CDC reports an estimate that over 25% of Americans don’t get enough sleep and approximately 10% have insomnia.
Sleep deprivation is not just a problem in mental health but also is associated with other medical problems including obesity and diabetes. Here are some tips to getting a more restful night of sleep. Follow these rules of good “sleep hygiene” and less nights of counting sheep and more refreshed mornings may be on the horizon.
1. Set a regular bedtime, even on the weekends. Don’t get in the habit of oversleeping on the weekends to make up for sleep lost during the week. Keep your same routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday.
2. Create a “wind-down” routine for bedtime. Choose an activity that is soothing to help you transition to dreamland. Some examples are taking a bath, drinking warm milk or reading a book in dim light (in a room other than the bedroom).
3. The bed is to be used for sex and sleep ONLY. No cell phones, laptops or watching television in bed as it keeps the brain stimulated and makes it harder to fall asleep.
4. This one is a mythbuster. Alcohol does NOT improve sleep. After a few drinks, you may hit the bed pretty quickly but the sleep isn’t restful. You’re also more likely to have early morning awakenings.
5. Exercise is good for sleep, BUT not if you do it too late. Late evening exercise can have you feeling wired at bedtime rather than ready to rest.