Everyone has had a night or two of tossing and turning and struggling to fall asleep. That is normal when dealing with life’s stresses or maybe a little too much caffeine before bedtime. What’s not normal is having that problem every single night.
Are you finding yourself exhausted and unable to make it through the day without a nap? Do you wake up in the morning and feel groggy despite being asleep for the recommended eight hours? Do you find yourself struggling at work or school with a general lack of concentration and focus? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may have a sleep disorder.
Some common signs of a sleep disorder include difficulty falling or staying asleep, daytime fatigue, unusual movement or other experience while asleep, irritability or anxiety, strong urge to take naps during the day, depression, lack of concentration, and impaired performance at work or school, and those are just some of the symptoms.
Sleep disorders can impact the rest of your health too. According to the CDC, adults who were short sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) were more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep. All the more reason to focus on getting the quality sleep you deserve! Help is out there and treatment is available. A sleep doctor can give you an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
Did you know that a great night of rest can lead to a more productive day? It’s true. When you sleep better, you operate better during your day. Let’s break it down.
Sleep is necessary for your brain to reset and recover. Your brain has worked hard all day remembering all the things you have to do, reading, talking, reminding your body to eat, and so many other tasks. With a good night of sleep we are able to give our brains the much needed break they deserve.
Sleep helps your brain form pathways that lead to increased memories and the ability to concentrate and form deep thoughts. If you get a good night of sleep you will wake up feeling refreshed, maybe energized enough to get a morning workout in, or even tackle your full email inbox. And you will likely be able to sustain that productivity throughout the morning and even your day. You may notice that you work better and produce better work on days when you get a full night of quality sleep.
If you’re looking for one way to increase productivity in your day, to get more done in a shorter amount of time, start by looking at how much you’re sleeping and the quality of your sleep. You might be able to tweak your sleep habits so you wake up fully rested and recovered and can then tackle the day.
Sleep doesn’t always come easy to everyone. Taking small steps to make your bedroom more sleep friendly can lead to great improvements in your sleep.
Make the room as dark as possible. This may seem like a given because we usually go to sleep when it’s dark, but we often don’t think about the light that may be in our room. Electronics like phones, alarm clocks, TVs, and nightlights all can impact our sleep with the light they are emitting. Consider moving electronics to the other room. You can have your phone on in case of emergency, but maybe put it in the bathroom or outside the bedroom where you can hear your alarm but not have to see your phone light up with notifications. Investing in some blackout curtains will help keep the streetlights and moonlight out too.
Keep it cool. A Harvard Medical School study says your body drops in temperature right before you fall asleep to help you conserve energy. If you sleep in a colder room your body will drop to that level faster so you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
Keep your room clean. A messy room can make for a messy mind and make it harder to fall asleep. When you see that pile of laundry on the floor your brain is mentally making a note about it and then you might spend time thinking about all of the other things you need to do. A tidy room can help you feel less stressed about your to-do list so you can fall asleep faster.
These are just some tips to set up your room for a good night of sleep. Other simple things like removing the TVs and making sure your mattress is comfortable are equally important. Set yourself up for success and make your bedroom a sleep palace.
Not getting enough shuteye can have serious implications for your health.
Insomnia is a serious sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Studies have shown insomnia affects approximatley 10% of the population. If you think you have insomnia, there are several signs to look for including feeling tired when you wake up and needing naps to get through the day. You might be feeling irritable, depressed, or anxious.
Those who have insomnia may also feel anxiety about sleep. The lack of sleep can lead to performance problems at work or clumsiness and accidents. Stress can lead to short-term insomnia, but if you have insomnia that lasts for a month or more, it’s considered chronic, and you may need an expert to help.
If you’re unsure whether you have insomnia or another sleep condition, a polysomnography, aka sleep study, can help a trained professional understand what is going on. Some of the treatments for insomnia include behavior therapy, building healthy sleeping habits, and looking at underlying causes. A doctor will review your sleep data and will be able to make a diagnosis, and can then create a treatment plan tailored to your condition.
A new year is on the horizon, and everyone is ready to make positive changes to better their lives. Let us tell you why better sleep should be at the top of your New Year’s resolution list.
Sleep is essential to our health. A bad night of sleep or not enough sleep can leave us feeling groggy throughout the day, which often leads us to be moody or easily irritated. You can combat those days by getting 8 hours of good quality sleep.
When you get a good night of sleep your brain and body have time to recover. This can lead to better retention of information and new skills that you’ve been learning.
Mood and memory are just a couple of the reasons why better sleep should be on your New Year’s resolution list this year. Have a safe and healthy New Year!
If you experience summer sleep issues, read on for some tips for a more restful summer.
Invest in some blackout curtains for your bedroom.
The sun is out longer, which can mean up to a couple extra hours of sunlight depending on where you live. That’s hard for your body, and it’s really hard to fall asleep when rays of sun are streaming in through your window. The sun also rises earlier, so those same rays of sunshine will wake you up earlier in the morning, cutting your sleep cycle shorter. If you’re hoping to stick to your usual sleep routine, the best thing you can do is invest in some blackout curtains to block the light from shining into your room. It may also help to invest in some curtains for the room where you spend the most time before going to bed, so that you can train your brain to power down for the evening.
Cool your room and your temperature.
We sleep best when our body is in a cooler room. With the summer heat, you’ll have to take extra steps to ensure your room is set up for a cool evening. If you have air conditioning, set it to 65 degrees Fahrenheit before you go to bed. You can also use a ceiling fan to circulate the air in your room. If you haven’t switched from your winter flannel sheets to your summer cooling sheets, it’s time to make the change.
Cooling your body temperature ahead of a hot night can also help you sleep better. Take a cold shower before bed and have a glass of ice water on your nightstand. Take a sip before you call it a night.
We hope this helps you have a good night of sleep!
The actions you take throughout the day impact the way you sleep at night. If you’re looking for ways to improve your sleep, it starts with how you treat your body during the day.
Limit caffeine intake and stop drinking it earlier in the day.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can impact how well you sleep and how quickly you fall asleep. If you are a heavy coffee or soda drinker, start by reducing how much you’re consuming throughout the day. If you can, cut it off earlier in the day, say by 10 a.m. Caffeine lives in your system for hours, and if you drink it later in the day or even in the evening it can impact sleep.
Exercise is helpful to sleep.
Exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day can help you fall asleep easier, and may even cause a difference in quality of sleep. Being active has a wide range of other health benefits too, so if you’re searching to improve your sleep and your health, this is a good action to start with.
Limit screen time in the evenings.
Avoid screens and bright lights as much as you can in the hour before you plan to go to sleep. Try to relax before bed — read a book, take a bath or try another relaxing activity that keeps you away from bright lights. Your room should be created for sleep, so it should be dark, quiet and cool. Leave the phone in a different room, or out of arm’s reach, so you’re not tempted to scroll while trying to fall asleep.
If you’re doing all of these things and still struggling to fall or stay a sleep, give us a call. You may have a sleep disorder, and our team of professionals can help diagnose and treat your issue. #sleepwell #lovelife
How To Keep A Sleep Journal
There are many practices that can negatively impact our sleep, and a sleep specialist can help you diagnose which habits are making it harder for you to fall or stay asleep at night. If you have suffered from sleep issues, and are planning to talk to a doctor, you should keep a sleep journal ahead of your appointment.
A sleep journal should track what time you went to bed and what time you got out of bed, how often you woke up through the night and how long you stayed awake, what disturbed your sleep, and how you felt in the morning (rested, somewhat rested, fatigued).
It’s also helpful to track your daytime habits like amount of caffeine consumed and times, medications, naps (time of day and length), mood, whether you consumed alcohol before bed, and what your bedtime routine looks like.
The National Sleep Foundation has a journal outline available online, or you can use a blank notebook. Keep track of your rest, and ask a specialist to help you figure out how to make changes to sleep better. Call us today for your sleep consult at 509-345-3154!
Build A Healthy Sleep Routine
A good night’s sleep starts with building a healthy sleep routine. Many adults have poor pre-bed routines that impact their sleep negatively. Creating a consistent routine that you follow night after night will help you sleep better.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning (even on weekends). Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep for their body to rest and recover, so go to bed early enough that it allows you to get enough sleep. Avoid naps if you can. Napping too late in the day or for too long can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
Reducing light will help you fall asleep. Shut off screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. Instead of looking at a screen, consider reading or journaling with a low light until you get tired. Wind down with relaxation exercises or by listening to soothing music.
Create a cool environment. Most experts say a cooler room that is around 65 degrees is optimal to sleep. Don’t make it so cold that you’re uncomfortable.
If you’re still struggling with your sleep after trying these techniques, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder, and should contact a sleep specialist. Call us at 509-345-3154 today!