Though sleep is often thought of as a period of shutdown and relaxation, it is actually a very active period of time. During slumber, our brain is processing and strengthening connections. Additionally, sleep also helps us with solidifying memories and storing vital information.
We don’t know all the reasons that such a long period of rest is needed each day, but we do know sleep is critical to our health and well-being. It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal functioning and restoration.
What inhibits good sleep?
Though adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night to support good health, there are a variety of reasons many people don’t including:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder where soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes and collapses during sleep, obstructing normal breathing. This results in the person waking up frequently during the night, even if he/she doesn’t know it. People who suffer from sleep apnea usually need a CPAP machine to remedy the issue.
Between work, finances, kids, and other life worries, stress and anxiety can really take a toll on normal sleep patterns. It may be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep when your mind feels like it’s racing or worrying constantly.
In transient insomnia, a person may have difficulty falling asleep due to a traumatic life event like a breakup, significant loss, or other event. Chronic insomnia is defined as having difficulty falling asleep or maintaining it for at least one month. Sufferers of insomnia often don’t feel restored from sleep.
How can you get better sleep?
Although many sleep disorders need to be treated professionally, there are still many factors that can influence sleep that you have control over.
By implementing a few practices, you may start to see your sleep improve and energy increase.
1. Develop a nightly routine
First and foremost, coming up with a routine is an important part of a solid night’s sleep. Coming up with a few steps to follow in the same order every night can help your mind decompress and develop new habits of relaxation
2. Keep your room clean
Creating an environment where your mind can relax is imperative to being able to unwind at the end of a long day. A cluttered room makes it difficult to feel calm and composed, and can contribute to feelings of irritation and anxiety.
3. Be productive during the day
There’s nothing worse than your head hitting the pillow and suddenly going through a checklist of everything you need to get done. Complete as much of your to-do list as you can during the day rather than procrastinating so you don’t have to worry about it as you prepare to go to bed.
4. Take care of your health
Daily exercise and healthy eating habits are key to maintaining a healthy heart, mind, and weight. People with excess body weight tend to have a higher occurrence of sleep apnea, which significantly can impact sleep and contribute to a slew of health problems.
5. Avoid bright lights
Looking at a phone before drifting off to sleep is pretty common, but not the best habit to develop. Bright lights can overstimulate your brain and interrupt your circadian rhythm. Opt instead to read a book or meditate.
6. Create an ideal sleep environment
Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and free from excess noise. Sleep on a comfortable, high-quality mattress and pillow that supports your neck and back without causing stiffness and pain during the night. A white-noise machine can be especially helpful for falling and staying asleep.
If you suffer from a medical condition like sleep apnea, it’s essential that your CPAP machine is clean and ready to put on for the night. You don’t want to be fumbling with cleaning and parts right before bed.
The Sleep8 ozone cleaner is the perfect solution for hands-free sanitization and convenience. Simply place your equipment into the provided bag, attach to the Sleep8 device and hit the “go” button on the remote. It only takes about one and a half hours total, and you can simply walk away while your CPAP components are being cleaned.
Written by: Amanda Peterson