Consistent and restful sleep is just as essential to your health as a good diet and adequate exercise. Hormonal disruption, reduced brain function, difficulty with exercise, weight gain and a higher stress level are just some of the problems that can occur due to not getting enough sleep or consistently getting poor quality of sleep. It might surprise you to learn that sleeping well is one of the most important things you can do if you’re trying to lose weight.
Tips for Improving Quality and Quantity of Sleep
The good news about sleep problems is that making some lifestyle changes can help you sleep better at night. PrimeCare Urgent care recommends that you consider the following:
· Increase the amount of bright light you’re exposed to during the day to help regulate your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle. With many Americans working long hours indoors, it’s not uncommon to go the entire day without seeing sunlight.
· Reduce exposure to blue light in the evening hours such as the light emitted from smartphones, computers and televisions. Too much light at night interferes with your circadian rhythm.
· Avoid consuming caffeine after about 3 p.m. since it is a stimulant that remains in your body for up to eight hours.
· Go to bed and wake up at consistent times to help your body adjust to sleeping during those hours. While you might long to sleep in on the weekends, try to wake up within an hour of your weekday time so as not to throw off your sleep schedule for the next several days.
· Avoid eating late in the evening since your body needs time to digest food. It can keep you awake and make you uncomfortable when you eat too close to bedtime.
· Get into a regular bedtime routine that helps you peacefully wind down after the day. That means turning off all bright screens and avoiding people or activities that can cause excitability or stress right before going to bed.
· Rather than lie in bed tossing and turning if you can’t sleep, get up and go to a different room and engage in a relaxing activity. This should help you settle down when you do return to your bedroom. Also, avoid daytime naps if you struggle with insomnia at night.
If you continue to struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep, schedule an appointment with a specialist to rule out the possibility of a sleep disorder.
Visit PrimeCare Urgent Care When You Need Immediate Help
The lack of sleep can make you feel unwell or increase the risk of an accident. Urgent care is an excellent alternative to visiting the emergency room when you don’t have a life-threatening condition. We are available without an appointment from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week to assist you.