Sleep, The Foundation of Health

Sleep, The Foundation of Health

Sweet Dreams
By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can affect all areas of your life and cause health problems. Learn how to develop healthy habits at bedtime as you age to help you get a good night’s sleep. An ongoing lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep increases your risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and obesity. They are also linked to memory problems, forgetfulness, and more falls or accidents.

Here are Some Tips to Help:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends
  • Find ways to relax before bedtime each night
  • Avoid distractions such as cell phones, computers, and televisions in your bedroom
  • Don’t eat large meals or drink caffeine or alcohol lat in the day
  • Exercise at regular times each day, but not within 3 hours of your bedtime
  • Avoid long naps (over 30 minutes in the late afternoon or evening

Tips to Help You Fall Asleep
You may have heard about some tricks to help you fall asleep. You don’t really have to count sheep—you could try counting slowly to 100. Some people find that playing mental games makes them sleepy. For example, tell yourself it is 5 minutes before you have to get up, and you’re just trying to get a little bit more sleep.
Some people find that relaxing their bodies puts them to sleep. One way to do this is to imagine your toes are completely relaxed, then your feet, and then your ankles are completely relaxed. Work your way up the rest of your body, section by section. You may drift off to sleep before getting to the top of your head.Use your bedroom only for sleeping. After turning off the light, give yourself about 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re still awake and not drowsy, get out of bed. When you feel sleepy, go back to bed. If you feel tired and unable to do your activities for more than 2 or 3 weeks, you may have a sleep problem. Talk with your doctor about changes you can make to get a better night’s sleep.

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