According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults ages 18-60 should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Insufficient sleep is associated with increased risk of a number of health concerns, including increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental distress.
Signs of a Sleep Disorder
The CDC estimates that one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, which can be a sign of a sleep disorder. Symptoms of sleep disorders include:
- Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Daytime fatigue and irritability
- Waking up several times throughout the night
- Long, frequent naps during the day
- Trouble concentrating
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times
- Waking up too early
- Snoring, gasping or breathing loudly while asleep
- Tingling sensation or an irresistible urge to move your legs
- Relying on stimulants to keep you awake during the day
Tips for Falling Asleep
Many people can resolve or improve their sleep problems at home by practicing good sleep hygiene. Follow our tips below:
Stick to a Routine
Most people have a routine when it comes to going to bed and waking up during the work week, but this tends to go out the window on weekends and holidays. Staying up and sleeping in can cause problems the next time you try to get some shut-eye. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day to improve your sleep.
There’s nothing wrong with a fresh, hot cup of coffee or tea to start your day, but caffeine may cause sleep problems, especially when consumed late in the afternoon. Next time you get a craving for a coffee or soda after lunch, remember that it takes about six hours for your body to process just half the caffeine in each serving.
Power Down Electronics
Bright sunlight helps set our circadian rhythm so our bodies know when it’s time to wake up and go to sleep. Unfortunately, blue lights in many electronic screens like phones and computers are so bright they disrupt sleep signals. Try to put away all screens within an hour of bedtime. Instead of scrolling through news articles, opt to read a book from Round Table Bookstore to wind down.
While these tips should help improve your sleep, many people struggle with persistent symptoms that require medical care. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a sleep expert, call Topeka ENT today.