Improve Your Sleep and Your Health

Posted by Steph Perine on Jul 17, 2018

Few things are better than a good night’s sleep, but the CDC says more than a third of Americans aren’t getting the sleep they need – and that means they’re at greater risk

for chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, as well as depression, anxiety and problems with concentration.

3 Steps to Better Sleep

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, we all need at least seven hours of sleep each night. And contrary to what most people think, you can’t make up for lack of sleep during the week by sleeping in on the weekends; in fact, studies show sleeping too long can be almost as bad as not sleeping enough. It is also important to make sure the sleep you get is deep and restful. The good news: It’s not difficult or expensive to improve your sleep habits. These three tips can help:

  1. “Train” your mind for better sleep by setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it. Use your bedroom only for sleep. Keep the TV out and never use the space for work.
  2. Take a warm bath, read, meditate or create another bedtime ritual that helps you wind down and relax. Avoid heavy meals or spicy snacks.
  3. Don’t nap during the day, and try to get some physical activity like walking during the day so you’re tired out at bedtime. Physical activity can also help to relieve stress.

How can I tell if I’m getting “good” sleep?

The biggest clue: If you’re getting enough quality sleep, you’ll notice you feel more rested and alert during the day, and you won’t feel so anxious or irritable. Over time, you may notice other benefits too, like better performance at work and fewer colds and flu.

Don’t overestimate the power of sleep. Make a commitment to better sleeping habits and start enjoying a healthier life.