Make better sleep your primary resolution for 2014!
The physicians at Spartanburg & Greer ENT want you to understand why this could perhaps be the most important goal you set this year and have some tips to offer about how people who choose to prioritize sleep can achieve their goals.
Many people will choose to exercise more, eat healthier, and get away from bad habits as part of their New Year’s Resolutions; while these goals should certainly be commended, one of the best ways to improve health is also one of the most overlooked.
In a world full of tablets, light pollution, and rampant sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, getting a full eight hours of sleep per night has never seemed more unattainable. But given the important role that sleep plays in overall health, there is no better time to prioritize sleep than now. Just a little extra sleep per night can make all the difference in the world to how an individual feels during the day.
The physicians of Spartanburg & Greer ENT regularly help sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) control their condition; they see firsthand the positive impact that an undisturbed night of sleep can have on a person’s overall health. Here are some of their tips to reach your goal of better sleep:
- Get Sleep Apnea Treated... A patient cannot hope to experience a proper night’s sleep if an underlying medical issue like sleep apnea goes uncorrected. By calculating your SnoreScoreTM, you can determine if you are at risk for the condition, and a sleep study can confirm the diagnosis. Depending on the severity of your condition, your physician may recommend treatment options, such as lifestyle changes, an oral appliance, a CPAP machine, or a surgical procedure.
- Lose Excess Weight... In addition to other health benefits, weight loss also improves sleep and significantly reduces daytime sleepiness. Conditions that disrupt your sleep, such as esophageal reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea, may be cured in some cases by a return to a healthy weight. If you don't already have a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor about the best course of action for weight loss. You might even want to try our Health Empowerment Program.
- Stop Smoking and Drinking... Although these can stand as resolutions all on their own, the role they play in sleep should not be underestimated. Both of these habits can make it hard for a person to secure a decent night of sleep... smoking causes mouth dryness, and alcohol consumption tends to make the quality of sleep less than restful, natural and restorative. Quit smoking now, and when it comes to alcohol consumption, save the after-work drink (notice we said drink, not drinks) for right after work instead of late at night.
- Screen The Screens... Many American households are bursting at the seams with multiple televisions, computers, tablets, smartphones, and video game systems. Interaction with these screens can create distractions and stress that disrupt the onset of natural sleep cycles. Set some ground rules with your family for device usage... maybe turn videogames, phones, and tablets off two hours prior to bed, shut down the television and the computer an hour before, and don’t interact with these until you awake in the morning.
- Don’t Go Wild On The Weekends... The human body cannot adjust to a sleep schedule if an individual stays out until the wee hours of the morning or tries to recuperate his missed sleep by sleeping in on the weekend. Try to go to bed and wake up on Saturday and Sunday at the same time you would throughout the rest of the week. Generally speaking, remember that for every two hours your brain is awake, it requires one hour of restful sleep to be fully restored to optimal levels of function, health and well-being the next day.