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Better Sleep Month

May is known as Better Sleep Month. The Better Sleep Council (BSC) aims to raise awareness about all of the benefits that come with better sleep and how lack of sleep can disrupt your everyday life. It is recommended that you get about 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep a night because refreshing sleep is critical for optimizing your health. Sleep was found to be vital for physical, mental, and emotional health.

When you get inadequate sleep, the long-term effects it can have on the body are an increase in stress hormone production and high blood pressure. The body’s stress levels rise when it does not get enough sleep. The more stress hormones that get released, the harder it is to fall asleep, which helps perpetuate the negative feedback loop of unhealthy sleep cycles. Some consequences of continued poor sleep include mood swings, reduced concentration, a weakened immune system, and irritability.

Sleep deficits are closely associated with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a lower tolerance of chronic pain. When this issue because severe, poor sleep can be linked to serious sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, insomnia, and narcolepsy.

Here are some great tips to help you get a better-quality night’s sleep:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule: go to bed and get up at the same time everyday
  2. Relax before sleeping: limit stimulating activities like exercise and work; do relaxing activities like reading or meditation
  3. Create a bedtime ritual: Doing the same thing every day gives your body a signal it’s time to wind down
  4. Create an optimal sleeping area: The room should be cool, dark, and quiet. Get off of all electronic devices, consider using black out curtains, and soundproof earplugs as well
  5. Pay attention to what youeat/ drink: Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed
  6. Limit naps during theday: Long naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. Limit them to 10-30 mins  
  7. Daily physical activity: This helps to promote falling asleep faster and has you get a deeper sleep

Resources:

https://www.thensf.org/2021-sleep-in-america-poll/

https://www.medicalwesthospital.org/may-is-better-sleep-month.php