This Week is National Sleep Awareness Week. The National Sleep Foundation was created to help raise awareness about the issues concerned with sleep and to make sure you are getting enough of it.
Sleep is vitally important for the body to function optimally although amounts of sleep needed vary depending on age. Typically, an adult needs approximately 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, problems such as insomnia, snoring and sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep. These disruptions lead to symptoms during the day including daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, irritability, trouble concentrating, mood swings and a dry throat upon awakening. In severe cases, lack of sleep can lead to people falling asleep at the wheel while driving. Not exactly the best time for a nap.
So, what can you do this week to make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation has identified a plan for 7 Days for Better Sleep.
Day 1- Start the week by making time for the sleep your mind and body needs. This means scheduling 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Day 2- Leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed. It will help you reap the maximum benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Day 3- Power down to recharge! Blue light from screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your ability to sleep. Turn off your mobile devices before you go to bed!
Day 4- Make your bedroom all about sleep! A comfortable mattress, pillow, and bedding will help you get a good night’s sleep. Keep your room dark and use cool paint colors for the walls.
Day 5- Create a bedtime ritual. Make deep breathing, stretches and other relaxing exercise part of your pre-slumber ritual, to wind down and help get your mind ready for sleep.
Day 6- Put your troubles aside and drift away. Keep a piece of paper next to your bed and write down any worries of the day before putting your head down to sleep. You’ll sleep better!
Day 7- Remember to Account for Daylight Saving Time! Spring forward towards better sleep!
The following are additional tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:
-Limit your caffeine intake, especially after noon
-Do not exercise at least 3 hours before bed
-Wind down with a nice bath
If these suggestions and guidelines do not improve your sleep it is important to consult with your physician. He or she may provide you with a sleep questionnaire and additional testing to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. The doctor may also refer you to a sleep specialist to perform sleep testing. You will be on the road to a better night’s sleep and improved quality of life along with a decreased risk of developing many other complications including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Nationwide Medical’s clinical care specialists are available 24 hours a day. Whether you have questions regarding sleep apnea therapy or need assistance finding a referral to a specialist, our team is here to help.
Nationwide Medical Inc. is a leader in sleep apnea support and CPAP/BiLevel machines and supplies. We have more than a decade of experience serving 100,000 patients with 24/7 clinical support and are contracted with Medicare and most commercial insurance companies. You can reach us at www.nationwidemedical.com or call 1-877-307-2727 (CPAP). Please also visit our cash pay site at www.nationwidemedicaldirect.com.