Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
We all know getting enough sleep is important to recharge and feel alert the next day, but it also has a lot more positive effects on our bodies when we are getting the right amount of sleep. For example, an adequate amount of sleep helps to boost your immune system, regulate your metabolism, reduce stress, and improve your mood. You’d think our bodies would want to sleep all the time with benefits like these!
In fact, healthcare professionals even recommend that most older adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to gain the above mentioned benefits. Despite this recommendation and the fact that most people know they should be getting about 8 hours of sleep, 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping on average for less than 7 hours a night.
This could be due to a number of reasons:
1. Insomnia: Roughly 30-48% of older adults suffer from insomnia, a common sleep inhibiting disorder that is more likely to arise as you age due to changes in sleeping patterns associated with getting older.
2. Medications: It is not uncommon for medications like antidepressants, beta-blockers, and cardiovascular drugs to disrupt your sleep cycle; be sure to consult with your doctor to see if any of your medications could be keeping you awake at night.
3. Lifestyle habits: The potentially most impactful factor that could be keeping you from getting enough sleep is Habits like drinking, smoking, or consuming a lot of caffeine could be affecting your ability to complete a full (REM) sleep cycle at night.
Additionally, things that we can’t always control, like a pandemic, relationship issues, health troubles, etc., can easily create stress and anxiety in our brains and prohibit us from being able to rest when we try to sleep.
Wow… Maybe it isn’t so easy for our bodies to sleep all the time! Can you really blame them, though? They have A LOT going on, and by the looks of it, our ability to sleep seems pretty sensitive. Luckily for us, healthcare professionals have provided us with some tips on how to help keep our sleep cycles on track.
Getting better sleep tips:
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
Do not take naps longer than 20 minutes.
Do not read, watch TV, or eat in bed. Only use your bedroom for sleep.
Avoid caffeine for 8 hours before bedtime.
Avoid nicotine and alcohol in the evening. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Do not lie in bed for a long time trying to go to sleep. After 30 minutes of trying to sleep, get up and go to a different room. Do something quiet, such as reading or listening to music. Do not do anything that stimulates your brain. Then, go back to bed and try to fall asleep.
Try to be active each day. Exercise can help you sleep better.
AKA, come see us at Wellbound! A good workout, whether it be cardio, strength, or even meditation, can significantly improve your body’s ability to maintain a good sleep cycle.