HEALTH CENTER

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More Zzzzs Please! by Venissa Ryther

We are a 24-7 society.  We do not take time to rest when we need to.  When we lack a good night’s sleep, we become more susceptible to colds and viruses than those who are well rested.  Additionally, sleep deprivation increases stress levels which interfere with hormone levels and increases appetite.  As a result, we tend to eat more when we are tired.  Our body’s defense system is depleted to fight off the germs and fat.  So how can we balance a good night’s sleep with family, career and everyday activities? 

First, note that every person needs a different amount of sleep to feel good. Some people can be well rested with as little as five to six hours.  In contrast, others many need as much as nine to ten hours to function on a daily basis.  You can figure out your individual sleep amount by testing what works for you.  Start with at least six hours every night for one week.  Then increase it by 30 minutes each week afterwards. Notice if you hit the snooze button less or more in the morning. If you’re starting to feel more alert, energetic, and you’re yawning less throughout the day, then you likely have caught up on your rest.  Take note of how much time you need and allocate that amount for your bedtime schedule.  Moving forward, you will be able to stay well rested and feel your best!

Here are simple tips to help you get the sleep you need:

  • 30 MINUTES OF ACTIVITY.  Vigorous cardio exercise such as running, swimming or dancing has been shown to help people fall asleep and stay asleep.  These exercises should be completed 4 to 5 hours before bedtime.
  • TURN DOWN THE HEAT. Most people sleep best in a room around 70 degrees F.
  • PUT STRESS DOWN FOR THE NIGHT.  Just before bed, write down all your concerns and to-dos. This simple step may help your mind rest. It will be there in the morning when you are mentally alert and ready to face them.
  • KEEP IT DARK.  Light from your TV, computer, or other electronic devices can interrupt your sleep rhythm. Try to keep the electronics out of the bedroom.
  • MUTE THE ROOM.  Earplugs or a white noise machine may help you sleep through loud noises from outside.
  • STOP SNOOZING! Each time the alarm sounds, it interferes with the quality of sleep. Set it for a later time and get up the first time it goes off.  It’s best to wake up within an hour of the same time every day.

With the ways of the busy world, take time out to rest.  The road to happy slumber is achievable planning, patience, routine, and persistence.  Once you’re well rested, your mind and body will thank you.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.