What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Help Me Sleep?

What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Help Me Sleep?

One out of three American adults say they routinely get less than seven hours of sleep a night, even though seven hours is the minimum amount recommended for a healthy adult. What’s causing your sleep difficulties?

SLENT has several locations, in Slidell, Hammond, and Mandeville, Louisiana. Each one is staffed with otolaryngology specialists who can help a wide range of problems, including sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea. We help you figure out how to beat the sleepless nights and get a good night’s rest once again.

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep

Poor sleep patterns and insufficient sleep cause what’s known as “sleep debt.” Your natural body rhythms get thrown off, and once you're sunk heavily in debt, it’s hard to climb out. When you consistently have poor sleep or miss sleep hours, you may start noticing serious side effects, such as:

A whopping 90% of those with insomnia end up with chronic issues that trace back to their sleep issues. However, you can change your lifestyle and get out from under your sleep debt with these simple tips.

Lifestyle changes to improve sleep

You can’t fix every issue that might be contributing to sleeplessness, but you can make lifestyle changes that greatly increase the likelihood you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Get on a schedule and stay there

You need a regular bedtime and wake time to get your body into a pattern where it naturally slows down for sleep. You should schedule the time you’re awake for no more than 16 hours at a stretch, and you shouldn’t vary your bedtime by more than half an hour or so. 

Sleep space should be sleep space

Working from home trends mean many use a room in their home as an office. Try to avoid making your bedroom do double duty; it can be very hard to shut down for the night if your brain still feels like you’re in the workplace.

Skip late night snacks and caffeine

If you like to drink coffee, start cutting yourself off no later than 4 pm. This gives your body time to work through the residual caffeine high and slow down in preparation for bed. Skipping those late-night snacks can help as well, by letting your body get a head start on digestion.

Swear off the nightcaps

A little alcohol doesn’t hurt most people, but drinking alcohol too late in the evening can mean it lingers in your system and reduces healthy REM sleep. After-dinner drinks are fine, but then you should eighty-six yourself to ensure you’re booze-free before bedtime.

Ask your doctor about sleep apnea

Some people try everything but still can’t seem to get past feelings of exhaustion during the day. If this sounds like you, you could have sleep apnea

This means you fall asleep, but the soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes too much and temporarily closes off your airaway. Then, your brain sends a startle response to tighten up the muscles and open the airway again, without ever fully waking you, but the interruptions mean you don’t sleep well. 

If you snore a lot, you should ask about getting a sleep study done to see if apnea is causing poor quality sleep.

To learn more sleep disorders, get in touch with the experts at SLENT by calling the office closest to you or by contacting us online.

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