YOUR HEALTH and insomnia

YOUR HEALTH and insomnia

The fall can sometimes feel overwhelming! With kids back to school, activities starting, the dreaded return to making school lunches, and work projects ramping back up, it’s hard to find the energy to keep up with it all, especially if you aren’t getting enough sleep, a common complaint among adults. Everyone likely knows that it doesn’t feel great to be tired all the time, but research is mounting that poor sleep can have more serious detriments. Being tired increases your risk of getting into a car accident, increases your risk of mental health disorders, increases your risk of physical health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease, and impairs your work/school performance.

So, maybe the fresh start in the fall should also be a time to look at your sleep habits and make some changes. Basic sleep hygiene can go a long way for some people in improving sleep. Here are a few tips:

  1. By far, the biggest factor is not sticking to a schedule. Your body wants to work with consistent rhythms. So, get up at the same time every day. If you stay up late one night, don’t sleep in the next morning. Instead, go to bed earlier the next night. Stick to that morning wake-up time. Yes, even on weekends.
  2. Avoid screens two hours before bedtime. Research shows that the blue light that phones, tablets, and televisions emit can disrupt your sleep. Light is a very powerful cue for your body to wake up. Put the light emitting devices away – read a paper book, listen to music, find something quiet and relaxing to do before bed.
  3. Avoid stimulants. such as caffeine or nicotine, late in the day. Make it a 2PM cut off. You might also want to look at your alcohol intake; while alcohol can put you to sleep quickly, it also causes night-time wakening.
  4. Incorporating physical activity in your life can also improve your sleep, although some people find that if they do vigorous exercise close to bed, they have trouble sleeping. So figure out what schedule works for you.
  5. If you need more help, book an appointment with a therapist

Wishing you a restful night’s sleep!