time before bed or purchasing blue light glasses can help decrease your exposure to blue light and improve your sleep.
Consult Your Doctor
At a certain point, trouble sleeping may require medical intervention. Talk to your doctor about possible solutions to aid with sleep such as melatonin, Unisom, prescription grade pills, or a sleep apnea machine in order to get those crucial hours of rest. However, not all solutions are created equal and there is a certain level of risk to some of these sleep solutions. For example, in the case of sleep apnea machines, some have been known to cause respiratory issues and even lung cancer. Certain Philips CPAP machines are experiencing a voluntary recall for these reasons, go to rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/cpap-lawsuit to learn more. Over teh counter pills also incur a level of risk. Taking too much melatonin will cause your brain to produce less, and in turn possibly make you dependent on taking the medication.