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Tips to Get Quality Sleep

Posted on Friday, October 27, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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1 Comments
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Senior man sleeping peacefully

People tend to measure slumber in terms of how many hours they lay in bed, versus how many hours they get of quality sleep. For example, a person who goes to bed at midnight and counts sheep for four hours before falling asleep and waking up two hours later might say they slept for 6 hours when they truthfully only got two hours of quality sleep. A lack of sleep can be unhealthy. To avoid problems related to lack of sleep, read on for tips to get quality sleep.

But first know this…

While we sleep, our bodies are silently at work, accomplishing important tasks such as conserving energy, performing cellular restoration, helping our immune systems, and helping with brain functions – as some examples. Thus, it’s important to get adequate sleep. To learn what amounts of sleep are recommended by the CDC, check out our sister article containing a sleep chart here

If you are getting inadequate sleep, you are not alone…

For many Americans, adequate sleep is lacking. Issues such as sleep apnea or insomnia can interrupt sleep, not only keeping people up all night, but also interfering with the many important functions that occur while we sleep. People are encouraged to see their physicians for advice and treatment for sleep related issues. However, these four tips may be helpful:

  • Seek calm – So many times thoughts, worries, fears, concerns, and even to-do lists are buzzing about in our brains. And it can be hard to turn off the noise. Thus, a few hours before bedtime, commit to calmness. Use the few hours before bedtime to get the kids settled and feel comfortable and unwind. Listen to calming music, journal, and think happy thoughts, meditate, or practice calming Hatha yoga which focuses on posture, breath, controlled movements, and stretching. Several hours before bedtime, it is also advisable to turn off electronics and reduce blue light exposure that is overly stimulating.
  • Watch what you eat and drink – What we feed our bodies can have consequences for our sleep. Overeating can upset one’s natural circadian rhythm by causing hunger hormone levels to rise and fall throughout the day. This, in turn, makes it harder for people to sleep through the night, per MD Anderson. Additionally, unhealthy foods with high fat and sugar may cause tummy troubles that can keep people awake. Caffeine and alcohol can also disrupt sleep. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and reduces drowsiness. Research suggests that while alcohol sometimes helps people fall asleep, it can disrupt the sleep cycle and decrease sleep quality. Additionally, alcohol likely exacerbates sleep apnea. Research suggests it causes throat muscles to relax and airways to narrow.
  • Get enough daily exercise – Per Johns Hopkins, studies demonstrate solid evidence that exercise does help people fall asleep and improves sleep quality. Currently, researchers don’t completely understand how physical activity improves sleep, as mechanisms have yet to be fully determined. However, it is known that regular moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep folks get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, an important stage of sleep where the brain and body get a chance to rejuvenate. Not only does deep sleep support memory and growth and cell regeneration, but it also improves mood.
  • Take doctor-approved supplements. Per Healthline, insufficient sleep is linked to a higher risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Still, they point out that many people don’t get enough sleep. Plus, about 20% of adults experience occasional symptoms of insomnia. Melatonin is one example of a common sleep-aid supplement. Melatonin is a hormone that bodies produce naturally. It naturally rises in the evening and falls in the morning. Melatonin works by signaling to the brain that it’s time to sleep. Other supplements besides melatonin might also help people sleep better at night. This may include supplements such as Lavender, Magnesium, L-Theanine, or others. Though supplements may act as drugs, and even cause side effects, they are not regulated by the FDA as drugs. Rather, they are treated as food. Thus, to learn what’s right for you, and to avoid conflicts with medications you are presently taking, do seek the advice of a doctor before taking supplements.

The takeaway

These tips to get quality sleep are designed to help people with poor sleep records see improvement. Sleep is important to human health. This includes getting adequate amounts of slumber as well as experiencing quality sleep. Anyone experiencing issues related to sleep, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, should speak to their doctor to discover solutions. To get better sleep, it may be helpful to create a calming environment before going to sleep, avoid overeating or consuming caffeine or alcohol before bedtime, and get adequate regular exercise. And, if needed, one should also speak to their doctor to discuss taking approved supplements to enhance the sleep experience.

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John
John
8 months ago

The only thing a Doctor will do is to prescribe a sleeping pill, besides who trusts a doctor or the CDC after the COVID mess.

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