Thank you to all who completed our sleep survey!
What did we learn?
When it comes to healthy sleep, our worst habit is shutting off electronics ahead of our bedtime. 33% of those surveyed reported having their phone on as they went to bed.
Our best sleep habit was utilizing a noise machine to minimize distractions or sleeping in a quiet environment. We tend to sleep in a cool room (hello North Dakota?) This was followed by the healthy sleep habit of cutting off alcohol, caffeine, and meal times up to 2 hours before we hit the hay.
If you are looking for tips for restful, rejuvenated sleep that will improve your overall health and well-being, here are some tips from Nurse Practitioner Rachael Marshall:
“Remember, healthy sleep is a critical part of overall health and disease prevention. This does not only include adequate sleep duration, but good quality sleep, appropriate timing, regularity, and the absence of sleep disorders.
- Have a bedtime routine. Wind down and relax, try stretching or meditating. These calming activities reduce your heart rate.
- Have a regular schedule. Get up and go to sleep at the same time every day and plan for 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Darken the room as bedtime approaches. Light cues at night will delay the production of melatonin. Research shows that light (whether a room light or a light from electronics) can slow melatonin production for approximately 90 minutes with each exposure.
- Having consistent dinner time 2-3 hours before bed. Digestion can impact sleep quality.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine 2 hours before bed. These substances can affect sleep and energy the next day.
- Minimize stress. Stress increases cortisol. A bump in cortisol during the night will wake you. Find ways to keep your thoughts peaceful.
- Make the room cool. Your body temperature naturally drops as you fall asleep to promote the sleep-inducing process. A cool room will naturally facilitate this process and assist in falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Minimize noise. A noise machine or something similar can help to drown out distractions to maintain a restful sleep.
Sleep recharges our bodies, so we can fight off disease and refreshes our brains, so our minds are alert and functioning well while we are awake. So let’s take care of ourselves. We only have one body to live in.”