Tired of Being Tired? Here Are A Few Habits That Can Help You Sleep Better

 In Primary Care

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep each night. Adults aged 18-60 years should sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health.The risks of not getting enough sleep each night are developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. There are a few other effects of lack of sleep, as well.

 

 

  • A person is more prone to accidents. Did you know that lack of sleep was the leading cause of accidents, such as Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez oil spill and Three Mile Island?
  • Lack of sleep can impair your alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem-solving.
  • Skin ages more when there is a lack of sleep.When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
  • Weight gain is a side effect of sleep loss that many do not realize.Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

So how can you combat a lack of sleep each night? Here are just a few habits that may help your body relax at night:

  • Don’t consume caffeine late in the day. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
  • Reduce naps during the daytime. Sleeping in the daytime can affect your internal clock and you may struggle to sleep at night.
  • Stick to a sleep schedule.  Don’t schedule more than 8 hours of sleep each night and be consistent with the time you go to bed and wake up.
  • Create a restful environment. Do calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a relaxing bath. Create an environment that suits your needs, such as a using a fan or room-darkening shades.

Taking steps to promote better sleep will allow your days to be more functional and focused.  Your health may improve, as well.  However, always seek a doctor’s advice if you think there are other issues going on to cause an interference in your sleep.

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