Adopting healthy sleep habits can be simple.
It can start with this:
Go to bed on time. 😊
Similar to how we set a bed time for children, consider setting a consistent bed time for yourself.
This is one of the simplest, yet most profound habits that you can implement TONIGHT to put you on track to better sleep habits.
In this article I address the importance of sleep and share the benefits of getting enough sleep. I also outline 5 healthy sleep habits (in addition to the one listed above) to help you get the rest you need.
The Importance of Sleep
Did you know that 1 in 3 American adults don’t get their recommended seven hours of sleep?
While this may not seem problematic, consistently failing to get enough sleep can put you at risk of significant health problems.
In fact, not getting enough sleep is linked to a variety of chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity.
Moreover, failing to regularly get enough sleep can lead to chronic fatigue, which can increase your risk of productivity issues at work and distracted driving crashes.
How Much Sleep is Enough?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults ages 18 and older should get seven hours or more sleep every night.
The CDC also stresses that all sleep isn’t created equal, and that good sleep quality is essential to your health and well-being.
To determine your sleep quality, evaluate the following:
- Are you waking up multiple times throughout the night?
- Are you feeling unrested? (Even if you did sleep for 7 hours)
- Are you experiencing breathing problems while you’re sleeping
While your sleep quality may be improved by implementing better sleep habits, symptoms of poor sleep quality may be attributed to a sleep disorder. This would be something to discuss with your doctor.
Benefits of Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy, productive and low-stress life cycle.
Here’s a few benefits of getting a good night’s sleep:
- Sleep Increases Productivity and Performance: Giving your body enough time to go through all the sleep stages is necessary for energy, muscle repair, improved memory, and the release of regulation of important hormones that are essential to everyday functions within the body.
- Decreased Weight Gain: According to the National Sleep Foundation, not allowing your body enough time for rest and regulation can lead to an increased appetite. The particular hormones that give you the feeling of being full or hungry can become irregular, which may cause increased feelings of hunger that lead to weight gain.
- Improved Mental Health: Getting enough sleep can help alleviate feelings of fatigue that may contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety. Symptoms of fatigue can be drowsiness, loss of energy, and even mood swings.
In honor of World Sleep Day , which is March 13th, in addition to the tip above, try adopting these five healthy sleep habits:
5 Healthy Sleep Habits
1. Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
2. Create a Good Sleep Environment: This includes a comfortable room temperature, minimal noise and sufficient darkness.
3. Keep Track of Habits that Help You Fall Asleep: This could include listening to relaxing music or reading before bed, to name a few. Repeat these activities each night.
4. Put Your Electronics Away: Blue-light emitting electronic devices can prohibit you from getting a good night’s sleep. To reduce the effects of these sleep-stealing devices, refrain from using them for at least an hour before bed.
5. Limit Alcohol Before Bed: Well, always be cognizant of your alcohol intake – but especially before bed. Alcohol can significantly reduce your quality of sleep.
As you begin to adopt those five healthy sleep habits, also consider consuming certain foods to help calm the mind.
These consumables listed below can quiet your mind and produce sleep-inducing hormones to help you get the right sleep:
- Warm Milk
- Chamomile Tea
- Whole-Wheat Bread
Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night will help keep costly chronic conditions at bay and combat fatigue.
For more information on how you can improve your sleep habits or address sleep issues, contact your doctor today.
For additional healthy living articles, visit our Live Well, Work Well page.