As we end Sleep Awareness Month, take note of your sleeping habits. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. Adequate sleep is important for your body to renew and repair.
Lack of sleep lowers productivity, makes it challenging to focus and retain information, and increases anxiety or worry. It can also raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, and ultimately weaken your immune system, making it difficult to fight off infection.
There are many small ways to improve your sleep. Limit your caffeine intake, especially after mid-afternoon. Keep your phone and other electronics in another room while sleeping, so you aren’t tempted to engage with them. Establish a bedtime routine for the entire household and stay consistent in following it. Overtime, your body and mind will become accustomed to the schedule and be more prepared for sleep. Avoid large meals too close to bedtime so your body has enough time to digest, and try to eat healthily. Cut out tobacco and moderate alcohol, and try to add exercise into your daily routine, as long as it’s at least two hours before bedtime.
Moreover, dim the lights one hour before bed, make sure you sleep on a supportive mattress with clean and soft linens, wear comfortable clothing, and ease into waking up in the morning with natural light.
Sleep is sometimes not given the attention it needs in regards to our overall well-being—it is one of the most important aspects of health and affects our daily functioning in ways scientists are merely beginning to understand. Meet with your primary care provider to discuss sleep concerns and to properly diagnose and treat conditions you may have that are impacting your sleep. Make an appointment to visit us at Vibrant Health by calling 913-342-2552.