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One in three adults in the U.S. don’t get a good night’s sleep. Some reasons might be physical problems (like apnea) or mental distress. But for many, it’s simply bad habits. Here are five easy ways to improve your chances for restful sleep.
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT
Number 1: You’re Using Electronics Right Before You Fall Asleep We’ve all done it – spending minutes or even hours scrolling through social media before bed. Researchers have found that people who used electronics before bed saw a significant reduction of melatonin in their body, a chemical that regulates our body’s sleep patterns. The decreased levels of melatonin in their bodies made it harder to fall asleep. Replace your phone with a book or newspaper for a much better bedtime ritual.
Number 2: You’re Drinking Caffeine Within 3 Hours of Sleeping Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it hard for you to fall asleep, so try to make your last cup more than three hours before bedtime. If you’re looking for a warm drink before bed, many herbal teas like chamomile can help you relax and reduce stress right before bed.
Number 3: You’re Eating Right Before You Go To Bed Always try to finish eating at least three hours before bed. Why? Eating increases your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn makes it much harder for you to fall asleep.
Number 4: Your Bedtime Is All Over The Place If some nights you go to bed at 2 am, and other nights you go to bed at 9 pm, your body’s circadian rhythm isn’t syncing up. By having a consistent bedtime, your body gets used to falling asleep and waking up at the same times, which can make you more alert in the morning. A good solution: try to go to bed at the same time every night!
Number 5: Your Bedroom Is Too Warm While sleeping, your body temperature naturally begins to dip. Sleeping in a room that is more than 68 degrees can make it much harder for your body to fall asleep. If it’s too hot, you’ll be battling with you covers all night.
In short, pick a time to go to sleep, wind down before that time, and don’t let distractions like eating or talking on the phone get in the way of winding down. You’ll likely wake up rested, recharged and ready for the day ahead!
KEY TERMS & IDEAS
One in three adults in the U.S. don’t get a good night’s sleep. Some reasons might be physical problems (like apnea) or mental distress. But for many, it’s simply bad habits. These habits are easy to change. In this podcast, we look at six bad habits that many people fall into.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle.
Deep sleep is a time of nearly complete disengagement from the environment (Psychology Today).
LINKS & RESOURCES:
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Yong Liu, "Prevalence of healthy sleep duration among adults—United States, 2014," MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 65 (2016), https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6506a1.htm?s_cid%3Dmm6506a1_w, accessed January 2019.
“Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Sleep,” Sleep.org, https://www.sleep.org/articles/is-your-smartphone-ruining-your-sleep/, accessed January 2019.
Harvard Medical School, “8 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep,” http://www.health.harvard.edu/sleep/8-secrets-to-a-good-nights-sleep, accessed January 2019.
Amanda MacMillan, “20 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed,” health.com, https://www.health.com/mind-body/20-things-you-shouldn-t-do-before-bed, accessed January 2019.
John Cline, “The Mysterious Benefits of Deep Sleep,” October 11, 2010, psychologytoday.com, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleepless-in-america/201010/the-mysterious-benefits-deep-sleep, accessed January 2019.
CREDITS: Producer: Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc. Writer and Host: Nada Milosavljevic MD, JD
© 2019 Spartan
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