Last year came with a laundry list of complications—many of them unexpected. Throughout 2020, people reported trouble sleeping, trouble waking up, weird dreams, worsening sleeping habits, and so on. This new year might bring with it plenty of resolutions to get better and more restful sleep, and for that you could use the advice of professionals.
The Value of Sleep
Specialists will tell you that the sleep aspect of your daily routine is very important. Your time spent asleep is not just a time of rest, it’s also time for your body to perform essential functions like tissue regeneration and production. It is also important for your mental as well as physical health.
A lack of sleep can result in an increased risk of the following:
- Heart disease
- Memory loss
- Cognitive impairment
- Mood disorders
How Can I Get Better Sleep?
Since there seems to be no end to the list of problems that can be caused by bad sleeping habits, it’s important to make improving these habits part of your resolutions for the New Year. If you can get a head start on it now, you can develop habits that will benefit you throughout 2021 and beyond. Here are a few tips to do just that:
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
Efforts for a better night’s rest begins with establishing a regular bedtime routine. This routine includes doing little tasks to prepare your sleep environment to be more conducive for sleep. For example, you could put down all electronic devices by a certain hour. You could play soothing sounds or music in the background that helps calm you. Just make sure that the time you set to fall asleep is at least seven hours before you need to wake up.
2. Exercise Regularly
This is one of the top pieces of advice from sleep specialists. Exercise helps manage your energy once you make it a regular part of your habits. In addition to the physical health benefits of exercise, it can reduce anxiety and depression while improving your mood overall.
If you schedule your workout for the late afternoons, however, you can help yourself fall asleep more easily. The exertion will wear you out, and the post-workout body temperature drop will help your body settle into sleep more comfortably. Just make sure not to exercise too closely to the hour you need to sleep, as the energy boost might make it difficult.
3. Avoid Snacking Before Bedtime
If you snack right before bedtime, you could activate your body’s digestive responses a little too strongly for sleep. When you lie down, acid from your stomach can travel back up into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux, and it can cause considerable discomfort. Depending on the types of foods you eat, you might also experience a boost in your energy. If you can’t resist snacking before sleep, consider a small glass of milk or cheese with crackers. These foods are rich in tryptophan and calcium, which promotes better sleep.
If Your Troubles Persist, Call a Sleep Specialist
These are just a few habits you can instill in your nightly sleep routine. As you work to incorporate better sleep hygiene into your life, you might find yourself waking up more refreshed and feeling a lot better. You might find other aspects of your health improving as well.
If you’re looking for a sleep specialist in Jacksonville, FL to address some of your more persistent sleep problems, schedule an appointment with us at the Jacksonville Sleep Center. We can help you deal with all your sleep needs, and give you that rest you so desperately need. Call today to book your appointment.