When it comes to your new year’s goals to feel better, don’t forget to put getting a good night’s sleep on your list. Improving your quality of sleep can help you just as much as getting in those gym workouts! Your quality of sleep can either help or hurt your health and well-being.
Generally speaking, adults require anywhere from seven to nine hours of good quality sleep nightly for optimal health, mental focus, and emotional well-being. You’ll notice that you have the energy it takes to accomplish your daily tasks. Following are some ways to help you get a good night’s sleep so you can achieve your new year’s goals!
- Go to bed at the same time every night: A routine helps your body develop a sleep-wake cycle that meets your daily needs. Without this established cycle, you could lay awake instead and not be able to fall asleep when you want. You can support your body’s ability to regulate your sleep cycle by going to bed and getting up at the same time every night, whether it’s the weekend or weeknight. It trains your body to lock in its circadian rhythm.
- Shut off those electronics: If you’re like most folks, you likely go to bed and settle in just to read or scroll through your phone, iPad, or laptop. These electronics, along with TVs, give off a blue light that dampens your body’s melatonin production (your body’s hormone that facilitates falling asleep). Even spending just 15 minutes on your phone can keep you awake for an entire hour later than you intended. Better to stay off your phone for two or three hours before you want to fall asleep.
- Boost your bedroom’s ambiance: Surround yourself in a quiet, darkened room at a temperature that is cool enough to make you want to snuggle under your covers, relax and drift off to sleep land. It might mean getting blackout curtains to dampen outside light or using a white noise machine to dampen outside sounds. Make sure your mattress is comfortable for your needs. A good rule of thumb is to replace it if it is more than seven years old and you wake up after a night’s sleep feeling all those aches and pains instead of well-rested.
- Establish healthier daytime habits that will help you sleep better at night: Being around bright light (particularly sunlight) supports your body’s wake/sleep cycle. Going outside will give you the natural light and fresh air your body craves. Don’t forget movement (walking, running, exercising, etc.) can all help you feel relaxed later when you’re trying to sleep. (Caution: Avoid napping during the day because it can disrupt your wake/sleep cycle.)
- Don’t eat or drink these before you go to bed: Eating a heavy meal before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle as it requires your body to energize digestion. Avoid caffeine later in the day because it disrupts your body’s ability to slow down for sleep. Avoid alcohol before bed as it diminishes your sleep quality while putting you at greater risk for obstructive sleep apnea, leaving you feeling tired and exhausted when you wake up instead of refreshed.
- Optimize your sleep quality by having a sleep study: Sleep disorders are so common that anywhere from 50 and 70 million American adults experience some form of sleep disorder. Around 22 million Americans experience sleep apnea, with 80 percent of those ranging from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed. If you are one of them, you are vulnerable to the following health conditions: high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity)
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
Whether you find yourself battling chronic insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, we can help! An overnight sleep study can determine your brain wave activity, breathing patterns and heart rate to diagnose your particular sleep issue. Once an assessment is made, we can help you find the treatment you need. If getting a good night’s sleep is a priority for you in 2022, our treatment options can help you achieve your goals!