Sleep is important for both physical and mental health. The CDC reports that 1/3 of U.S. adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Not enough sleep has been linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, depression and type 2 diabetes. Poor sleep has also been linked to increased pain levels.
Healthcare providers have been using the phrase �??sleep hygiene�?� to refer to common activities that can be done to improve your sleep and overall health. Learn more about the importance of sleep and tips for getting a better night�??s rest below:

Types of Sleep Issues:

  • Excessive waking from sleep
  • Short total sleep time
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Poor sleep quality (per self reporting)
  • Daytime sleepiness

Benefits of Sleep Hygiene:

  • Helps reduce stress
  • Can improve your memory
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • Improves immunity
  • Reduces chance of diabetes
  • Helps keep your heart healthy
  • Improves mood
  • Can reduce pain

Tips to Improve Sleep Hygiene:

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol prior to bedtime
  • Participate in regular exercise, but avoid close to bedtime
  • Decrease external noise in your sleep environment (traffic, music, etc)
    • May include using a sound machine for white noise
  • Have a sleep time routine
    • Have a set regular time to go to sleep
    • Decrease screen time in the hour before bed
    • Reading, listening to music or bathing prior to bed can be part of a relaxing routine
  • Have a regular wake time
  • Limit day time naps to less than 30 minutes
    • Don�??t take naps after 3pm
  • Don�??t lie in bed awake
  • If you find yourself lying awake for more than 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy
  • Trying to have exposure to natural light can improve waking in the morning

Catch Some Zzz�??s

Sleep is an important part of your health so use these tips and try to get the best sleep you can. If you wake up with pain after a night�??s sleep, it may be due to your sleep position. Schedule a free assessment to speak with our experts to learn about the best sleep positions for less neck and back pain.

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By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy