Sleep is one of the most essential aspects of our health and well being, but it also seems to be one of the most elusive. Many of us aren’t getting enough sleep and even those of us who are getting the correct amount of sleep aren’t getting proper sleep. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans have sleep-related problems and at least 70% of Americans don’t get quality sleep every night.
So how can you start getting more sleep now? We take you on a deep dive into how you can start creating a better bedtime routine, lifestyle changes, and exercise to stop snoring all geared towards getting you those essential sleep hours.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleeping is just as important as eating healthy and exercising to keep your body and mind right. Here, experts weigh in on just some of the major reasons that good, quality sleep (8 hours) is key to a long and healthy life:
- Poor sleep can cause weight gain. Additionally, lack of sleep can make it more difficult to lose those excess pounds.
- People who sleep more consume fewer calories than people who are lacking sleep.
- Sleep improves concentration and productivity.
- Quality sleep improves athletic performance and endurance.
- People who don’t get quality sleep are at a higher risk for heart diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
- Lack of sleep can also increase your risk for Type 2 Diabetes
- Poor sleep is linked to depression and other mood disorders.
- Sleep improves your immune system.
- Your sleep can impact your relationship, moods, and social interactions.
- Not getting enough sleep has also been linked to inflammation in the body which can cause autoimmune disorders, IBS, and other inflammatory conditions.
How Can I Improve My Sleep?
Now that you know how important sleep is to our daily lives, you’re probably wondering how you can get more sleep. Maybe you suffer from snoring in Idaho Falls that keeps you up at night. Or you don’t have a set evening/bedtime routine in place and you aren’t waking up at the same time every morning. Whatever is keeping you from getting the sleep you deserve, we can help. Choose from one or more of the following tips in relation to your current lifestyle and start creating new habits today!
Create a Bedtime Routine
If you haven’t had a bedtime routine since you were a child it’s time to revisit this habit. Creating a bedtime routine as an adult can increase the quantity and quality of sleep in adults. Some basic ways to start designing a bedtime routine that works for you include, but are not limited to:
- Stick to a Schedule. Decide on a time that works for you and allows you to get a full 8 hours of sleep every night. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Wind Down Before Bed. At least an hour before start winding down for sleep. This means turning your cellphone off or on silent, not scrolling through Facebook, or binging your favorite show on Netflix. Try to fill this time with something that relaxes you like journaling, reading, a bath, gentle yoga, meditation, etc.
- Go Dark. As this article points out, light affects your circadian rhythms. When it’s dark, your brain signals the release of melatonin to help you sleep. Try sleeping in the dark and waking up with the light to improve your sleep habits.
You can find more ideas for bedtime routines by speaking with your sleep specialist in Idaho Falls or from this article from Sleep.org.
How Can I Stop Snoring?
Regardless of whether or not you have a solid bedtime routine, snoring may be keeping you from getting that much-needed rest.
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea or snoring is keeping you up at night, contact Comfort Sleep Solutions for a complimentary assessment and learn more about ways to stop snoring below:
- Strengthen Your Throat Muscles. Exercises to stop snoring can strengthen the muscles that may be causing your snoring in the first place. From moving your mouth in different shapes to singing, exercises to stop snoring can help to reduce your snoring but may not cure it completely.
- Have a Sleep Assessment Done. If you’re snoring is keeping you and your partner up at night, or if your partner has mentioned that you stop breathing during the night, your snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea. Schedule an appointment with Comfort Sleep Solutions in Idaho Falls to find out if you do have sleep apnea and what treatments will be ideal for you.
- Don’t Drink Before Bed. Alcohol is a depressant. When you consume alcohol, especially copious amounts before bedtime, it can relax the muscles in your throat causing your airways to collapse, which causes snoring and, in some cases, sleep apnea. Furthermore, alcohol decreases your quality of sleep. A good rule of thumb is to not consume any alcohol within three to five hours of going to sleep.
If you’re ready to finally get a good’s night sleep and not feel like you’re sleepwalking during the day, call our sleep institute in Idaho Falls for more information about sleep apnea, bedtime routines, and to schedule your sleep study today. You deserve a good night’s sleep.