Healthy Sleep Tips
Sleep plays an important role in the body, from neural development to memory and emotions to cardiovascular and metabolic function, cellular toxin removal, and much more. A good night’s rest is vital to mental and physical health, but many people struggle to get enough quality sleep. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, depression, and a variety of serious diseases. It can also make it hard to concentrate and focus at work and school, which can ultimately affect job performance.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to improve your sleep habits. By implementing healthy sleep tips, you can start to feel more rested and ready to tackle the day.
Consistency is key when it comes to sleep, regardless of your age. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, even on weekends. And avoid drinking caffeine or taking naps. Both of these can interfere with your sleep schedule, especially if you take them late in the day.
It’s also a good idea to create a relaxing bedtime routine. This may include reading a book or listening to soothing music before going to bed. Try not to watch TV or read on backlit devices before sleeping, as this can suppress your production of melatonin. Instead, use a Kindle or other device with a dark screen for reading or use a sleep mask to block out any light.
Getting enough quality sleep can help prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. It can also reduce stress, which may be a contributing factor to these conditions. In fact, a recent study found that men who reported having all five of the low-risk factors for sleep were twice as likely to live longer than those who did not have the same five factors.
The amount of healthy sleep you need varies from person to person, but it’s generally recommended that adults get seven to nine hours per night. Those who have medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or asthma may need to add an extra hour of sleep.
It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider if you are having difficulty sleeping, particularly if the problem is persistent or gets worse over time. A health care professional can help you determine if there are any other contributing factors, such as anxiety or chronic worrying, and recommend strategies to address these issues.
For more information about improving your sleep, see the following articles from Healthier Sleep. You can also visit the website for more tips and advice about a variety of other medical and health topics. Healthier Sleep is a free resource published by World Sleep Society, with the mission to advance sleep health worldwide. Read how one working mom was able to establish consistent schedules for her kids and improved her own sleep in the process, or see how improving her sleep helped a night shift nurse lose weight and feel healthier. You can also find out about how to recognize and treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia or snoring.