We spend about one-third of our lives asleep, yet sleep is one of the least understood areas in medicine. Countless medical studies conducted across the world have tried to crack the mystery of sleep, but only one conclusion persists—people need at least six to seven hours of restful sleep every night.
Know What to Avoid
Whether you’re currently struggling with sound sleep or not, by simply being aware of your sleep hygiene—your nightly patterns around bedtime and sleep—you’re still actively engaging with one of your body’s main functions, and setting yourself up for a lifetime of better sleep.
Consider these helpful tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your six to seven hours:
- Stay away from afternoon caffeine—large amounts of caffeine after 3 p.m. can stimulate your nervous system and prevent you from relaxing at night.
- Follow the light—per your body’s natural circadian rhythm, natural sunlight and bright light during the day keeps you healthy and can boost your sleep efficiency by 80%.
- Darken the light—the flip side of your circadian rhythm is darkness when it’s time for bed; your body craves it. Reduce the screen time, turn off the lights and enjoy healthier melatonin regulation and healthier sleep.
- Exercise on the reg—staying active keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine. One recent study of older adults showed almost a 50% reduction in the time it took to fall asleep.
- Easy on the booze—though a depressant, alcohol has been proven to increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. Either reduce your intake, or cut it out entirely from your diet.
- Know your temperature—every individual is different, but the consensus seems to be 70°F, the way of the ideal bedroom temperature for a quality night’s rest.
- Don’t eat late—rich, heavy foods are a bad idea before bed, increasing odds of acid reflux and disrupting hormone regulation. When you do have a heavy meal, two to four hours before bed is a good timeline for digestion.
Form Healthy Habits
Beyond these tips, as a general rule of thumb—stick to a bedtime routine, both in habit and the time you choose to go to sleep. Log a sleep journal and record how much and the quality of sleep you’re getting every night.
If you still feel tired during the day, wake up frequently during the night and have trouble falling or staying asleep, the professionals at Pinnacle ENT can help determine the right solution for you!