March is National Sleep Awareness Month. It’s a fact that not getting adequate sleep poorly affects your overall health. What habits have you developed that might be contributing to your poor sleep routine?
Any of the following can cause disruption in your sleep.
Irregular sleep schedule. Early to bed one night, late to bed the next. Mixing mornings of sleeping in and rising early. Both make sleeping difficult. Establish a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time each night and morning.
Not allowing time to relax. Your body needs to wind down from the day. Develop a relaxing pre-bedtime ritual that separates your sleep time from the rest of the day’s stressful activities or excitement.
Lack of exercise. Studies show that exercise can reduce insomnia.
Poor sleep-friendly bedroom. Is your room bright in the evening? Is the temperature very warm? Is there a lot of noise? All three factors can make sleeping difficult.
Old mattresses and pillows. If your mattress is older than nine or 10 years, it’s likely exceeded its life expectancy. It’s also best to replace pillows each year.
Eating a heavy meal shortly before dinner. Avoid eating a large meal two to three hours before bedtime.
Drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol may make you feel drowsy, but it actually interferes with your sleep.
If you have tried making numerous changes and still have trouble sleeping, schedule an appointment with one of our phyisicians. Your poor sleep habits may indicate an underlying problem.