Getting a Good Night’s Sleep is Not Only Good for Your Body, It’s Good for Your Mind
Studies show that people are getting increasingly less sleep these days. One thing about that remains clear: we all need to take sleep much more seriously if we’re concerned about our health – both mental and physical – and our healing.
Those who don’t get enough sleep are prone to lots of health-related issues, ones that can impact your quality of life and even your life expectancy. Lack of sleep can also interfere with healing, especially when regular exercise, rehab and visits to the physical therapist are necessary.
Numerous studies have shown that people who struggle to get enough sleep at night are more susceptible to issues and conditions such as weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and even anxiety and depression.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. School-aged children 6 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours per night, while teens require 8 to 10 hours.
When people wake up tired, then spend the rest of the day longing for a chance to take a nap, it goes without saying that they’re not getting enough sleep. Over time, this lack of sleep begins to affect other areas of life, whether it’s your mood or a lack of motivation and drive to get things done in your day-to-day activities.
If the lack of sleep is not remedied, it can spiral out of control.
If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night, consider these tips for a restful night:
- Keep a schedule: Maintain a regular bed and wake-up schedule, even on the weekends.
- Be relaxed: Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath, reading a good book or listening to soothing music.
- Consider your environment: Create an environment conducive to sleep, such as a comfortable mattress and a place that is quiet, dark, comfortable and cool.
- Watch what you eat: Have your last meal or snack 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, and avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine and alcohol shortly before you go to bed.
- Cut off screen time: Turn off all lit screens – smartphone, computer, TV, etc. – at least 30 minutes before going to sleep.
- Exercise regularly: It’s no coincidence that people who exercise regularly or who spend their days more physically active often report better sleep than those who are more sedentary.
“Movement is medicine” is a phrase physical therapists like to use. Exercising to get better sleep is just one of the many examples where this rings true. But don’t exercise just before bed. Complete your regimen a few hours before you slip under the covers!