Sleep is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. Without enough sleep, your memory, physical performance, nervous system, and immune system become impaired. Although sleep patterns may change as you age, the amount of sleep your body needs usually stays the same.
If you’re not getting the recommended seven – nine hours of sleep each night, it may be wise to reevaluate your sleeping routine. Rebecca Marshall, DO, a family medicine specialist with ProMedica Physicians, discusses three tips for developing healthy sleeping habits.
- Stick to a bedtime schedule. Head to bed around the same time each night. An hour before bed, start relaxing activities to prepare your body for rest. Steer clear of the computer and TV, which can be stimulating.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. These ingredients not only make it difficult to fall asleep, they rob you of the deep sleep that provides the biggest benefit.
- Exercise on a daily basis. While all forms of exercise are beneficial, cardio exercise seems to be the most helpful when it comes to sleep. Because a lower body temperature is associated with the onset of sleep, finish your exercise hours before going to bed so that your body temperature has a chance to drop.
If you have consistent problems falling and staying asleep, talk with your doctor. He or she can help you create a healthier lifestyle that includes a good night’s rest.