Just the fact that we devote a third of our lives to sleep should be a big sign of its importance. Indeed, most of the evidence suggests something similar. Eliminating the extreme, which is essentially that staying up for an extended amount of time could actually kill you, sleep deprivation can significantly increase your chances of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and the list goes on…
Besides the health risks, not getting enough sleep can make you feel plain crumby. If you’re one of the many Americans who have been struggling to get some shut eye, this blog is for you. Here are four methods for getting better sleep.
Designate a “Sleep Space”
Unlike what common sense would have you believe, spending more time in bed does not promote better quality sleep. The opposite is actually true. If you make a habit of working, watching TV, or browsing your phone in bed, you’re creating a pattern of behavioral that will make it more difficult for your brain to conceptualize your bed as a place for sleeping. If you’re struggling with insomnia, try getting out of bed and spending time elsewhere until you feel tired.
Shun the Screen
Light, whether digital or natural, sends the same signal to our brains: wake up. A National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey found that nearly all participants who struggled with insomnia used some type of electronic before bed. This signials our brain to halt its production of melatonin, which helps us stay asleep.
Pay Attention to Temperature
The hotter it is in a sleep space, the more difficult it is to sleep. The NSF’s optimal sleep temperature falls between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you won’t have air conditioning by the time summer hits, consider buying a fan.
Get Checked for Sleep Apnea
If you feel as if you go to bed at a reasonable time but don’t feel rested in the mornings, you may have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that as many as 80% of suffers are unaware they have. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that disrupts the body’s natural breathing patterns due to obstruction in the nose, throat, or other places in the airway. This can increase your chances of heart attack and stroke significantly by disrupting your body’s blood oxygen levels.
Common symptoms include: morning headaches, frequent nighttime urination, and feeling unmotivated and “foggy” during the day. If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist can help, providing you with a comfortable alternative to a CPAP machine.
To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options in Valdosta, GA, please call (229) 242-5511 or email for an appointment with Dr. Clements.