The Sleep Medicine Center of Paoli Hospital would like to promote the importance of sleep. In order for you to wake rejuvenated and ready for the day, it is important that your body receive the appropriate amount of sleep. When we sleep, our bodies undergo major renovations that include repairing muscle, memory consolidation, hormone growth and release of hormones to regulate our growth and appetite.
The following healthy sleep tips will encourage good sleep hygiene and promote lifestyle choices that improve our quality of life, i.e. our ability to concentrate and make healthy and safe decisions!
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends—our sleep wake cycle is regulated by a “circadian clock” in our brain. The body needs to balance sleep time and wake time, maintaining a regular wake time strengthens the circadian function and helps with sleep onset at night.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, i.e. listen to soothing music, read a book and take a warm bath. Avoid activities that will induce stress right before bed such as watching the news, paying bills etc.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that values sleep, i.e., keep it dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. It would be best to take work materials, computers, televisions, and for some, fax machines elsewhere.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow. If you are using a mattress that is more than 10 years old, it may have exceeded its life expectancy.
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Eating or drinking too much can make you uncomfortable when trying to sleep.
- Exercise regularly, but complete your workout at least 3 hours before your regular bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine close to bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can remain in the body on average 3-5 hours, but for some up to 12 hrs.
- Avoid nicotine close to bedtime-it’s a stimulant and can keep you awake.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Many people think alcohol helps you sleep, but it actually disrupts sleep.
- Sleep specialists recommend that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep.
If you're following these guidelines but still aren't getting enough quality sleep every night, make an appointment
with the Sleep Medicine Center
. A sleep study could help you achieve a better night's sleep.