Over 50 million people in the United States have a sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. A night of poor sleep does not just cause drowsiness it can also negatively impact your health. Sleep deprivation has been linked to heart failure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Establishing healthy sleeping habits can help improve your quality of sleep. Here are five ways to improve your sleep.
Keeping to a Schedule. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule will help regulate your body’s internal clock. It may be tempting to sleep-in on the weekends, but going to bed and waking up at the same time will reinforce body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Eating and Drinking Habits. What you eat and drink during the day can impact your quality of sleep. Avoid going to bed hungry or overly full. A heavy meal right before bed can make you uncomfortable and impact your sleep. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Limit Naps. If you need to nap in order to make it through the day limit yourself to a 30 minute nap earlier in the day. Any longer nap taken later in the day may interrupt your sleep schedule.
Exercise. People who exercise during the day have found they sleep better at night. Incorporate a walk or run into your routine or even a trip to the gym to help improve your sleep health. Avoid rigorous exercising at least 1 hour before bedtime.
Sleep Environment. Creating a restful sleep environment will also help promote better sleep. A cool, dark, quiet room free from distractions will help you fall asleep.
If you are having consistent difficulty going to or staying asleep, or if you are having difficulty staying awake during the daytime, consider consulting a professional. They will be able to assess your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment.