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Better Sleep Starts With Better Habits

In today’s busy world it can be difficult to find time to maintain healthy habits. When feeling pressed for time, a full night sleep can sometimes seem like a luxury, but researchers are now gaining more insight on the crucial role sleep plays on health and wellness.

 

Increasing evidence demonstrates that chronic insufficient sleep can contribute to a number of health problems including hypertension and cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and depression. While we sleep, our immune system operates more efficiently, allowing our body to heal and provide nutrient to tissues, balance hormones, and create new pathways in our nervous system. Despite the knowledge of this vital physiological need, many Americans report insufficient or poor quality of sleep. 

 

The Center for Disease Control states the recommended amount of sleep varies depending on age, but individuals eighteen and older should average seven to nine hours per night. If your find you may be falling short, these habits may help to improve your sleep health:

 

    • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time, including on weekends
    • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. This could include a warm shower, meditation, stretching, or reading a book
    • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature 
    • Limit or avoid the use of electronic devices like TVs, computers, and smart phones in the bedroom 
    • Avoid large meals 2-3 hours before bed and caffeine and alcohol 3-4 hours before bedtime 
    • Avoid daytime napping, but if necessary, limit naps to 30 minutes
    • Sit less. Those who sit for fewer than 8 hours a day were significantly more likely to report “very good” sleep quality.
    • Exercise! Studies show that exercise increases slow wave sleep and total sleep time, as well as decreasing time to fall asleep. 

 

Movement is medicine, even when we sleep. Considering exercise is low cost, widely available and has minimal side effects when prescribed appropriately, exercise should be considered as an alternative treatment for sleep problems. If you are interested in an exercise routine to help with your healthy sleeping habits, or have pain that disrupts your sleep, consider a consultation with one of our trained physical therapist at Blue Hills Sports and Spine Rehab .We can evaluate your condition and determine if there is an underlying issue that can be addressed with physical therapy 

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