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Better Sleep for Better Health


It’s a fact: people need more sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says America is in the midst of a national sleep epidemic, with nearly 8 in 10 Americans stating they would feel better and more prepared for the day if they had an extra hour of sleep every night.

Luckily for most people, solutions are not out of reach, said James Osmanski II, DO, FCCP, FAASM, of Bozeman Health Sleep Medicine. In recognition of Better Sleep Month, Dr. Osmanski recommends these simple changes from the Better Sleep Council to improve your sleep.

And if these don’t do the trick, more help is available at our Sleep Medicine Clinic. Call 406-414-2400 for an appointment.

  1. Make sleep a priority. Keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule, even on weekends. If necessary, add sleep to your to-do list. And don’t be late.
  2. Maintain a relaxing sleep routine. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book, listening to soothing music or soaking in a hot bath.
  3. Create a sleep sanctuary. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, comfortable and cool for the best sleep possible. If your mattress is seven years old, it may no longer provide adequate support. Pillows generally should be replaced every year.
  4. Keep work and technology out. Keep stressors, such as work materials, outside the bedroom. And TVs, smartphones, tablets, etc. also should be kept out because their intense electronic backlighting triggers stimulating chemicals in the brain that tell your body it’s time to be awake.
  5. Exercise early. Complete your workouts at least two hours before bedtime to ensure quality sleep. But don’t skip exercise--even a brisk walk can increase blood flow and improve your sleep.
  6. Assess your space. When sharing a full or double bed, each person only has as much sleeping space as a baby’s crib. Your mattress should provide enough space to move freely and easily.
  7. Replace caffeine with water after lunch. Caffeine can remain in your system longer than you think. Hydrate with water instead of coffee, tea or soda in the afternoon.
  8. Eat earlier in the evening. Finish eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. And finish drinking alcohol earlier as well to give your body ample time to digest it before bed.
  9. Set a snooze button quota. Only hit the snooze button once each morning, and set it for the latest time possible. You will feel more refreshed if your sleep isn’t disrupted multiple times.
Use an alarm clock. And keep your phone in the other room. Smartphones in particular can represent a source of stress, and proximity to the bed can disrupt sleep – even if it is set to vibrate.
Categories: Simply Healthy