Good sleep impacts our health and lives far more than we realize. For example, did you know that 75% of adults who have depression in America also have insomnia? That’s just one small indication of how important sleep is. It’s also true that many Americans struggle with getting good quality sleep. If that describes you, read on to hear expert tips from our healthcare associates Lewisville TX (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook and Boyd) on how to turn that around.
Factors That Can Negatively Affect Sleep
While it seems like sleep is a simple activity, it can become complicated quickly by several factors. It’s important to be aware of what these factors are so that they can be avoided when you find yourself struggling with sleep. The following are the most common offenders:
- Extended daytime naps
- Too much caffeine (especially late in the day)
- Technology in the bedroom
- Late meals
- Undiagnosed sleep disorders
If you or someone you love is struggling with sleep and wants help with managing behaviors in the list above, Your Family Medical has Lewisville doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook and Boyd). Don’t wait to get help – especially if you suspect an undiagnosed sleep disorder is present.
1: Create an Optimal Sleep Environment
Studies show that several environmental factors can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of sleep. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that your sleeping space be as relaxing and comfortable as possible. We realize that what one person finds relaxing may not be the same as the next person. Take some time to consider all the following environmental factors that can impact sleep to help you define what relaxing looks like for you.
- Noise (decrease external/traffic noise and increase white noise)
- Mattress, pillow and bedding quality
- Allergen reduction system in place (as needed)
2: Be Consistent
Even as early as infancy, sleep experts encourage a consistent routine surrounding bedtime. This continues to be true throughout a person’s lifetime. A consistent routine signals to the brain and body that it’s time to switch gears. It also gives a person time to wind down.
Try to establish a consistent beginning and end to your sleep time. Recommended sleep amounts vary depending on age – you can see ideal amounts on this CDC chart. If you find yourself awake and restless in bed for more than 20 minutes, go to a different part of your home and do something relaxing until you feel tired again.
3: Manage Your Stress
Stress can interrupt even the most exhausted sleeper. Worries and unfinished tasks weigh heavily on the mind and can even influence what our dreams look like. It’s important to have a stress management plan in place. If stress is interrupting your sleep, give one or two of the following suggestions a try:
- Get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week
- Start journaling
- Make time for self-care
- Give counseling a try
- Talk with your family doctor
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive relationships
Pay attention to how often stress is impacting your life [beyond just sleep]. There’s a chance you may need to try something beyond these simple solutions. Your doctor can offer many different tools and resources to help you manage your anxiety – you’re not in this alone.
Don’t let sleep struggles unravel your focus, health or stress levels. We’re here to help! With four convenient Texas locations (Bedford, Benbrook, Boyd and Lewisville) to choose from, it’s easy to make your health a priority. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.