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May is Better Sleep Month
last updated:
Tue, 5/01/2012 11:22 AM

Refreshing sleep is of huge importance when staying healthy. Better Sleep Month, supported by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), aims to raise awareness about the benefits of better sleep and how poor sleep can disrupt our lives. As with diet and exercise, sleep is crucial to our physical, emotional and mental health.

Here are some tips to get a better night's sleep:

  • Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. This will help keep your biological clock in sync.
  • Exercise at the right time for you. Regular exercise can help you get a good night's sleep. The timing and intensity of exercise seems to play a key role in its effects on sleep. If you are the type of person who gets energized or becomes more alert after exercise, it may be best not to exercise in the evening. Regular exercise in the morning even can help relieve insomnia, according to a study.
  • Develop a sleep ritual by doing the same things each night just before bed. Parents often establish a routine for their kids, but it can help adults, too. A routine cues the body to settle down for the night.
  • Unwind early in the evening so that worries and distractions don't keep you from getting a good night's sleep.
  • Cut caffeine. Simply put, caffeine can keep you awake. It can stay in your body longer than you might think – the effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off. Cutting out caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Eat right, sleep tight. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. An over-full belly can keep you up. Also, try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This can keep you from having to get up to use the bathroom during the night.
  • Create a restful sleep environment – sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation – to get your best night's rest.

If you're sleeping as much as you need, but still find that you're sleepy during the day, you should discuss this with your physician or contact the Methodist Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044 or visit us on our website at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

This information is provided by Methodist Healthcare and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000

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