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.


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

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