Monday, February 4, 2019 5:26 PM

How Sleep Affects Your Health & How To Get More Of It

Long commutes, after-school programs and shorter daylight hours, it’s no wonder why so many of us are exhausted.

Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking and breathing. But overall, people are not getting enough sleep. In fact, about 35% of all adults aren’t getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night

Why is sleep so important? We spoke to our Fitness Manager Tim Clark!

Tips to get a Better Night’s Sleep

Check your mattress. Mattresses last on average 5 to 10 years. If you’re waking up sore or your mattress is feeling lumpy, it might be time for a new one.

Establish a regular bedtime routine. Just like a routine is necessary for babies and children, it’s also important for adults. Try to go to bed and wake up the same time each day (even on weekends).

Disconnect from mobile devices. Electronics can make it even more difficult to settle down to sleep. The artificial light being emitted from your phone can delay your body’s internal clock. What does this mean? The natural hormone melatonin that helps you fall asleep won’t be released making it more difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Make sure your sleep environment is quiet and dark throughout the night. It’s important that you limit any stimulants like noise and light during your sleep time.

Exercise early in the day. Exercise is important to keep your body healthy. But working out too close to bedtime may affect your ability to fall asleep because your body temperature and heart rate are up. A good rule of thumb is to try to finish your exercise at least two hours before bedtime.

Calm your mind – do a breathing or relaxing exercise. Not only can meditation or deep breathing help relax you before a good night’s sleep, but it has a ton of other health benefits! Click here to read about how meditation might help you live longer. 

Talk to your doctor if lack of sleep is disrupting your life. There may be factors beyond your control that are keeping you from getting the rest you need, like sleep apnea.

Not sure if sleep is affecting your health? It's always a good idea to bring up your sleep habits at your next doctor’s visit!