Sleep is essential to our wellbeing but usually the last thing on our selfcare list. Fatigue is one of the most common complaints given to doctors by Americans. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, irritability, and many other things. The hunger hormone “ghrelin” tends to increase when the body does not get enough rest. People also tend to have unbalanced blood sugar levels due to lack of energy. Sleep consistency can help the body function, promoting overall health and wellness. The body must rest to perform its vital functions.
Many people feel that practicing sleep hygiene is a good way to set yourself up for better sleep. The definition of sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. It has been found that obtaining healthy sleep is beneficial for both physical and mental health, improving productivity and overall quality of life.
Tips for practicing “good” sleep hygiene:
- Make sleep a priority. Set up a sleep schedule (not just for babies)
- Follow an evening routine and keep it consistent
- Unplug electronics, charge cell phone in another room to keep the bedroom dark and comfortable
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Do not eat too close to bedtime. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol intake a few hours before going to bed
Sometimes people may find it difficult to fall asleep. Below are a few podcasts that focus on relaxation and sounds that quiet the mind. (Listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the platform of your choice).
Sleep Whispers (www.sleepwhispers.com)
A podcast of whispered readings and ramblings for relaxation and sleeping.
Deep Energy Podcast (www.jimbutlermusic.com)
A podcast of ambient and new age music for sleep, relaxation, and meditation.
Nothing Much Happens (www.nothingmuchhappens.com)
Cozy and calming stories to soothe your mind and help you sleep.
Getting enough sleep is important for overall health. Practicing sleep hygiene can help you achieve that good night’s sleep you may be looking for. Make sleep a priority and your body will thank you.
Janet Domke, RN BSN is the Clinical Coordinator for Mather Hospital’s Bariatric Center of Excellence. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Stony Brook University and has completed courses in holistic nursing. She joined the Bariatric team at Mather in 2014 and is pursuing her certification in bariatric nursing.