Get a better night's sleep: Your body will thank you

Feel Good, Topics, What You Should Know

Sleep is such a vital part of our lives. As a regularly recurring rest for the body during which there is little or no conscious thought, sleep restores energy to both the body and the mind while refreshing the spirit. The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep each night, but more than 50 million Americans have from some type of sleep disorder, and for them, falling asleep – and staying asleep – can be a nightmare. 

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these healthy habits to get a better night’s sleep:
1. Leave work at the office. 
2. Avoid eating or drinking excessively before going to sleep.
3. Quit smoking or restrict smoking 3-4 hours before bedtime.
4. Avoid caffeine, especially after noon.
5. Follow a daily exercise program and exercise early in the day.
6. Avoid consuming alcohol 3-4 hours before bedtime.
7. Reserve the bedroom for sleep. The room should be quiet, dark and free of distractions, such as a television.
8. Set aside relaxation time (20-30 minutes) before going to bed.
9. Establish a regular sleep-wake cycle. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up the same time each morning.
10. Be aware of medications you are taking and their effects on sleep.

If you’re finding that waking up frequently is a problem, give yourself at least 20 minutes to return to sleep. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, go to another room to pursue a quiet or boring activity for 20 minutes. Just don’t raid the fridge – eating is stimulating and may further delay your sleep.

If you’ve practiced good sleep health and you still have trouble sleeping, you might have a sleep disorder. The most common sleep disorder diagnosed at McLaren Port Huron’s Center for Sleep Medicine is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (known as OSA), a sleep-related breathing disorder where the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the upper airway. Those who experience OSA may display the following symptoms:
Loud snoring
Periods of non-breathing during sleep
Waking from sleep choking, snorting or gasping for breath
Morning dry mouth
Daytime drowsiness
Sexual disfunction
Increased irritability

Several health risks are associated with OSA, including hypertension, diabetes, stroke, depression, and cardiac issues, such as atrial fibrillation (AFib). 

If you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, talk with your doctor about a sleep evaluation at McLaren Port Huron’s Center for Sleep Medicine. Our expert team of sleep professionals can determine whether you need further testing and provide treatment options that will help you get a better night’s sleep and feel your best once again.