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3.20.2015

Ask a Health Advocate: Do you have any tips for getting a better night’s sleep?

Adequate sleep is an essential component of good health. Restful sleep helps to maintain blood sugar balance and a healthy metabolism. It also plays a critical role in immune function, learning, and memory functions. It’s recommended that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. But many people get less sleep than that. In our non-stop busy world, sleep is often the first thing sacrificed—people often adopt irregular sleep patterns due to hectic lives and constantly changing schedules.

Follow these tips to make sure you are getting the best sleep possible each night!

  • Prepare for a good night’s sleep. Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Allow yourself to find your natural sleep rhythms. Establish a regular sleep pattern by falling asleep and waking up around the same time every day (even on weekends!).
  • Keep your room cool and dark. Remove any clutter or distractions.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening, as research shows they can interrupt your sleep.
  • Take 10 minutes to mentally unwind before getting into bed. Writing about your day in a journal or closing your eyes and meditating are some great ways to relax.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation during the day so any possible stressors do not get carried into the night.
  • If you can’t fall asleep in 30-40 minutes, try some light reading or deep breathing in another room until you feel tired. This will help eliminate the frustration that comes with not being able to sleep.

Getting 7-9 hours of solid, restful sleep each night can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle each new day as it comes!

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more tips on getting a good night’s sleep.

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