Most Americans are not getting quality sleep, making them more susceptible to a sleep-stress cycle, Huffington Post reports.
Lack of quality sleep leads to increased stress; increased stress leads to an inability to sleep due to over-alertness. This creates a sleep-stress cycle that plagues both our physical and mental health. Mood, stamina, focus, eating habits, happiness at work, and more are affected by the quality of our sleep.
“Adequate sleep is critical to our physical and mental wellbeing,” meQuilibrium Chief Medical Officer Adam Perlman, MD, said. “It’s foundationally connected to everything we do, and it’s not an expendable resource.”
Below are Dr. Perlman’s five tips for better sleep:
- De-stress in the daytime. If you’re stressed throughout the day, you will likely have a hard time sleeping at night. The stress keeps your body alert, awake, and tense so de-stressing throughout the day is necessary for a good night’s rest. Dr. Perlman recommends taking a few minutes to de-stress when something tense occurs during the day, such as getting a cup of tea, going on a walk, or taking deep breaths. This will help ensure you are less stressed at the end of the day.
- Don’t stay up too late. Sleep, like diet and exercise, is critical to overall health and wellbeing. Set boundaries for yourself and those around you to ensure you don’t stay up too late. Say no to plans that will keep you out and up too long and let people know not to contact you after a certain time.
- Get into a routine. Create bedtime rituals that help you wind down and prepare your body for sleep. About an hour before you want to go to bed, start your sleep routine, whether that involves yoga, a cup of tea, or a facemask. For even better sleep, get blackout blinds or a white noise machine.
- Power down. Stop answering emails, texts, and phone calls prior to bed. Your bedroom is for sleeping, not working or other stressors. The communication may cause you stress before bed, and the lights from these devices can also disrupt your sleep.
- Clear your mind before bed. We have all experienced that moment when we are jolted awake right before sleep because we suddenly thought of something we needed to do. To avoid these moments, write down a to-do list prior to bed and remind yourself that all of these items can wait until the morning.
The American Psychological Association reports that four out of five Americans are unhappy with their sleep quality. If you are one of the many, try these tips for better sleep.