When it comes to sleeping, knowing what to do leads to one being alert and well-rested. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of adults living in the U.S. do not get the recommended amount of nightly sleep. Diabetes, obesity, changes in mental health, and cardiovascular diseases are all consequences of not having enough sleep. Talk to your physician or caregiver about how you can get a healthy amount of sleep best suited for you. The amount of sleep a person receives nightly depends on age.
Here are a few recommended tips for getting a healthy amount of sleep:
- Create an environment suitable for sleeping. Your bedroom should be cool in temperature, and not have any distractions such as lights and noise. A bed with a comfortable mattress and pillows is a must. Do not use distracting items, such as your cell phone when you are trying to fall asleep.
- Be consistent with the timing of going to bed each night and waking up each morning. Before going to bed, partake in a relaxing activity.
- Be sure to exercise during the day, but don’t do it shortly before falling asleep. Avoid consuming caffeine and alcoholic beverages because those can keep you alert.
It is recommended that you record your sleeping habits by keeping a “sleep diary.” (One can be downloaded from the National Sleep Foundation website.) Apps for mobile phones and wearable technology can record your sleeping habits such as heartbeat, movements, and distractions. Learning about what makes you not sleep well can help you decide on how to improve your sleeping habits.
“CDC – Basics About Sleep – Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 May 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/index.html.
“Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 13 Aug. 2019, https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep.
“Sleeping Tips & Tricks.” National Sleep Foundation, National Sleep Foundation, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips.