Did you know that the down time of our days contributes to some of the most important aspects of living a healthy life? In fact, having good sleep patterns contributes to weight management, improved concentration and productivity, athletic performance, and has a major effect on many health conditions like heart disease, stroke, glucose metabolism, type 2 diabetes and even depression.
However, if you have problems sleeping, you’re not alone. An estimated 50–70 million adults in the United States have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders.
In this article, we will go through our top tips to help you catch those necessary z’s and have a healthier life.
Follow A Sleep Schedule
Sticking with a sleep schedule could help to regulate your internal clock making it easier to fall asleep every night and wake up energized.
Determine How Much Sleep You Need
When deciding on a sleep schedule, carve out the hours of sleep that you need that will work best for you. If you need a starting point, the Sleep Foundation makes these recommendations about how many hours of sleep you need in a night:
Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Choose a bedtime and a wake up time that works for you. From there, consistency is key. You might want to start nightly rituals like reading to help calm your mind and body. Try to avoid hitting the snooze button in the morning and taking long naps on the weekends to make sure you’re following your schedule.
Allow Room For Adjustments
Committing to a schedule won’t happen overnight, so it is important to allow gradual adjustments until you find the best sleep schedule that will work for you.
Eliminate Sleep Distractions
One of the biggest problems with getting a good night's sleep are the distractions. Distractions can range anywhere from technology, clutter, pets or children sleeping in your bed, stress, work, or maybe you're dealing with multiple distractions. Removing these disturbances from your nightly routine can dramatically help you get to sleep and stay asleep. For many people their minds wondering when it's time for bed is one of the hardest things to overcome. Meditation and mindfulness can be a great way to wind down and help rest your mind. For you, it may be as simple as turning off your ringer, or even putting your phone on the other side of the room.
It may be difficult to understand how activities that stimulate our bodies contribute to a good night’s sleep. But getting 150 minutes of exercise per week may improve your sleep and help you stay more alert during the day. Just remember not to exercise too close to bedtime because it raises your heart rate and can release adrenaline, two things that will keep you up.
Turn Technology Off 2 Hours Before Bed
As tempting as it is to try to fall asleep looking at your phone, chances are, technology is causing more problems in your sleep patterns than good. The bright lights of phones, tablets and screens increase your alertness which is counterproductive to a good night sleep. In fact, the blue lights emitted from our TVs, phones, and screens stimulates the brain and hinders our ability to fall asleep. Plus, you may become stimulated or absorbed into what you are looking at resulting in staying up several hours after planned.
Luckily, the “off” button is a quick fix to technology temptations. By simply turning off your devices in order to stick to your sleep schedule, you’ll find that more restful nights are a lot more achievable.
If sleep still seems like an unachievable dream, talk to your doctor about using natural supplements. At Complete Care Medical, we recommend two different all-natural sleep aid solutions:
Sleep Perfect Formula ($39.95)
Sleep Perfect Formula provides an innovative blend of nutrients that promotes soothing and restful sleep. The non-habit-forming ingredients were specifically chosen to promote healthy circadian rhythms and help relax tense muscles. While most prescription medications can cause morning sleepiness, Sleep Perfect Formula is designed to provide individuals with restful slumber and a rejuvenated body upon awakening.
Sleep Support ($29.75)
Sleep Support is a synergistic formulation of natural ingredients to help support sleep without adverse side effects. Contains l-theanine, melatonin, passionflower, valerian extract, magnesium and B-6.
From depression to concentration, embracing better sleep patterns help in numerous aspects of your life. If these tips don’t result in a better night’s sleep, please consult your doctor. Hopefully, with these sleep tips in mind, you will be on your way to a healthier you!