Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is incredibly important to our physical and mental health. Not only does it heal and restore our bodies, it also can reduce our chances for developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression and obesity.
With sleep being so vital to our health and well-being, why, then, do so many of us struggle to get enough of it? The answer may be in our pockets.
Thanks to technology, like cellphones, we are constantly exposed to artificial light—a hazard that has the power to shift our circadian rhythms throughout the day and make sleep difficult. The good news is there are easy steps we can take to improve our sleep quality and make sure we get the recommended seven to nine hours (depending on our age) every night.
Tips to improve your sleep:
- Keeping your room dark and at a cool, comfortable temperature (blackout shades are great for this).
- Removing technology from your bedroom.
- Avoiding screens starting at least an hour before bed (no TVs, phones, tablets, etc.).
- Establishing a bedtime routine to help your body and mind prepare for sleep. This can be as easy as brushing your teeth, reading a book and going to sleep at the same time every night.
If you are having trouble sleeping or staying alert during your waking hours, share these concerns with your doctor.