Good sleep involves so much more than getting a certain number of hours per night. If you spend 8 hours sleeping every night, but your sleep is filled with disruptions that cause you to wake up frequently – that negates the point of sleep. The brain needs time every night to go offline, allowing other parts of the body to take over for a while. When this is done right, the hope is that you will wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, having just pressed the reset button on your brain and body. Below are some tips for getting more restorative, refreshing, and better sleep in Columbia, SC brought to you by Dr. Richard Bogan and Dr. Herpel from Bogan Sleep Consultants.
- Consistency is key. Consistently going to bed at the same time each night will help train your brain that this time of night means it's time to shut down.
- Create a cooler sleeping environment. A lower body temperature improves sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that the optimal sleeping temperature for most people is around 65 degrees.
- Try blue light-blocking glasses and avoid screens in the evening. At night, your body produces the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, which is affected by light. Blue light wavelengths are produced by electronic screens and negatively affect the production of melatonin. Starting at about 6 pm every evening, you should avoid screens altogether or wear a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. These are inexpensive and readily available in a lot of stores.
- Try a sleep mask or blackout curtains: To function properly, melatonin must be helped by optimizing the surrounding environment by making it completely dark. Wearing a sleep mask and using black-out curtains will block out any light.
- Calm the brain. Begin calming activities a few hours before bed, such as reading or meditating.
- Exercise regularly: Participating in physical activity during the day helps tire your body out so it's easier to fall asleep at night.
- Soak up the sun! Getting natural sunlight during the day tells your body that it's time to be active when the sun is up and that it's time for your brain to go offline when the sun goes down.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulating substances close to bedtime.
- Eat a healthy diet: Incorporate tart cherry juice, turkey, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, kiwi, and chamomile tea at night to promote better sleep in Columbia, SC.
- Try a white noise machine. Your ears continue to function when you sleep, you still hear. Maintaining a constant sound rather than the disruption of frequent pitch changes from snoring partners or loud neighbors will help you get deeper sleep.
If the tips above are not enough, it may be time to seek professional help to get better sleep in Columbia, SC. Dr. Bogan and Dr. Herpel at Bogan Sleep Consultants are just a phone call away at (803) 251-3093.