There’s no way around it, and certainly no substitute for it: a good night’s sleep is always just what the doctor ordered. In fact, the average adult needs at least 7-9 hours of sleep in order to be happy, functioning, and, most importantly, healthy.
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Live your best life by getting your best sleep with these five basic health tips and health advice.
There are plenty of variables that can prevent us from cultivating healthy sleeping habits: job-related stress, family discord, worldwide pandemics… you name it. But, through it all, OneShare Health is determined to help you get the rest you so deserve. Take a look at these five tips for good sleep based on research by The Sleep Foundation, and get ready to start living your best life.
Create a sleep-friendly environment. If you’re one of the 30-40 percent of adults who suffer from a perpetual lack of sleep, or insomnia, creating a dark, quiet, comfortable space where you can get some shut-eye is essential. The Sleep Foundation suggests using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans, and other devices when creating the ideal sleeping environment. And don’t skimp on your mattress or pillows—the comfier they are, the easier it will be for you to get some Zzzz.
Get relaxed. Techniques like reading and meditating are excellent habits to pick up while you’re trying to establish a healthy sleep schedule. Meditating might be a bit awkward for those of us who don’t normally observe this relaxation technique, but, hey, practice makes perfect, right? And even if you don’t own a single book, you could flip through a bathroom magazine for a few minutes before bed! The point is, your brain needs to be relieved of stress and anxiety before it can completely wind down.
Establish a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the most important tidbits we can offer. Consistency is key when it comes to regulating your body’s clock and helping you fall asleep—and stay asleep—for the night. In fact, on weekends, you should be waking up and going to sleep at the same time you would throughout the work week.
Limit food and drink right before bed. Eating and drinking (especially alcohol) right before bed is a big no-no. According to the Sleep Foundation, eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
Turn off technology. Technology is a wonderful thing—until it starts interfering with our sleep schedules. Allow yourself at least 30 minutes of downtime before you attempt to go to sleep. This means turning off all smart devices, including the TV. Did you know that the artificial blue light that issues from our devices can deceive our circadian rhythm, or “body clock,” into thinking it’s daytime when it really isn’t? And since our brains are programmed to be active during the day and inert at night, it’s important that our physical surroundings mimic whatever time of day it is so we can maintain that natural rhythm.
If you’d like more information on how to get good sleep, visit SleepFoundation.org or the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health. Also, feel free to pitch in any of your own basic health tips! We’d love to hear them.
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“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)