July 24, 2019

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Health & Quality 1We often associate the term “hygiene” with things like our oral health, body maintenance, and even smells. However, becoming aware of your sleep hygiene just might be one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

We’re sure that you’ve seen articles float across your Facebook or Instagram feeds. You might have even had a close friend post an article that mentions how paramount sleep is to the human body. But, at the end of the day, are you making any changes in your life? Are you actually willing to give up your bad habits and guilty pleasures to get better sleep? Hey, you’ve made it this far so why should you change now?

Here’s the deal. Whether you’re 21 or you’re 65, you can benefit from making minor, yet disciplined, adjustments to your sleep hygiene that can pay big dividends down the road. Establishing and implementing better sleep hygiene is the single best thing you can do to improve your quality of life. And better yet, local experts at Comprehensive Primary Care & Wellness Center are here to help.

Create Sleep Routine

Our very own Christina Finnerty recommends creating a nighttime routine among a few other helpful tips:

Allow Time To Prepare For Sleep

Set a consistent time that you’d like to go to bed and allot 20-30 minutes or so beforehand to wind down and prepare for sleep. “Take a few minutes of time to yourself to do some deep breathing. Perhaps analyze how the day went. The worst thing you can do is bring stress into bed with you. Address things on your mind before you get into bed.”

Ditch The Screens

“We can’t be watching TV, playing on our phones, or working on our computers and then expect to immediately go to sleep. It’s really important to have a routine. There should be no electronics in the bedroom. The rule of thumb is that the bed is for sleep and sex only. The room should be very dark. Any amount of light tells the brain to continue to be awake.”

If You Can’t Sleep, Get Out Of Bed

“If it’s taking you longer than 20-30 minutes to get to sleep, or if you wake up and can’t fall back asleep, get out of bed. One of the worst things you can do is stay in bed. That trains your brain that your bed is a place to do whatever it wants it to do as opposed to a place to be asleep. If you find yourself in this type of situation, get out of bed, go to a quiet and comfortable place in your home and practice deep breathing.”

Why Quality Sleep is Important

The reason sleep is so important to the human body is because the damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant. It can manifest itself in terrible things such as a car crash or other physical accidents. Or, it can harm you over time without you noticing it as much. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also affects how well you think, react, work, & learn.

Not all sleep is created equal. Many in the Idaho Falls area suffer from sleep apnea. This is a condition that can show itself with loud snoring, and a feeling of being tired after a full night’s rest. Low quality sleep doesn’t just affect your quality of life, but can be a dangerous condition to live with.

Back in 2006, the Harvard Medical School published a piece about the importance of sleep and reasons why we should get better quality sleep. You can read that article here: Importance of Sleep: Six Reasons to not Scrimp on Sleep

Christina Finnerty, Your Local Sleep Expert

Sleep Health & Quality 2

Christina Finnerty, FNP-C, is committed to improving the sleep health and quality of those local to Idaho Falls and the surrounding area. Christina provides patients with sleep studies and specializes in improving how we should be spending that third of our life. Visit our Sleep Specialist page and see if you suffer from any of the symptoms of poor sleep. You can also read about what to expect from a sleep study.

Posted in Community Care by Comprehensive Primary Care of Idaho Falls | Tags: , ,