Healthy Life Tip – Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

  Contributed by Kimberly Lund, MD.

A sufficient amount of sleep is essential for optimal physical health, immune function, mental health, and cognition.  Even weight gain can be associated with stress of inadequate sleep!

To improve sleep time:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
  • Practice a bedtime routine.
  • If you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid naps, especially in the late afternoon.
  • Exercise daily
  • Maintain a sleep environment conducive to sleep. Darkness is important.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Regular bright light exposure in the mornings may help to maximize alertness and maintain a regular circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid cigarettes, caffeine, and heavy meals in the evening.
  • Avoid use of electronics at least 30 minutes before habitual bedtime and in the middle of the night if awakenings occur.
  • If you cannot sleep, go into another room and sit quietly until you feel drowsy enough to fall asleep again. Then return to bed.

Anticipate changes in your sleep patterns and needs as your age and circumstances change. Worry about “lost” sleep does not help the quality of your rest. Relax. As long as you are truly setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep, your body will naturally take what it needs.

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