When most people think about staying healthy, they probably think about eating right and getting exercise. After all, we’ve come to associate the image of a salad with perfect health, but we often forget one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is get enough sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep can affect our mental and our physical health in a variety of ways, including improving stress levels and the immune system. Despite this, many people do not get enough sleep, or even know that they need to do to get enough rest every night!
If you want to improve your sleep schedule or get more sleep, Dr. C. Donovan "Dino" Beckett of Williamson Health and Wellness Center has some tips to help you get a good night's sleep!
Designated Sleep Zone
One important thing is to make sure your bedroom is for sleep only, and that you do all of your sleeping there. “Avoid reading or watching TV in the bedroom,” Dr. Beckett says. “The bedroom should be left for sleep only.” He also suggests avoiding sleeping outside of the bed. “Avoid sleeping on your couch or chair.”
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, it’s also important to avoid taking any naps throughout the day, and make sure that your room is relaxing. “Make sure that your bedroom has ambient temperature, and is quiet and relaxing.”
Live A Healthy Life
There are also some changes you might need to make to your daily schedule if you want to ensure a perfect night’s sleep. You will get your best sleep possible if you avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime, and avoid exposure to blue light from electronic devices after 5pm. “If you can’t avoid the electronics, use a blue light filter,” Dr. Beckett says.
It’s also helpful to avoid taking any medications, such as diuretics, before going to bed, and to make sure you eat a while before bedtime. “Avoid any excessive meals prior to bedtime,” he says.
If you still find that you can’t fall asleep, try to attempt at least 30 minutes of exercise during the day, which can help you fall asleep faster, and ensures your sleep is more restful. Make sure you keep a consistent sleeping schedule, by falling asleep and waking up at the same time each day.
Of course, for many people, sleep may continue to be an issue. If you find that you live a healthy life and avoid factors that might cause difficulty sleeping, you might need to check with your doctor. “If sleep continues to be an issue, make sure to discuss this with your physician in order to evaluate for more serious concerns with sleep, such as sleep apnea or insomnia,” Dr. Beckett says.
Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising when it comes to your mental and physical health. Why not make your 2021 New Years Resolution a better sleep schedule?