7 Tips for Good Quality Sleep
Sleep occupies one-third of our lives. It is very important to have good, quality sleep for better health in general. Sleep can affect most of our systems including cardiac, neurologic, immune, etc. Follow these seven simple tips for a better night's rest.
- Protect your sleep environment. Your bedroom should be cool, quiet and dark, free from distractions. This means removing computers, tablets, mobile phones and TVs from your bedroom.
- Avoid screen time one hour before bed. Blue light that emits from devices such as phones and tablets interferes with your body's circadian rhythms by suppressing the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
- Wind down in the evening. Do your physical exercises in the morning. Try some relaxation techniques before bed such as yoga.
- Maintain a similar sleep schedule. This goes for the weekday and weekends.
- Don't go to bed until you are sleepy and tired. If you regularly struggle to fall asleep, it is best to try and restrict, rather than extend, the amount of time you spend in bed. Less means more. If you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep, go to the living room until you feel sleepy and tired and then go back to bed.
- Avoid sleep medications. It is always advisable to avoid sleep medications, whether prescribed or over the counter. Most sleep aids are habit forming. If you have to use them, use them intermittently, such as three nights on, three nights off.
- Keep yourself healthy. Avoid weight gain. It increases the propensity for a breathing-related sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
It is not normal to feel sleepy during the day after achieving at least seven hours of sleep at night. If you follow the above tips and continue to feel sleepy and tired, consult with your family physician.
M. Yaser Zeater, MD, FCCP, is a pulmonologist at SwedishAmerican's Pulmonology clinic. To make an appointment with Dr. Zeater, please call (779) 696-6102.