Healthy Sleep Habits

  • 5.03.2024
  • 145 views

Your sleep habits impact many more aspects of your health than how tired or well-rested you feel. Sleep affects your emotional well-being, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, mental and physical performance, and more. Healthy sleep habits can help decrease your risk for heart disease, stroke, seizures, and epilepsy. Explore tips for healthy sleep below —

Establish a consistent sleep schedule

A consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your internal clock and circadian rhythm. You should aim to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. A consistent sleep schedule will reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed. Adults should follow a schedule that allows them to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 

Create a relaxing bedtime routine

Engage in calming activities before bedtime to signal to your body it’s time to wind down. Try reading a book, taking a warm bath or shower, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, or listening to soothing music. Avoid using electronics like your phone or tablet, engaging in intense exercise, or eating a meal within an hour of bedtime. 

Optimize your sleep environment 

Keep your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark; these conditions promote optimal sleep. Invest in a mattress and pillows that provide adequate support for your body. Use white noise machines or earplugs to block out disruptive sounds and blackout curtains to minimize light exposure.

Limit screen time before bed

Light from electronic screens can suppress melatonin production, the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Avoid electronic devices for at least an hour before going to bed. 

Be mindful of your caffeine and alcohol intake

Caffeine and alcohol can both disrupt your quality of sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours. Be mindful of hidden sources of caffeine like chocolate and certain medications. If you drink alcohol, limit the amount you drink and avoid drinking it too close to bedtime.

Prioritize regular physical activity and healthy eating habits

Regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week, but avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime. A balanced diet comprising a variety of vegetables and fruits can provide a broad range of vitamins and minerals, contributing to better sleep.

If you consistently experience trouble sleeping, discuss your options to foster better sleep with your provider.

jacqueline.hodges