Ever wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all? I certainly have! We all know that a lack of quality sleep can affect our energy levels, mood and productivity at work and at home. Whether you are living with diabetes or not, sleep can be an essential part of your health.
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has said that sleep can increase your mental capacity as well as your ability to find creative solutions to problems. Studies have also shown that a full night’s sleep allows your body’s thinking process to run more efficiently and increases your capacity to focus, something I know I need in my day.
Additionally, a good night’s sleep allows important systems and organs in your body, like blood pressure, to rest through the night, which is beneficial for your overall cardiovascular health. A lack of sleep can also release adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones. Those hormones keep your blood pressure from dropping.
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has great sleep tips in Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. I’ve compiled a few of my favorites to share with you.
8 Tips for 8 Hours of Sound Sleep
- Set a schedule – Condition your body to be prepared for sleep by keeping a consistent bedtime routine each night.
- Stay consistent – Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
- Work it out – Exercise at least 20-30 minutes a day to help you sleep deeper. However, schedule exercise earlier in the day rather than just before bedtime to ensure a resting heart rate and relaxed mindset.
- Decaf please – Avoid drinking soft drinks, coffee and tea with caffeine in the late afternoon or evening which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Create a tranquil sleep environment – Block out noise and light as much as possible, and make sure room temperature isn’t too hot or cold, optimal sleep happens in rooms that are cool.
- Comfort is key – Mattress and bedding can make a big difference. Waking up achey or sore may mean you need to try a new mattress or pillow. Experiment with different types of support to find your ideal levels.
- Clear your mind – Avoid work or other activities that require deep thought immediately before bedtime. Instead, do something relaxing to help you unwind.
- Train your brain – Learn to correlate your bed with sleeping. Avoid doing other activities like work and crafts in your bed so that your body associates the setting with sleep.
If you have difficulty sleeping – or if you’re frequently tired after a night’s rest – it’s a good idea to discuss with your doctor. If you have diabetes, you should also ask about checking your blood sugar levels before bed as a regular part of your routine. Your levels may affect whether or not you get a good night’s sleep.
What’s your bedtime routine tip? For me, it’s ensuring I have enough “wind-down” time between putting our daughter to bed and going to bed myself. Feel free to share yours by posting a comment below or leaving one on our Facebook page.