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5 Tips To Help You Get Better Sleep in 2024

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Many factors may contribute to poor sleep quality; therefore, obtaining a complete medical evaluation is important to rule out other causes of insomnia, such as sleep apnea, allergies, and asthma. Insomnia, classified as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early, is one of the most common medical complaints that roughly one in three people experience in their lifetime. Regular insomnia has been linked to poor quality of life, increased distress, reductions in daytime functioning and even increases in blood pressure.

Although your healthcare provider may recommend therapy or medications that can help with improving sleep quality, there are a few things that you can also do at home to help increase your sleep:

  1. Sleep restriction is a technique that can improve sleep quality. Limiting your bedtime to the recommended total hours can boost your sleep drive and stabilize your internal clock. This approach helps regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle, contributing to more consistent and restful sleep.
  2. Stimulus control emphasizes the importance of creating connections between your bed and sleep. The principle is simple: reserve your bed for sleep or sexual activity only. In our era of remote working, turning the bedroom into a workspace is tempting. But doing so can associate your bedroom with stress rather than rest. By maintaining the sanctity of your bed as a place for relaxation and sleep, you're training your brain to recognize and respond to these cues.
  3. Cognitive therapy offers a platform to explore and address potential reasons or triggers for poor sleep. It helps you develop strategies to sidestep thoughts that might hinder relaxation. Maintaining realistic expectations about your sleep duration and challenging misconceptions about the consequences of poor sleep can also lessen anxiety. Remember, worrying about sleep difficulties can ironically make falling asleep even harder!
  4. Relaxation therapy, such as meditation and breathing exercises, can help relieve physical and psychological stressors in your sleep environment. Various relaxation techniques are available, so experiment and find a method that aligns with you. These practices can foster a serene environment conducive to restful sleep.
  5. Lastly, consider the power of sleep hygiene. Simple changes like limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding daytime naps, incorporating routine exercise, and removing the television from your bedroom can significantly improve your sleep quality. Interestingly, try not to exercise too close to bedtime, as it may keep you awake longer.

Essentially, these strategies serve as pillars for building a foundation for better sleep, leading to improved health and well-being.

Your mobile devices and blue light

While handy, smart devices and televisions cast blue light that can disrupt our natural melatonin production. This hormone plays a vital role in regulating our sleep. Consider using blue light filters if your nightly routine involves reading on your phone or tablet. Many devices come with this feature pre-programmed, allowing you to reduce your exposure to blue light in the evenings.

Remember, personal electronic and fitness devices aren't just potential sleep disruptors; they can also serve as monitoring tools. These devices can track your sleep duration, providing valuable insights into your sleep patterns. Use this information to adjust your routines and habits for better sleep quality.

By taking these steps, you can harness technology to protect and improve your sleep, leading to better health and well-being.

Learn more about sleep disorders from Ochsner Health professionals. 

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