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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.