We all need a better night’s sleep
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most American adults aren’t getting enough sleep.
Are you part of the epidemic of sleeplessness?
This is National Sleep Awareness Week, so I want to offer these 5 tips for a better night’s sleep, based on some of my previous posts. (I know I don’t get enough sleep, so it’s a topic close to my heart!)
1. Turn off the lights
This seems like a no brainer, but our modern lifestyles make escaping from light or light-emitting devices really difficult.
The problem is that a specific type of light—blue light—signals our brains to wake up; and blue light comes not only from sunlight (it’s why the sky is blue!), but from TVs, phones, tablets, computers, and most light bulbs.
So consider getting black out curtains, a sleep mask, and lower-wattage bulbs, as well as turning off electrical devices well before bedtime.
2. Try some yoga breathing
The best part about yoga breathing is that it helps all day, not just at night when you want to “turn off” and go to sleep. Ideally, the 4-7-8 technique shown in the video should be done several times a day, every day, to optimize it’s stress-busting and sleep-inducing benefits.
3. Treat snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea are sleep killers, and they often go hand-in-hand. If you (or your sleep partner) notice you are snoring and/or stopping breathing for short periods of time, don’t hesitate to see your doctor and get some help.
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to other health problems, too, such as high blood pressure.
Typically, treatment includes losing weight and being fitted for a CPAP machine. But there are also simple (and free) exercises that can be done to strengthen the muscles of your throat.
4. Be careful with over-the-counter sleeping drugs
It’s tempting, I know, to believe marketing claims that a relatively cheap drug will give you a good night’s sleep. In my experience, however, those claims are usually too good to be true. Sometimes these OTC drugs actually make sleep worse! Be informed before you buy.
5. Consider professional help
Sleep medicine is big business and it’s costly. If you just want some lifestyle coaching to help you get a better night’s sleep, consider one of the new websites that offer sleep advice and training. Their services are relatively inexpensive, and usually include an app so you can track your sleep habits to see if your sleep really is improving.
Sleep is so important to overall good health.
Happy Sleep Awareness Week, everyone, and I wish you all a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep! 😴