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Trouble sleeping?

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Roughly one in three Americans suffers from moderate insomnia which can take the form of difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep, poor quality of sleep, or some combination of any or all of the above. Insomnia, while ostensibly being a sleep issue, has daytime symptoms such as – sleepiness, fatigue, grumpiness, or even anxiety over sleep.

So what can we do about it? To help, here are five ways we can fend off insomnia and get the good night’s sleep that we all need:

Get on a schedule

Your circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is your best friend when it comes to beating insomnia. By setting regular times for going to bed and waking up and adhering to them, you can train your body to fall asleep at roughly the same time every day.

Change your diet

A few simple changes to the way that we eat can vastly influence the way that we sleep. Avoid caffeine or alcohol if you have trouble sleeping, especially later in the evening before bed. Try not to eat anything substantial for four hours leading up to bed time. If you must eat before going to sleep try things like almonds, walnuts, leafy greens, or herbal teas. Studies show that they can help you get to sleep by moderating blood sugar levels to help you fall asleep at night.

Make your bedroom more conducive to sleep

Remove computers and screens from your room. You don’t need the distraction of social media or the horrors of the evening news keeping you up all night and the tones of light emitted by screens can throw off your circadian rhythm. Consider adding curtains over any windows in your room and think about the color of your room. Warmer more natural colors are more conducive to sleep than vibrant bright neons.

Exercise in the morning

Getting up in the morning and going for a jog or doing a routine of morning yoga can do wonders for your sleep schedule as well as for the quality of your sleep. Patients who participate in rigorous physical activity before noon report fewer interruptions to their sleep and generally a higher quality of sleep.

Know when to seek medical attention

If your insomnia lasts for more than two to three months at a frequency of three or more times a week it could be a sign of a more serious underlying sleep disorder like sleep apnea which can lead to complications and should be discussed with your doctor.

Issues with sleep can then negatively impact our health in several ways:
• Concentration, memory issues
• High blood pressure
• Weight gain
• Increase risk of heart disease, diabetes
• Poor balance


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