It's Sleep Awareness Week from 3/13-3/19/22!
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 American adults sleep less than the recommended 7+ hours of sleep. That's terrible, but I can't say that's not accurate since I sleep 5-7hrs/ day.
As someone who chronically suffers from poor sleep, I understand firsthand how important sleep is for daily function- poor sleep can affect your mood, your memory, your job performance, and even your sex drive.
So what can we do to improve our sleep?
1. Establish a regular sleep / wake time. This is important to keep your circadian rhythm consistent.
2. Don't use your phone or electronics for at least an hour before bed. The bright lights and blue light can disturb production of melatonin and other sleep hormones and confuse your body's "clock".
3. Use your bed only for sleep and sex. This will help your body associate your bed with sleep.
4. Exercise regularly, but avoid exercising 3 hours prior to bedtime. This will prevent you becoming awake from the exercise.
5. Avoid caffeine 6-7 hours before bedtime.
6. If you still have trouble sleeping, then don't continue to lie in bed and frustratingly watch the clock tick away. Instead, read, meditate, or do something else that relaxes you until you are tired enough to fall asleep again.
If you get random bouts of anxiety like me, then try meditation/ mindfulness apps like Balance, Calm, Headspace, Tapping solution. YouTube also has a lot of great mindfulness / meditation videos.
And don't forget- talk to your doctor if you have excessive snoring or excessive daytime sleepiness despite sleeping long hours. There could be an underlying medical condition such as obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, etc.
At North Star DPC, Dr. Ma wants to work with patients to integrate lifestyle changes as well, so insomnia, sleep apnea, and anxiety can be treated holistically and not just through medications, like melatonin, xanax, etc.
#mindfulness #meditation #lifestylemedicine