According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people over the age of 18 should try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. However, there is currently a sleep deprivation epidemic in the United States: the most recent estimates suggest that approximately 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders vary widely: some people suffer from sleep apnea; others from anxiety disorders or depression, both of which interfere with sleep; some people’s sleep is disrupted by late-night use of electronic devices, such as cell phones; others have illnesses that interfere with sleep. Whatever the reason, insufficient sleep is known to cause or exacerbate numerous physical and psychological problems. It has been directly linked with obesity, anxiety, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. This is not surprising: sleep is an essential part of the body’s healing process.
In addition to the serious conditions mentioned above, the consistent fatigue that results from insufficient sleep is cause for concern. People who are tired tend to have difficulty concentrating. Not only are these individuals less productive, they are also more likely to injure themselves, whether due to a fall, or a car accident.
Help yourself get a good night sleep by following these 7 guidelines:
1. Get regular exercise
Numerous studies have shown that individuals who exercise on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from sleep disturbances. Furthermore, in addition to its usefulness as a sleep aid, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression.
2. Avoid napping
There is a vicious cycle that often happens to people with sleep disorders: their daytime fatigue may “force” them to take a nap. This, in turn, will make falling asleep at night more difficult. A person caught in this cycle needs to break the habit of taking a daytime nap.
3. Don’t eat large meals near bedtime
The digestion of food requires the body to work in order to extract the vitamins and minerals required to maintain the body’s health. The work required for digestion will disrupt a comfortable night’s sleep, and will often lead to indigestion, or abdominal cramping.
4. Don’t drink too much liquid before bed
Drinking before bed will often cause a person to wake up several times during the night in order to use the bathroom. This unnecessary disruption of the sleep cycle is easy to fix — avoid drinking any liquids 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. It goes without saying that caffeinated drinks are especially disruptive to sleep quality, even when consumed in the late afternoon.
In order to fall asleep easily it is helpful to take some time to relax before going to bed. Reading a book, taking a hot bath, practicing some form of meditation, or writing in a diary can help a person unwind and relax. It is especially important to avoid activities that encourage wakefulness, for example watching television or using a computer before bed.
6. Consistent bedtimes
One of the most important rules for a good night’s sleep is to establish a consistent bedtime. The body will acclimate itself to a routine; but going to bed one night at 10 PM and the next night at 2 AM will interfere with the body’s ability to set its internal clock.
7. Create a proper bedroom atmosphere
When a person uses their bedroom specifically for sleep, and avoids using it for exercising, watching television, or pursuing hobbies, their very entry into the bedroom will signal their body that bedtime has arrived. Taking additional steps to make sure that the bedroom is a comfortable place to sleep can also be helpful. Most sleep experts agree that keeping the bedroom somewhat cool, preferably between 60° and 70° is optimal. Making sure the bedroom is dark and quiet is also important.
By following these seven simple guidelines a person can expect to improve their overall sleep quality, and in the process improve their health as well. It’s a win-win situation. Pleasant dreams!
At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Keansburg, NJ, our residents receive the highest quality rehabilitative and skilled nursing care in a homelike and compassionate environment conducive to healing.
Our family-owned and -operated 123-bed facility, is tucked away in the quiet beach town of Keansburg, NJ at the Jersey Shore, within sight of Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline.
Our services include short-term rehab, long-term care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, hospice care, and respite care for those times when the caretaker needs to be taken care of.
We proudly provide the following specialty healthcare services: complex medical care management, intravenous (IV) therapy, wound care, enteral feeding, pain management, oxygen therapy, tracheostomy care, a dedicated pulmonary program, hospice care with private suites, a stroke rehab program, respiratory support, eye care, dental care, podiatry care, and psychological consults and counseling.
We pride ourselves on healing the entire patient through a holistic and individualized approach.
Our meticulous care planning helps us ensure that each and every resident receives the best in clinical care, support and unconditional love.
For over 25 years, we have been a staple of health and wellness, serving the members of our community and partnering with our local hospitals like Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, NJ and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.
We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.
Or better yet, come see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour by clicking here or by calling (372) 787-8100.