June 30, 2022
Approximately 70 million people in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders can stem from a variety of places: mental illness, body anatomy, health conditions, and living environment, just to name a few. Regardless of the source, managing a sleep disorder is essential to regaining control over one’s rest and overall health.
While some sleep disorders do take professional intervention to treat, there are a handful of measures people can take to improve their rest. Here are eight of those measures that sleep doctors recommend everyone make a part of their sleep routine:
1. Set boundaries in the bedroom: Use your bed restrictively for rest and intimacy. It’s especially important not to work from bed, which sleep physicians have strongly linked to disrupted sleep schedules, a reduction in productivity, and a negative impact on your posture.
If you often wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to pee, begin limiting how much liquid you consume leading up to bedtime. Two to six hours before bed, limit the kind and amount of liquids you drink. Caffeine intake should stop by the early afternoon while alcohol intake should stop at least two hours before your bedtime routine begins.
If you continue to wake up periodically throughout the night to use the restroom, you may potentially be suffering from the sleep disorder coined nocturia.
2. Limit screen time: Thirty minutes prior to sleep, remove all screens. Put your phone away, turn off the tv, and begin charging that Apple Watch. Instead of scrolling, write down your schedule for the next day, journal, or lightly stretch.
3. Suffer from insomnia? If you wake up during the night and are unable to fall back asleep, resist the temptation to check your phone. Instead, walk into a separate room and read a book or magazine under an orange or soft light.
4. Adjust your sleep position: Everyone has their preferred sleep position, but some positions are simply not beneficial to our individual bodies. According to UK sleep coach, Nick Littlehales, those who experience discomfort when sleeping should consider laying on their non-dominant side. This takes the pressure off of your lower back and puts pressure on your joints, muscles, and tendons that are used less often.
For more information on sleep positions, check out this blog post!
5. Resist the urge to hit the snooze button: When you continuously wake up your brain, fall back asleep, wake up your brain, fall back asleep … you’re going to be left feeling groggy and tired throughout the day, on top of hurting your chances of falling asleep later that evening.
If you have difficulty waking up after your alarm goes off, try a different approach, such as a Hatch Restore, an alarm clock that slowly wakes a person up with a gradually brightening light and then an alarm after the light reaches its full brightness. Alarm sounds range from soft rain, to beach waves, from chimes to a traditional alarm clock sound.
6. Get up at the same time every day—yes, even on the weekends. Why? Because the moment you wake up is the moment in which your brain starts counting down to when it’s time to go back to sleep. So, if you’re going to sleep at the same time every morning, your chances of dozing off at the same time every night are higher.
7. Embrace the morning: Expose yourself to outdoor light first thing in the morning. By doing so, you send a signal to your brain to stop producing the sleep hormone, melatonin, and it turns on your body’s master clock, signaling the start of the day—and when it’s naturally time to fall back asleep in the evening.
Sometimes, daily routine changes aren’t enough. Chronic conditions like insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome may require medical attention. At Sleep Dallas, we’ve got you covered. Struggling to maintain healthy sleep? Schedule your consultation today by clicking here, or by giving us a call at (469) 240-6331.