Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Maybe you work full-time, take care of children, help your spouse around the house, work a second job or passion project, or maybe there’s just too much Netflix to get through. Regardless, the area of your life where this extra work probably takes a toll is the sleep department. Whether lack of sleep is an active decision or whether it’s just become difficult to feel rested in the morning, irregular sleep patterns can affect work performance, can cause weight gain, and can even increase risk of heart disease, and stroke.
If you’re finding it difficult to feel rested in the morning, then here are four ways to get more shut-eye.
Avoid the Screens
Although it can be tempting to watch a few episodes of whatever your binging right before bed, several studies have concluded that this can result in feeling less rested. Staring at a screen one-two hours before bed, even if it’s just your phone, sends a single to your brain that the sun is still out and that your body must be alert. Tonight try reading a book or turning down the brightness of your screen.
Cardio and other forms of exercise have proven to improve symptoms of insomnia, as well as the amount of time you spend in REM. It can take several months of regular activity to get the full benefits of exercise, so it’s important to establish a routine that you can stick to.
Limit Caffeine, Heavy Foods, and Sugar
This one may not be surprising to most, but having caffeine six hours before bed can significantly affect the quality of sleep you get. Big meals too close to bedtime can also make it difficult for your body to digest, keeping you up.
Get Checked For Sleep Apnea
If you’ve been going to bed at a reasonable time but still feel tired, unmotivated, and have trouble concentrating, it may be time to get checked for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by too many pauses in breathing taken during an hour of sleep. While our bodies naturally pause breathing, pausing too much can create irregular heart rhythms and offset our blood oxygen levels. When these levels become dangerously out of sync, you become more at risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Symptoms for sleep apnea vary, and can often be hard to identify because they often occur while we’re asleep. The most common include: snoring, frequent urination during the night, and excessive daytime drowsiness.
If you would like to learn more about how sleep apnea treatment can help you, please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment with Wilmington, NC sleep dentist Dr. Michael J. Kuzma at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.