Strengthen Sleeping Habits: 12 Steps to Sound Slumber

1 in 3 adults does not get enough sleep, according to the CDC. Are you 1 in 3?

In August 2017, Dr. Steve Kay, a professor of neurology at USC, discussed the effects of technology on sleeping patterns. 

Dr. Kay said, “Looking at tablets or smartphones can actually cause significant sleep disruption. When your eye is exposed to blue light, your brain suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone production our brain produces at night normally rises in the evening, peaks at midnight and then goes back down.” 

The presence of any artificial light at night can potentially damage your sleep cycle, but the blue light has been proven to be the most disruptive. Putting your phone on night mode will diminish the blue light to a softer pink light. This may help you to fall asleep easier. 

Not enough sleep, or even too much, may cause:

  • obesity
  • mood disorders
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • lower your life expectancy.

Also, the National Sleep Foundation researched in 2006 that only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep on school nights, and 45% sleep less than eight hours on school nights.

Two consecutive nights of less than six hours could leave you sluggish for the following six days. Researchers also found that staying up an extra hour, even if followed by a full night’s sleep, is correlated with a slower performance the next day. – Standford Medicine

The Following May Help Sleeping Habits

#1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep

Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products within 3 hours of bedtime. It is best to limit alcohol consumption, and especially to avoid drinking within 3 hours of bedtime.

#2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment

A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Lower the outside noise with earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Keep the temperature between 60 and 75°F and the room well ventilated. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows. (Remember that most mattresses wear out after ten years.) If a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom. Keeping technology and work material out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

#3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine

Ease the transition to bedtime with relaxing activities an hour or so before sleeping. Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities like doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down—and then putting them aside.

#4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

#5 Don’t Watch the Clock; Turn the Light Away

#6 Use Light to Your Advantage (When possible, follow the natural light to help your internal clock’s sleep-wake cycle) 

#7 Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule

#8 Nap Early—Or Not at All (If napping, keep it about 30 minutes and before 5 p.m.) 

#9 Don’t Eat Before Sleeping   Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that won’t disturb your sleep, perhaps dairy foods and carbohydrates.

#10 Balance Fluid Intake (Avoid waking up thirsty and night-time bathroom trips)

#11 Exercise Early (Exercise at least three hours before bed or earlier)

#12 Follow Through

Meet Keasi Toki, a sleep technician at our sleep lab!

Some of these tips will be easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. However, if you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep will improve. That said, not all sleep problems are so easily treated and could signify the presence of a sleep disorder such as apnearestless legs syndromenarcolepsy, or another clinical sleep problem. If your sleep difficulties don’t improve through good sleep, you may want to consult your physician or a sleep specialist.

If you are interested, we, at Madison Memorial Hospital, have a sleep lab.

Go to http://madisonmemorial.org/sleep-study-lab/ to schedule your appointment.

 

 

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madison memorial hospital, nutrition, healthy digestive system, digestion, exercise, hydration

Improving your Digestive System

One of the most common initial problems and complaints treated here at Madison Memorial Hospital is abdominal pain. This can come from a number of problems associated with the body’s digestive system and often times can be solved through drinking water and going on a walk.

What is digestion?

Everyone who eats food somehow needs to digest it. When there are problems with digestion, various side effects can come about. The process of digestion refers to how the food you eat becomes nutrients for your body. Digestion then uses these nutrients to help your body with energy, growth and cell repair, according to WebMD.

What are common digestive tract problems?

There are several problems that can occur to digestive tracts. Some of these problems include constipation, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S.), and inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D). Inflammatory bowel disease is when part or all of the digestive tract is inflamed.

How do I improve my digestion?

The following things you can do to better improve your digestion.

Watch What You Eat

The first thing is to include high fiber foods in your diet. These foods consist of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit. Choosing lean meats such as lean cuts, pork loin, and skinless poultry can aid in better digestion. Low-fat yogurt and kefir are probiotics that will help normalize bowel movements. Instead of eating butter or margarine, you can substitute olive oil. When it comes to eating real food, check the freshness, whether or not it is organic, as well as the quality of food. It is beneficial to put quality food in your quality digestive system.

madison memorial hospital, quality of food, digestive health, healthy eating, hydration, nutrition

The quality of our food and the quality of our digestive health have a strong correlation.

Eat on a Schedule

Try to eat on a consistent schedule. Sit down for your meals. Eat snacks around the same time during the day. As you eat, take your time and fully chew your food. Put technology away and focus on your meal. Savor your food and give yourself time to digest as you form healthy habits. While you are developing positive eating habits, watch your mood. Whether you have a positive or negative mood will affect how much you eat. When you eat only when you are in a positive mood, you are more aware of what you are eating. Eat in a nondistracted, relaxed environment.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drink water often to ensure your body is properly hydrated. Being hydrated helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber and allows food to pass through your body easily. Water along with beverages which contain electrolytes are important in the body. Also limit smoking, caffeine, and alcohol. These substances can interfere with the function of your digestive system as they can cause stomach ulcers and heartburn troubles.

Exercise

Exercise regularly! As you exercise, it will help move food through your digestive system. Exercises, such as walking, using the elliptical, and biking, will aid in the reduction of constipation and support healthy weight management. As you plan exercise into your schedule, you are more likely to get out and make it happen. Exercising can help with weight loss and reduce heartburn.

Lessen Your Stress

When you mishandle stress, it will send your digestive system into overdrive. To reduce stress, breathing techniques within meditation, yoga, walking around, or even taking naps can be beneficial. Stress is dangerous when not handled correctly.

What are symptoms of poorly functioning digestive systems?

Poorly functioning digestive systems show numerous amounts of symptoms. Check to see if you have any of the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
  • excess gas
  • bloating
  • loose bowel movements
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • irritability
  • acne
  • skin rashes
  • low energy

Here at Madison Memorial Hospital, we care about your digestive health. We don’t want you to be in pain with a poorly functioning digestive system. We encourage you to do your part to reduce the risk of having any problems.

Further dietary counseling information can be found at Madison Education Department.

Madison Education Department

35 N 1st E, Rexburg, ID 83440

208-359-6524

 

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