Resolve To Get More Sleep | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:18

011013hThere are many popular New Year’s resolutions that quickly come and go. This year, why not focus on one health change you’ll enjoy sticking to… getting more sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that the average American sleeps about six hours and 55 minutes per night during the week, and 15 percent of adults sleep less than six hours per night.

“Lack of sleep can take a significant toll on your overall health and interfere with some of your daily activities,” said Dr. Michael Thorpy of  the Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Almost everybody has trouble sleeping now and then, but many Americans experience significant problems getting to sleep or continually wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep.

Such problems may be clinical symptoms of insomnia which can affect people in different ways. Some sufferers have trouble initially getting to sleep, while others wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling back asleep.

To help you get better sleep this year, Dr. Thorpy suggests these simple tips:

• Set and stick to a sleep schedule. Establish a regular bedtime and wake time.

• Set aside time at night to “wind down.” Spend some quiet time before bedtime. Such activities as watching TV, using the computer or working right before bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

• Exercise regularly. Just don’t exercise rigorously near bedtime and check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

• Don’t clock-watch. If you awaken in the middle of the night and stay in bed, don’t lie there staring at the clock. And, don’t watch TV or use your laptop or cell phone, because these technologies stimulate the brain, making it tougher to fall back to sleep.

If these tips don’t help, speak with your healthcare professional to help determine if you are suffering from insomnia and require treatment.

More information regarding insomnia is available at the National Sleep Foundation website at www.sleepfoundation.org.

 

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