Sleeping well might be one of the best things you can do for your health. Those who easily slip into slumber and awake refreshed in the morning may not give the process a second thought. But if you’re one of many who find sleep elusive, bedtime can be a stressful affair.
Why is sleep good for us?
There are many advantages to sleeping well and they extend to both your physical and mental health. The following describes a few of the benefits that a good night’s sleep can provide:
1. Quality of your sleep directly impacts your mental health in both cause and effect. Poor mental health can affect your sleep and getting a good rest can improve your mental health.
2. Restful sleep can improve your physical health, including lowering your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease. It also provides a time for your body to heal and refresh.
3. Healthful sleep can enhance your memory and help you to better concentrate. Anyone who has ever spent a restless night knows the brain fog that often follows the next day.
Why can getting enough sleep be difficult?
There are many reasons that sleep can prove challenging, especially as we grow older. Here are a few of the more common explanations:
Shifting circadian rhythms
As part of the body’s internal clock, this best-known rhythm is also known as the sleep-wake cycle, according to the Sleep Foundation. It’s influenced by environmental cues, especially light, and is tied to the cycle of day and night.
If this rhythm is disrupted, it can become more difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep throughout the night. It can also affect the quality of the sleep that one does get.
Discomfort and pain
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep if you’re in pain. Unfortunately, lack of sleep and rest can have a negative effect on healing so it can prolong the process.
Daytime drowsiness and napping
Sleeping during the day may seem necessary if you don’t sleep well at night but nap only earlier in the day. If you’re experiencing excessive daytime drowsiness, you’ll want to check first with your medical team for any underlying concerns, such as sleep apnea or cardiovascular issues.
This phenomenon typically results in breathing pauses while you’re sleeping. The condition interrupts a good night’s sleep affecting your oxygen levels, often leading to headaches and daytime sleepiness.
Restless leg syndrome
This syndrome generally causes movement of the legs while resting or sleeping, resulting in obvious interruptions to maintaining a healthy sleep.
Tips for a good night’s rest
If you’re searching for a healthy sleep, consider these suggestions:
1. Stay awake during the day
After checking with your doctor to rule out any health conditions, be cautious about making up for lost sleep during the day. If you must take a nap, schedule it for as early and short as possible so that when nighttime arrives you’ll have your best chance to get the rest that you need.
2. Get enough sunlight
The sleep cycle is directly coordinated with our circadian rhythms so getting enough natural light is a big boost to staying on pace. The cues of day and night, light and dark are so important to keep us on schedule. Make an effort to get outside every day.
3. Stay physically active
Physical activity during the day can do wonders for creating a natural feeling of tiredness at the end of the day. It’s great preparation to help you be ready for a good night’s sleep. And the added benefits that staying active brings to your health is a nice bonus.
4. Create and stick to a regular sleep schedule
Most people need between 7-8 hours of sleep but pay attention to your own individual requirements. Create an evening routine, such as reading, listening to music or another less stimulating activity. Getting ready for bed, going to sleep and waking up at the same time is the best plan, even on weekends.
5. Avoid caffeine
It’s best to eliminate any food or drink in the evening that can keep you awake at night. Have a personal cut-off time for caffeine or other foods that may be hard to digest. And avoid eating for at least four hours before bedtime. Eating a large meal can interrupt your ability to go and stay asleep.
6. Eliminate electronics in the bedroom
As light greatly affects our sleep cycles, climbing into bed with our phones or settling in to watch television is not a great idea. The best advice is to use your electronic devices outside of the bedroom. When you do get into bed, you should only do so when it’s time to close your eyes and go to sleep.
Source: Sleep Foundation
Ingleside at King Farm Independent Living
At Ingleside at King Farm Independent Living we can help our residents create an active lifestyle that contributes to getting a healthy night’s sleep. With our activities and social events, we believe you’ll discover our community has been designed to provide you with everything you need for an enriched lifestyle.
You’ll find your private home offers open and inviting spaces, walk-in closets and well-equipped kitchens. You’ll have the choice of the floorplan that works best for you. You’re also encouraged to personalize your home so it will be a unique expression of your own style.
We believe you’ll love our well-planned community, created to provide all the possibilities you’re looking for:
Staffed fitness center
Indoor heated pool and spa
Cultural Arts Center
Classes, clubs and programs
Meditation space and Yoga studio
Spa/salon with massage room
Spiritual, musical and theatrical programs
Along with scheduled transportation to medical appointments, shopping, concerts and other events, you’ll have easy access to the shuttle system that loops to the Metro as well as walking paths that lead to The King Farm Village Center, just a few blocks away.
Please visit our website or call (240) 414-8557 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.