Quality sleep is key to maintaining good mental and physical health. Here’s how to improve your sleep.
Sadly, people treat sleep like a luxury these days, but bad sleep impacts every facet of our health and life. You may notice that after a bad night’s sleep you’re more irritable, prone to mood swings and you eat everything in sight. So, it’s not surprising that bad sleep could also be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. While some people are dealing with true sleep disorders that impact their ability to get proper, restorative sleep, our Columbia, SC, sleep doctor Dr. Richard Bogan also sees people who simply have bad sleep hygiene. Luckily, with a little dedication, this is a fairly easy fix.
Why is good sleep so important?
Even just one bad night of sleep can cause insulin resistance, increasing our risk for obesity and diabetes. Poor sleep is also linked to mood disorders, weakened immune systems and heart disease. Unfortunately, some people deal with sleep problems such as sleep apnea, which causes oxygen deprivation and restless sleep.
This poor sleep leads to imbalances in blood sugar, insatiable hunger and cravings, all of which can increase a person’s risk for hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Simply put, bad sleep is a serious problem. If you suspect that you might have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, it’s important to turn to our Columbia, SC, “dream team’ to find out.
How much sleep do I need to get each night?
The National Sleep Foundation states that adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This also includes individuals over 65 years old. You may find that you feel great after just 7 hours of sleep while others may need a full 9 hours to wake up feeling refreshed. This may take some trial and error, but you’ll soon be able to tell just how much sleep you’ll need to feel your best.
What is good sleep hygiene?
We see a lot of bad sleep habits here in our office. Some of the ways in which you can instantly get better and deeper sleep is by,
- Getting on a consistent sleep schedule, which means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends)
- Turning off electronics (including cell phones) at least 30 minutes before bedtime, but ideally 2 hours before bed (blue light suppresses melatonin, which can keep you awake)
- Make sure that you are getting at least 20 minutes of sunlight each day to help you brain regulate sleep cycles
- Find ways to manage stress, whether through meditation, yoga, light stretching or journaling
- Consider taking supplements such as melatonin, magnesium or valerian root before bed
If you are having trouble falling asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night, you may wish to turn to Dr. Bogan and his team of sleep specialists in Columbia, SC. To schedule a sleep consultation with the team at Bogan Sleep Consultants, call (803) 251-3093.