Sleep Better, Feel Better

Six tips for getting the zzz's you desperately need

02/26/19
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Sleep plays a bigger role in our health than we realize. Our bodies require adequate amounts to restore, repair and rejuvenate. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to increased health risks, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.* So how do you get enough sleep, and good sleep? Here’s how:

Shut out the blue light

The light that glows from your TV, phone, tablet and digital clock can be more disruptive to your sleep than breaking news. Give yourself at least 30 minutes without them before you turn in. And while you’re at it, turn off the sound on your phone. Those texts can wait until morning.

Let's talk pillows

Pillows that are too fat or too thin don’t let your head rest in a neutral, supportive position. If you have back pain, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to better align hips and back.

Decaffeinate

Try to avoid caffeine late in the day. (Some people find that any caffeine after noon affects their sleep.) If you’re having trouble staying awake mid-afternoon, try a brisk 10-minute walk to re-energize yourself.

Go easy on the water

Our bodies need and appreciate water. But a big glass before bedtime can send you to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and hinder your ability to nod off again. Try not to drink much in the 2-4 hours before you hit the pillow.

Create a bedtime routine

Humans thrive on routines, and that goes for sleeping, too. Whether it’s a few minutes of deep breathing or an hour of reading, a calming routine before bed trains your body to prepare for sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day can also help.

Sleeping meds, a last resort

On the advice of a health care provider, you may need medication to help you sleep, but it’s generally considered a shortterm solution. Many sleep aids carry unwanted side effects. Natural, unaided sleep will help you rise and shine feeling your best.

*Source: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency

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