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Do’s and Don’ts for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Can’t sleep? You’re not alone. There are 60 million other Americans also staring at the ceiling. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, more than 50% of adults report problems falling asleep, waking up too early or too frequently, and feeling unrefreshed in the morning.

In This Healthy Insight:

  1. Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
  2. Sleep Do’s
  3. Sleep Don’ts
  4. Natural Sleep Aids

While sleep problems affect both men and women, mature women seem to have more sleep issues. For both genders, lack of sleep can lead to long-term health issues including weight gain, blood sugar, heart and mental health concerns.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Also called sleeplessness, sleep deprivation is insufficient sleep that includes these symptoms:

  • Moodiness, irritability
  • Yawning, fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or learning
  • Clumsiness
  • Forgetfulness, fuzziness
  • Increased cravings for sweets and carbs
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of motivation

Fortunately, there are ways to get a good night’s rest. Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started.

Sleep Do’s

Turn off digital devices at least an hour before bedtime. Set an alarm clock instead of using your phone & keep a consistent bedtime schedule.

Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.

Establish a bedtime routine such as listening to relaxing music or reading a book.

Take care of essentials before getting into bed (brushing your teeth, washing your face etc.).

Use a humidifier to moisturize the air & consider essential oils to help you sleep.

Take a warm bath or shower before bed.

Get regular exercise and light exposure during the day.

Keep a “worry” journal to get things off your mind.

Have a light sleep-promoting bedtime snack like yogurt, almonds, turkey or cheese.

If your sleep issues persist, talk to your healthcare professional about possible solutions.

Sleep Don’ts

  • Eat a big meal before bedtime.
  • Go to bed unless you’re already sleepy.
  • Lie in bed for hours. Leave bed, do something relaxing then return.
  • Work or eat in bed. Bed should be associated with sleep and sex exclusively.
  • Drink caffeine in the afternoon or a nightcap before bedtime.
  • Let your pets sleep in your bedroom.
  • Give in to the urge to nap during the day.

Natural Sleep Aids

You may want to consider natural sleep aids. Melatonin for sleep has been popular for decades and comes in many forms, including tasty gummies and in various strengths. As mentioned above, essential oils in a diffuser, especially those with lavender can create a peaceful sleep-inducing atmosphere. Other natural sleep aids include valerian root, lemon balm and wild lettuce extract to name a few.

Today is the perfect day to focus on your quality and quantity of sleep. For additional ideas on how you can get more shut eye, check these out now.

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