Sleepless nights? You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of Americans report they occasionally don’t get enough sleep, while nearly 10% experience chronic insomnia. Not only is sleep difficulty related to mood changes, injuries and weight gain, but it also affects chronic disease onset and management, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By understanding that sleep hygiene is essential for your overall well-being, you start making better choices to improve your sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is the variety of daily exercises necessary for regular, quality sleep each night. It is measured by your ability to maintain a consistent wake-and-sleep pattern seven days a week. While these practices may differ from person to person, here are some helpful tips to clean up your sleep hygiene:
- Understand how food can affect your sleep pattern. Some foods, such as chocolate or heavily spiced foods, can disrupt you sleep through hidden caffeine or problems such as indigestions or heart burn.
- Keep a sleep diary. By keeping a sleep diary, you’ll be able to see your sleep patterns over a longer period of time. This can help you pinpoint what’s keeping you up at night.
- Exercise to initiate a restful night’s sleep. Robust exercises should be done in the morning or early afternoon, and more relaxing exercises, such as yoga or meditation, can be done in the evening.
- Avoid napping during the day. This can disturb your normal sleep pattern, and can take several days to restore your normal sleep schedule.
- Make your bedroom a pleasant environment for sleep. Make sure you have a comfortable bed, the temperature suits your needs and there is minimal light in order to make the most sleep-friendly room.
- Learn more about major sleep disorders. Sleep-related issues such as insomnia and sleep apnea are more complicated than the average night of sleep deprivation, and will need to be treated by a health care provider specializing in sleep medicine.
Each person has a unique sleep hygiene practice, but knowing your individual needs is the first step in guaranteeing restful sleep each night. Test a few options to see what works best for you, and soon you’ll see the difference in your daytime energy, mood and overall wellness.
Source: WellCard Health Connect