Are you getting enough rest these days?

People with insomnia are four times as likely to suffer from depression and are at a greater risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It also increases the risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse, and decreases one’s ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information. It’s time to make sleep a priority.
Here are five simple sleep tips to help you get better Zzzzs.

1. Take a warm shower before bed.

We begin to feel sleepy when our body temperature drops. You can enhance this effect by taking a warm bath or shower prior to bed. The contrast between warm shower and cool bed will help you doze off.

2. Lighting is everything.

Exposure to bright light during the daytime helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle. Nighttime light exposure however can be disruptive to sleep. Limit outdoor light by covering windows with curtains and avoid the use of electronic devices in the bedroom. Even the dimmest light can interfere with sleep.

3. Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.

The body’s GI system works hard to digest food that can impact your body’s ability to rest. Not to mention after eating there is the potential experience of indigestion, nausea or diarrhea which can also disrupt sleep. Avoid this by passing on light snacks and heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

4. Exercise daily.

Exercise at anytime of the day can improve sleep. It provides numerous health benefits and burns energy that prompts the body to “want” to rest.

5. Evaluate your bed situation.

An uncomfortable sleep surface can greatly impact one’s quality and ability to sleep. The average life span of a “good” mattress is 10 years and even less for others. If you can feel the springs when you lay on your mattress then Houston, you have a problem. As well, make it a practice to change pillows out annually. Some can easily lose their form and for hygienic purposes, why not change them up. They’re inexpensive and are considerably a small price to pay compared to quality sleep.