Nov 11, 2015

Posted by in General, Sleep Disorders Center | 1 Comment

Tips to Sleep Better

Tips-to-Better-SleepImproving health and preventing disease means getting enough exercise, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. You’ve heard before and I’m sure you’ll hear it again. Here’s another one: an added great way is to get a good night’s sleep. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of Americans get fewer than seven hours of sleep each night.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired I’m a mess so a lot of this doesn’t really surprise me. While we may not commonly associate being tired with poor health, inadequate sleep and other sleep disorders can have a variety of health consequences. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

In addition to chronic disease, sleep disorders can affect your work performance, concentration and ability to safely operate motor vehicles and other machinery. In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimates that driver sleepiness is a factor in 20 percent of serious car crash injuries.

  • Here are some ways to improve your sleep:
  • Get regular exercise to help regulate your sleep cycle, but avoid exercising in the three hours before your normal bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages after 2 pm.
  • Go to bed at night – and wake up in the morning – at about the same time each day.
  • Keep naps short during the day, so you’ll be less likely to lie awake at night.
  • Turn down the thermostat – keeping the bedroom cool can help you get to sleep easier.

I get plenty of sleep. Sure, there are times when I’m tired, but not often. It’s really not an area of concern for me. But, do you get enough sleep? If you have concerns, discuss them with your primary care provider. If sleep is the answer to a health concern, what a great solution compared to so many other options.

  1. Lately, have been having a really difficult time sleeping. So, I liked that you talked about avoiding drinking caffeine after 2 pm. I have been drinking some when I leave work around 5 pm so I wonder if that is a reason I am sleeping poorly. I wonder if taking sleeping pills could help me sleep better.

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