Sleep is essential to our health and well-being, yet many of us aren’t getting enough of it. Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep or getting poor quality sleep increases the risk of health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Depression and anxiety
Let’s take a look at five things you should try if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
Manage Stress Levels for Better Sleep
It comes as no surprise that higher levels of stress interfere with getting quality sleep. According to the American Psychological Association, 43% of adults reported that stress had caused them to lie awake at night within the past month.
While it’s not possible to avoid stress completely, you can practice ways to manage your stress levels including:
- Meditation and breathing exercises
- Regular physical exercise
- Spending time in nature somewhere like Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve
Wake Up and Go to Bed at the Same Time Each Day
Though it can be tempting to sleep in on the weekends, it actually can make you more tired in the long run. Our bodies respond well to routine. If you sleep in on the weekend, you’re more likely to stay up late Sunday night. This means less sleep Monday morning and starting the week off feeling extra fatigued.
Avoid Screens Before Bed
If you’re in the habit of watching Netflix in bed or scrolling through your phone late at night, this could be preventing you from getting good sleep.
The light from our devices can prevent our bodies from releasing melatonin, which is a hormone that helps us fall asleep. Not to mention, much of what we consume on our devices is stimulating and not conducive for rest.
Try putting away all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime and engaging in a relaxing activity instead.
Avoid Certain Foods Before Going to Sleep
It’s common to get hungry before bed. If you enjoy a late-night snack, just make sure to choose wisely. Avoid foods high in sugar or that contain caffeine. Also, don’t eat anything too spicy or heavy that might give you reflux and keep you awake.
Make an Appointment with a Sleep Specialist
If you’ve tried everything to improve your sleep hygiene and still find yourself struggling, it may be time to book an appointment with a sleep specialist. They can help you manage problems like:
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Heavy snoring or sleep apnea
- Circadian rhythm disorders
Make sleep a priority this year. Call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy for more information or to schedule an appointment today.