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Sleep and Your Health

Chronic sleep loss is nothing to be taken lightly or ignored. Getting less than 8 hours puts us at serious health risk including high blood pressure and a decrease in the immune system’s power it can also be a key factor in weight gain.

According to the National Institute of Health the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Adults over the age of 18 should get 7 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep each night.             

SLEEP HYGIENE

Sleep hygiene refers to a list of recommended behaviors and environmental conditions that can improve the quality of your sleep. Research indicates that 70% to 80% of people with sleep disorders achieve some benefits when practicing good sleep hygiene.

Behaviors to avoid:

Having caffeine after lunch

Having alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime

Watching television right before going to bed

Having a cigarette before bedtime

Going to bed hungry or when you've had a big meal

Going to bed before you are sleepy

Exercising too close to bedtime

Behaviors to adopt:

Using your bedroom only for sleep and sex

Exercising regularly, preferably in the morning or early afternoon

Keeping a regular bedtime and waking time, even on the weekends

Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a leisurely stroll, soaking in a tub, listening to soothing music, or massaging your legs or feet before bed

Practicing relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and deep-breathing exercises

Creating a comfortable environment that is conducive to sleep by eliminating uncomfortable bedding, wearing loose clothing, keeping the bedroom temperature slightly cool, and eliminating any bothersome noise or light