For years researchers have been studying sleep and why it is so important. Does it really affect our health? The answer is absolutely! Getting a good night's sleep is as important to good health as your diet.
Did you know that insufficient sleep can lead to depression, decreased cognitive performance, immune suppression, blood sugar imbalance and obesity? I'd like to share a few better sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation to see if the folks here at Cool-jams can help.
- Establish regular bed and wake times. Getting into a steady routine will help you to fall asleep easier and wake up more easily You may still require an alarm, but consistency has proven to help. Keeping a regular bed and wake time will also help to ensure that you get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night to get a full night's rest.
- Avoid nicotine all together and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol. Some people feel that alcohol is a sleep aid. While alcohol may calm you and speed the onset of sleep, it actually increases the number of times you awaken during the night.
- Exercise regularly. Be sure to complete your exercise program at least three hours before you plan to go to sleep because exercise has an alerting effect and raises your body temperature. This rise leads to a corresponding fall in temperature five to six hours later, which makes sleep easier then. The only exception would be gentle stretching or yoga before bedtime to help you relax, otherwise follow the guideline of 3 hours before bedtime.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable. Remove any unnecessary furniture, piles of clothing, papers and books. Keeping your bedroom free of clutter creates a calm and relaxing sleep environment. Consider a fan or other source of white noise to create a consistent environment. Most importantly keep your bedroom cool maximum of 68 F. Use temperature regulating sheets, cooling mattress pads and moisture wicking pajamas to help keep your body temperature regulated
- Remove all electronics from your bedroom or at least keep them turned off. This includes your television, computer and cell phone. Doing work, watching TV and using the computer, both close to bedtime and especially in the bedroom, hurts your sleep quality. Getting enough sleep will help you not only be productive during the day but also improve your well-being and overall health.