If you’re done dealing with the overwhelming feelings of daytime sleepiness and a persistent lack of energy, there are changes you can make now to improve your sleep quality and your overall well-being.
At Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep, our experienced pulmonologists, Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, and Himanshu Chandarana, MD, offer a wide range of sleep services, including in-lab sleep studies, to identify what’s disrupting your sleep.
We also offer customized treatment plans to address issues like sleep apnea that can lead to excessive sleepiness and a reduced sense of well-being.
The link between sleep quality and well-being
Research suggests a strong correlation between the psychological well-being of humans and sleep quality. If you’re not sleeping enough or your quality of sleep is lacking, you may be more likely to experience issues like:
- Impaired memory
- Relationship conflicts
Poor-quality sleep can also increase your risk for serious physical health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
Since sleep deprivation can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, you may also develop facial wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. Cortisol is known to break down the protein collagen needed for healthy skin.
5 smart sleep practices to start now
There are things you can do to improve your sleep quality starting today. Here are five of the smartest strategies to incorporate into your sleep routine:
1. Follow a consistent sleep schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends.
A solid bedtime routine eventually signals your brain and body to slow down in the evenings after going all day, so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
2. Know what to avoid before going to bed
While it may seem logical to some to skip coffee and other caffeinated beverages before bedtime, you should also avoid drinking alcohol before sleep.
Small amounts of alcohol can produce a sedative effect on your brain, but excessive alcohol consumption can lead to poor sleep quality and insomnia. If you already have sleep apnea, drinking alcohol can worsen it.
Additionally, eating large meals right before bedtime can trigger acid reflux symptoms that make falling asleep more difficult.
3. Create a relaxing environment
You sleep better in an environment that’s dark, cool, and quiet. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, turn off all the lights, use window-darkening curtains, and set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
Dress in comfortable, loose clothing and invest in breathable sheets to stay cool while you sleep.
4. Shut off all electronics
Using computers, video games, and phones can overstimulate your brain and disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
It’s important that you unplug from everything, including the television, at least one hour before bedtime. Train yourself to read a book, do gentle stretches, or engage in other activities that help you wind down and prepare for sleep.
5. Get daily exercise
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day is good for more than shedding weight and staying healthy. Regular physical activity can also improve your sleep quality.
Make time for exercise every day. Even if your schedule is busy, try at least to fit in a walk during your lunch hour.
If these changes aren’t enough and you’re still not sleeping well, schedule a consultation at Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep by calling the St. Petersburg, Florida, office today.