Six tips for sleeping better: In honor of Sleep Awareness Week

03/11/2019

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week this week, March 10-16. Are you getting enough sleep? Not just a few hours between tossing and turning, but good, restorative sleep? If you wake up tired and feel sleepy and fatigued throughout the day, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some type of sleep disorder. 

“Good sleep is as important to our health as good nutrition. It’s a time of rest and repair for the body, especially the heart. Lack of quality sleep over a period of time can lead to a variety of health issues ranging from mild and short-term to chronic and severe,” says Richard Osborn, Supervisor, Goshen Sleep Disorders Center. “If you’re having sleep issues that are affecting your family, work and overall quality of life, it’s time to talk to your primary care provider.” 

Sleep disorders are treatable and there are many options available, including diagnostic tests that can be done at home or at a sleep center.

Here are six steps to getting better sleep:
1.  Keep a routine: go to bed and get up at the same time every day; limit naps; and establish a relaxing, presleep ritual, such as a warm bath or shower, reading, listening to soft music or other relaxing sounds.
2.  Avoid using smartphones, tablets, computers and television at bedtime.
3.  Exercise regularly, but not too vigorously at bedtime or 30 minutes before bedtime.
4.  Avoid large meals, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime. Also avoid sleeping pills.
5.  Don’t allow your bedroom to be a multi-purpose room—reserve it for sleep, recuperation and intimacy.
6.  Keep your bedroom comfortable by replacing worn out bedding; maintaining a comfortable temperature; and minimizing light and noise.

Sleep disorders are common, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. If you’re maintaining good sleep habits and still not getting the rest you need, you may want to talk to your primary care provider about some of the newer treatment options available to help you get the rest you deserve.