What is healthy sleep and why is it important?
Sleep is not just a block of time when you are not awake, but a cycle of distinctive stages throughout the night. Getting enough sleep (for most adults this is 7-8 hours each night) and quality sleep is important for your physical and mental health. Adequate sleep is important to help you function well the next day, with improvement in focus, performance and mood. Getting enough sleep is even important for your health. Not getting enough or poor quality of sleep increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. So be sure to get a good night’s sleep to help your well-being.
Recommended environment and behavioral practices promoting sleep are often referred to as “sleep hygiene”. Basic sleep habit improvement tips to help the bedtime sleep cycle include:
- Keeping a consistent sleep cycle, even on the weekends
- Choose a bedtime to include 7-8 hours
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine, including low light exposure
- Reduce stress and worry
- Turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes prior to bedtime
- Keep the bedroom quiet, cool and comfortable
- No large meal before bedtime, only a light, healthy snack if hungry
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine or alcohol prior to bedtime in the evening, including chocolate and some pain relievers
- Exercise regularly, choosing mornings or early afternoons during the day
Below are some resources re: healthy sleep.
CDC Website: Basics about Sleep
National Institutes of Health: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep