Feel like you’re in a fog? That’s what poor sleep can do to you — and it can be bad for your health, too.
Lack of sleep lowers your concentration, affects your memory, saps your energy and increases your risk for an accident — and can even lead to conditions such as depression, high blood pressure and obesity.
Trouble Sleeping? Change Your Behavior
- Relaxation training. Mental exercises, as well as deep breathing and meditation, can help you relax and fall asleep.
- Remaining passively awake. It seems counterintuitive — instead of trying to fall asleep, you don’t try at all. This technique lets you stop worrying about it and calm down enough to sleep.
- Sleep environment improvement. Your bedroom should be free of stimuli such as a television, smartphone or clock directly in view. The cooler, darker and quieter — the better.
- Sleep hygiene. This is “hygiene” in that you are cleansing yourself of habits that impact your sleep, such as caffeine consumption late in the day or smoking.
- Sleep restriction. If you take naps during the day to combat fatigue and go to bed early but are unable to fall asleep, stop. Late bedtimes and a lack of naps cause short-term exhaustion, but make it easier to fall asleep.
- Stimulus control therapy. This treatment involves sticking to a strict regimen of consistent bedtimes, no naps and leaving the bedroom if you’re unable to fall asleep within 20 minutes.
From A to ZZZZ’s
If you’re suffering from chronic lack of sleep — defined as difficulty sleeping for six months or more — it’s time to consult a sleep specialist. He or she can help identify what’s causing your insomnia and offer treatments that work. Call 706-721-2273 (CARE).