[bs_col class=”col-sm-9″] CHANGE SOME HABITS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
By Kate O’Farrell, M.S., ACSM-CEP
The National Sleep Foundation describes sleep hygiene as “a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.” Without proper sleep hygiene, every area of life can be affected negatively. The good news is even small changes improve concentration, mood, creativity, weight, overall health, learning ability and more.
Research suggests that there is not one magic sleep number for everyone. Although the eight-hours-a-night-rule seems to be the most popular, everyone functions best at a different amount of sleep per night. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, however, has provided general guidelines. For school-aged children, getting at least 10 hours of sleep per night is recommended for improved cognitive and physical function. For teens, nine to 10 hours of sleep is recommended. For adults, seven to eight hours of sleep may be enough.
Here are some quick tips to help improve your sleep hygiene:
1. Create a routine. It may not always include warm milk and a bedtime story, but going through a calm routine before bed can help wind things down. Examples include taking a bath, reading a book, or even some relaxing yoga.
2. Be consistent. Train your sleep-wake cycle by going to bed at waking up around the same time.
3. Establish a sleep-only zone. Keep screens and other distractions out of the bedroom.
4. Meditate. Breathing or performing a progressive muscle relaxation can clear your mind and prepare your body for sleep.
Sleep hygiene is as important for the sleeping hours as it is for the waking hours. Finding small ways to improve our sleep can change a lot. Sleep tight!
Resource link: cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.htm [/bs_col]
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For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.[/bs_well]