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Sleep Disorders + CPAP

What Would You Do For a Good Night’s Sleep?

If you answered “Just about anything!” to the title of this blog you’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep is affecting their day to day activities.

In this blog, we will talk about what you can do to get the most mileage out of your shut-eye. Sleep experts call this “sleep hygiene.” While it might conjure images of getting a nice, deep bath, it actually refers to a series of habits one should practice before bed. These include:

Limiting Screen Time

Your body regulates the sleep cycle by releasing a chemical called melatonin. Light from computer, TV and phone screens interrupt your body’s production of melatonin because it signals your body that it’s still too light out to go to sleep. Limiting screen time before bed can go far in helping you get sleepy!

Avoid caffeine after a certain time

It might be tempting to reach for that cup of coffee when the post-lunch sleepiness kicks in, but caffeine has a half-life of five hours. That means it takes five hours to become half as effective as it was.  If you have caffeine sensitivity, this can mean that it can linger in your system for up to 10 hours.

Keep a regular sleep schedule

This can sometimes be easier said than done, but going to bed and rising at the same time—even on the weekends—will make it easier for your body to go to sleep on a consistent basis.

Avoid alcohol

A nightcap is a great way to make yourself feel sleepy, but alcohol actually messes with your sleep more than it helps. It keeps your body from going into a deep REM sleep, and once the effects of the alcohol wear off you may find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night.

Make the sleeping environment comfortable

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that the bedroom should be kept between 60 and 67 degrees for optimal sleep. They also recommend using blackout curtains, humidifiers and white noise machines to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

If you’re still having sleep issues after following these recommendations, there’s a possibility that you may have a sleep disorder. A trip to your physician should be able to pinpoint what’s keeping you up at night.

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