Sleep As If Your Health Depended On It

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”

– Thomas Dekker

alarm clock in middle of the night when its dark and and people sleep

Sleeping too little isn’t just about how tired you feel; it can be very dangerous.

According to a study 1 by the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, sleeping less than 7 hours may lead to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

And although your body may seem to need less of it as you age, the truth is your need for sleep doesn’t lessen in your elder years.2

To give you a figure of local sleeping statistics, in 2014, 28.4% Delaware adults aged 65 and up, reported sleeping less than 7 hours a night.3 That means that more than 1 of every 4 seniors are at a health risk.

Steps Towards Better Sleep

The good news is that your body can learn how to sleep better. Just because you got used to poor sleeping habits doesn’t mean things have to stay that way forever.

Schedule

The first step would be to consciously set a bedtime and stick to it.4 This means keeping the same schedule as much as possible, regardless of the day or location you happen to be in.2

Practical Habits

Once you’ve set up your sleeping timeframe, you can move on to the next phase of your nighttime routine – developing good sleep-promoting habits. There’s a lot you can do in this area. Just make sure that your nighttime routine fits your personality and preferences. so be selective and choose what works best.

Here are 3 recommended ideas you can start implementing:

1. Less Technology

A good step towards a better night is disconnecting from technology. Blue light, which is released by screens, stops your brain from releasing melatonin. To your brain, it’s like seeing sunlight5, which would explain why looking at your screen makes it harder to sleep. So, shutting your phone and other screens down about two hours before bedtime can go a long way.6

On another level, watching something unsettling can prevent you from falling asleep.2

2. More Relaxation

There are many things you can do to calm yourself down before hitting the pillow. Think of something light you enjoy, like reading or listening to calm music.

3. Rest your Mind

One our difficulties in falling asleep when we want to is the activity going on in our minds. We don’t want to forget anything important, so while our bodies are trying to wind down, our minds have another agenda. A simple method of dealing with this issue is to write these things down on a piece of paper before going to bed.

What do your nighttime routines include?

Please share in the comments below.

 


Disclaimer, or Use At Your Own Risk

The information and advice in this post are for entertainment and informational purposes and should not be viewed as professional opinions. We do not take any responsibility for its content and any action you take based on the information of this post is strictly at your own risk. You should always speak to your doctor regarding medical information and your health.

 


1 Altevogt, Bruce M., and Harvey R. Colten, eds. Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: an unmet public health problem. National Academies Press, 2006.

2 https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep

3 https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/pdf/states508/FS_ShortSleepByState_DE_508tagged.pdf

4 https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/bedtime-routine-for-better-sleep/

5 http://www.businessinsider.com/bedtime-rituals-will-pay-off-forever-2016-8#reflect-3

6 https://i-dream-of-sleep.com/bedtime-routine-for-adults/

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