Over the years, the correlation between sleep and mental and physical health have been thoroughly established. Consequently, a good night’s rest is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet. But unfortunately not many are blessed with the gift of sleep. Because, while some people have no problem falling asleep, many others find it very difficult falling and staying asleep.

Although sleep disorders are no longer new, it still remains a major challenge. The use of caffeine and alcohol coupled with little or no exercise and constant stress has made getting adequate sleep a lot more difficult for many people. But hey?! There’s good news! While you might not be able to control all the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleeping.

Have a sleep schedule

Having a sleep schedule that one follows routinely helps the body to set an internal clock and optimize the quality of sleep. So be consistent with your sleep schedule especially at times when you know you are very tired. Because, once your body adjusts to this schedule, it will be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day.

Cut back on long naps

A toddler needs about 2-hours of sleep daily, but an adult needs just about 20-30 minutes of nap. By taking a long or late afternoon nap, you can damage your sleep rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep at night. It is also important to note that taking your naps before 4pm is best advised.

Stop using sleeping pills

Many people have the habit of reaching out for a sleeping pill once they realize that it is difficult for them to fall asleep. You need to realize that constant use of these pills will only get your body accustomed to it, thereby making you not been able to sleep without them. To make matters worse, these pills will eventually become less effective.

Pay attention to your food

Discomfort from hunger or a stuffed stomach will only make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. So avoid taking heavy or large meals a few hours before you go to bed and try not to go to bed with an empty stomach either.

Reduce your exposure to blue light

Exposure to light during the day is good, but exposing your eyes to blue light at night will only make it more difficult for you to sleep. It is advised that you should not use your gadgets (especially those that have the tendency to expose you to blue light) two hours before you go to bed. And if you must, be certain to use a blue light filter.

Exercise daily

Many of us have little or no time for exercise, but the truth is, the body needs constant exercise. Vigorous exercise is best, but a light one is better than no exercise at all. So try as much as you can to exercise at least for 30 minutes in a day.

Contact your doctor when it becomes incessant

We all have periods when we suffer from lack of sleep, but when this becomes a constant issue, you should think of contacting your doctor. By detecting the root cause of your lack of sleep, you’re on the path to getting the good sleep that you deserve.

A message from Dr. Amy Hartsfield:

At TMJ & Sleep Solutions of Alabama, our mission is to provide personalized care to restore quality of life, one patient at a time. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment!