It takes attention and action to be successful with work, relationships, and health, but research continues to show that sleep is also key. Adequate sleep is restorative! It can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and weight gain, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. It also strengthens your immune system. Not getting enough sleep is not only bad for your health, it can also be dangerous – 1 in 5 car accidents is due to “drowsy driving.” Lack of sleep is also linked to errors at work. On the plus side, adequate sleep promotes healthy relationships, emotional well-being, productivity, optimal athletic performance, memory, and learning. It improves your ability to problem-solve, make decisions, and think clearly. Ready to make sleep a priority? To get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep:
Want to learn more? Listen to an engaging 30-minute Sound Sleep Strategies webinar or read more at the National Sleep Foundation, Achieve Solutions, or on your Personal Health Portal.
- Exercise promotes restful sleep.
- Avoid naps or limit them to 15-20 minutes.
- Prepare for tomorrow morning before going to bed so that you can rest feeling ready for the day ahead.
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, liquids, stress, and “blue light” from TVs, phones, and computers before going to bed. They interfere with sleep.
- Relax for at least one hour before going to bed by taking a bath, reading, or doing relaxation techniques. Try a deep breathing exercise or progressive muscle relaxation.
- Dim the lights! Darkness stimulates our body to produce melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
- Go to bed when you are tired. Try to go to sleep before midnight, when the highest quality of sleep occurs.
- Create a comfortable bedroom that’s used for sleep. Keep the temperature cool.
- Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends! This maintains a normal circadian rhythm and helps you feel well-rested into the work week.
- Keep a sleep diary. The National Sleep Foundation has an easy to use one here.