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7 Steps to Getting More Zzzz's

Sleep is a critical component to optimal health! Lack of sleep has a significant impact on many systems of the body. Not getting your rest can increase the stress hormone known as cortisol, which is linked to increased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep can cause brain fog, lack of concentration, and immune system dysfunction. Simply sleeping less than 5 hours a night on average reduces your life expectancy by 15%. For someone with a standard life expectancy of 78 years, which is almost 12 years off your life. Establish a sleep routine is critical to your health. Here are seven tips to getting your Zzzz’s!

1. Sleep needs are based on age, with the average adult needing 6-8 hours of sleep.

2. Set a bedtime/wake-up time and stick to it

3. Avoid anything that will activate your brain just before going to bed

4. Establish a wind-down practice to facilitate relaxation like the following:

a. Hot shower or bath

b. Soft jammies

c. Nice bedding

d. Mediation or praying just before bed

e. Essential oils like lavender in a diffuser to increase relaxation

f. If you need background noise to fall asleep, consider a white noise machine

5. Avoid a TV in your bedroom or set a rule of when it is on

6. Keep your phone away from your bed or at minimum turned off and face down

7. If you have any concerns about sleep apnea or persistently have issues falling or staying asleep, please see your healthcare provider

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