With so many things to get done in a day, many people underestimate the importance of getting quality rest every night. We depend on coffee to give us a boost in the morning, just to fight the 2 p.m. crash later on. For the go-getters, it can be difficult to prioritize sleep when it feels like time is being “wasted,” if you go to bed earlier than normal.
According to the Sleep Foundation, studies show that 45% of Americans lack sufficient quality sleep on a daily basis. Quality sleep (and getting enough of it) is just as important for the human body as food and water. Our mind and body crave decent rest to detox, unwind, and restore itself.
At South Coast Medical, we analyze our patients’ health through regular screenings, tests, and conversations that involve learning how much quality sleep they are receiving and how it is affecting their health.
Sleep is so important that it affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body- from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immunity, and mood.
Implement these practices to sleep better at night:
Stick To A Consistent Schedule
Your body relies on its internal sleep clock, the circadian rhythm, to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When this rhythm is functioning properly, your body will get tired in the evening and wake up in the morning at around the same time each day. Being consistent with your sleeping and waking times aids in long-term sleep quality. Get in the habit of going to bed and waking up at similar times (even on the weekends) to create a healthy cycle.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure
While exposure to light during the day is beneficial for our bodies to keep going, nighttime light exposure tells our bodies to stay up. With our circadian rhythm in effect, our brains are tricked into thinking it is still daytime and will reduce the production of hormones that help us sleep, such as melatonin. Wind down from electronics a few hours before bed to reduce blue light exposure and get your body ready for rest.
Practice A Bedtime Ritual
Sleep is a behavior. Therefore, we must train this behavior in order for it to function properly. Children and adults alike need to mentally prepare themselves for sleep. By engaging in relaxing activities, our bodies are better able to transition from a busy day into a restorative sleeping state. Find ways to unwind your mind and body by reading a book, listening to soft music, or taking a bath.
Be Mindful Of Your Bedroom Environment
Although many people do not realize, the process of going to sleep is impacted by your environment. It’s important to be mindful of what is going on in your bedroom that could affect your quality of sleep. Your bedroom should serve as a place of rest, not an office. Factors such as noise, temperature, lights, and furniture arrangement all impact the way your body rests. Optimize your bedroom by creating a space that is clean, quiet, and enjoyable.
Getting a good night’s rest can often be put on the back burner, but without it, our overall health will suffer. With these tools, your body will become better acclimated to getting the quality sleep it needs.
If you have tried these methods and still find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night, come into our office to speak with our medical professionals. We are open every day of the week, and no appointment is needed.