Friday, March 18, is World Sleep Day, and we want you to celebrate by getting some serious zzz’s. We all know that sleep is incredibly important, yet 35% of adults in the United States don’t get enough of it. Read on for seven habits that’ll help you achieve blissful dreams in the name of this international holiday.
Though everyone’s bodies are different, 65 degrees (give or take a few) is the ideal sheep-counting temperature. Your circadian rhythm begins to cool your body down around bedtime. If it’s too warm in the room, this may affect the core temperature your brain is trying to achieve and will therefore interrupt your sleep throughout the night.
Blue light ban
We’ve all heard that bright screens before bed are bad. But why, exactly? Electronic devices emit a short wavelength known as blue light, which delays the natural production of melatonin. We recommend putting away electronics an hour or two before bedtime. This is probably one of the hardest habits to maintain, but we recommend reading (or listening to) a good book instead.
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Reduce other light
Our bodies revolve around light. As light disappears, we produce melatonin, and as light appears, it halts that production. Proper darkness allows certain nighttime processes to take place, such as hunger control, cell cycle regulation and hormone production. We recommend you dim bedroom lights before bed, avoid having any type of light on while you sleep, and ensure your windows aren’t letting in too much artificial light. Might we also recommend blackout curtains?
Invest in a mattress
A good mattress really is essential. There is a surprising variety of mattresses out there, and your choice will ultimately be dependent on your body’s specific needs. Be sure to read up on all things mattress-related before making your final decision.
Prepare your body with the right ingredients
Avoid large meals, alcohol and caffeine at least three hours before bedtime. A light snack is totally fine — we recommend going for foods that have a high melatonin content, like herbal teas with a splash of milk, or cherries, grapes, bananas, nuts or oats.
Physical exercise tires the body, affecting the homeostatic sleep drive, leading to more sound sleep at night. Aim for about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three hours before bedtime to ensure the best-quality exercise-induced sleep possible.
Establish healthy nighttime rituals
Whether it’s going to bed at the same time every night, practicing yoga, a stretching routine or meditation, it takes at least two months to turn actions into habits. Choose a relaxing ritual and stick to it, and you’ll be sleeping soundly before you know it.
What if these tactics don’t work?
Chronic lack of sleep may be an indicator of a sleep disorder. Consider visiting Midwest Express Clinic to be evaluated for a sleep disorder or other medical reasons that could cause sleep disruption. We all owe it to ourselves to enjoy a good night’s sleep — let World Sleep Day serve as that reminder.
Check in online at your nearest Midwest Express Clinic to speak with a provider today about what you can do to for a better night’s sleep.
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