Did you know May is Better Sleep Month? Getting enough sleep each night is vital for your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Many people do not realize the importance of getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Getting inadequate sleep can have negative long-term effects such as an increase in stress hormone production and high blood pressure. Poor sleep can lead to mood swings, reduced concentration, a weakened immune system, weight gain, and diabetes. Improve your overall sleep quality and quantity with these tips below!
Daily Physical Activity
Staying active during the day burns energy and in return makes you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep at night. Exercising earlier in the day is recommended. To improve your quality of sleep most effectively, exercise outside to increase your natural light exposure. Not being exposed to enough natural light can alter your circadian rhythm and disrupt your sleep.
It is important to be cautious when taking naps. If your nap is too long during the day, it can mess up your circadian rhythm and reduce the melatonin levels in your body. Naps should not be more than 30 minutes long. If you decide to take a nap, do so earlier in the day.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Be consistent with your sleep schedule. Sleeping in on the weekends makes it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep since you wake up at a different time than you usually do. A consistent wake time optimizes our circadian rhythms which is critical for our overall health.
Pay Attention to What you Eat and Drink
You should not consume caffeine later in the day. This disrupts your sleep cycle and makes it harder to fall asleep. In addition to caffeine, nicotine and alcohol also disrupt your sleep quality. You should avoid eating within a couple of hours of bedtime.
These tips can help you get the adequate rest you deserve. However, if you have tried different ways to improve your sleep and you are still constantly having trouble, you may have a sleep disorder. Contact your healthcare provider and share your concerns to help you identify a solution.