May is Better Sleep Month!

Did you know that sleep is a vital function to overall health? Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.  Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.Enough sleep also keeps the rest of your body running in tip-top shape, helping you to burn fat and rejuvenate tissue. In fact, sleep is an important daily medicine for your brain and body.

If you are having trouble sleeping, here are some steps to try:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine 4-6 hours before sleep
  • Create a space that is comfortable and inviting for quality sleep
    • Make it cozy!
    • Make it cool!
      • According to Sleep.Org, the ideal sleeping temperature for an adult is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
      • Bedroom is for sleep and sex, nothing else.
  • Establish a bedtime routine
    • Consider taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, practicing a relaxation technique, listening to soft music, drink camomile tea
  • Go to sleep when you are tired
    • If you are laying in bed for more than 20 minutes without falling asleep, get out of bed and do something calming
  • Do not watch the clock, turn it away from your view
  • Keep lighting dim or off completely
  • Stay consistent
    • Try to go to sleep approximately the same time each night.
  • Avoid naps
  • Eat lighter foods during evening meals
  • Limit fluids before bed to avoid having to wake to use the bathroom
  • Exercise regularly, however avoid exercise within 3 hours of sleep
  • Ask for help and follow through
    • If you are having difficulty sleeping, reach out to a medical professional and follow through with their advice.