Are You Getting Your Sleep?
How good is your sleep each 24 hour cycle?
Are you a light sleeper?
Are you able to lay down and drift right off to sleep?
People lose sleep worrying over life problems. Shift workers lose sleep when having to be up late or rising very early for work. Medications and prescription drugs can cause people to lose sleep.
Why Do We Sleep?
Sleep is a very important part of our overall health. The sub conscious mind takes over once your sleep cycle begins. Our conscious mind needs rest in order to perform when you are awake. Here are the main reasons humans as well as animals have built in clocks that require rest.
Build up energy for the next day.
Keep a regular balance between organs in the body.
Keep a regular body temperature.
Our bodies immune system repairs itself during sleep.
Repair cells and tissues in the body.
According to the Veterans Administration in Phoenix Arizona, one out of three people have an issue with insomnia at some point in their life. Around 10 percent of people have persistent insomnia. There are some actions you can take to help improve your sleep.
1. Develop regular daytime activity.
2. Go for 30 minute walks on a daily basis. If you live in an area where the weather is not conducive to being outdoors during winter, try and find an indoor place that you can still get your walking done.
3. Make your sleeping environment as dark as possible. Also make the temperature comfortable but not extreme. Reduce noise as best as possible. The ideal sleeping environment would be a quiet, dark bedroom around 68 degrees.
4. Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. You want your digestive system to be finished digesting your meal so the whole body can rest better.
5. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Drugs are not conducive to good sleep hygiene.
6. Get regular light exposure during the day.
7. Relax for 60 to 90 minutes before bed. Don’t watch movies or programs like newscasts showing murders, robberies, or other violence. Some people enjoy listening to relaxing music, taking a warm bath or doing a meditation practice. I enjoy reading for an hour before bed. This helps make me sleepy.
8. Go to bed at the same time every evening. Wake up at the same time each morning.
9. Don’t have your bedroom clock in view or where you may hear noise from the clock ticking.
Some of the information from this blog post is from a booklet by Dana Epstein of the VAMC in Phoenix, Arizona. I attended a Sleep Improvement Group in 2011 and felt this information is valuable for my readers.