National Sleep Awareness Week is here to remind you to take your sleep health seriously! Celebrate all week long to make sure you’re getting quality rest to heal your body and mind. This year’s theme is “Begin With Sleep” in order to make sure that you, your friends, and family members are getting the best sleep they can for their health.
National Sleep Awareness Week
Sleep is often an underrated part of the personal care routine even though it’s essential to many vital bodily processes. It keeps the heart healthy, your skin looking young, relieves stress, reduces inflammation and so much more.
Unfortunately, over 20 million Americans have sleep apnea and over 80% of them are undiagnosed. They may think that it’s normal to feel tired, or their issues can be fixed with another cup of coffee, but in reality, they’re missing out on feeling great. Plus, poor quality sleep could contribute to serious health conditions such as:
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased Traffic Accidents
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Chronic Fatigue
Now about 47% Americans report feeling well rested during the week and that’s less than half the nation. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder, but you should still see a doctor if you experience symptoms of poor sleep such as:
- Waking with a headache
- Poor concentration
- Mood swings
- Impaired reaction times
- Waking with a dry mouth
- Waking to use the bathroom multiple times a night
Proper rest gives your body time to shut down and relax as hormones are released to slow your breathing in order to repair your muscles, tissues, and blood vessels. During sleep your immune system is boosted to fight viruses and bacteria to help prevent you from getting sick. Stress and depression is relieved during rest as well.
However, when a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts your sleep multiple times a night your body isn’t able to relax and these processes are prevented. Essentially your body doesn’t heal.
How To Get Better Sleep
Don’t settle for poor sleep, you’ve spent enough time feeling miserable. Take the time this week to “Begin With Sleep” to make sure you and your loved ones are getting 7 to 8 hours of quality rest by:
- Using your CPAP machine every night as instructed to treat sleep apnea!
- Setting a sleep schedule and sticking to your routine with the same bedtime and by waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Take the time to wind down and relax with a soothing activity before bed such as reading or practicing yoga. Avoid stimulating screens.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime. Also, avoid eating large meals about 2 to 3 hours before bed.
- Make sure your room is comfortable. Keep it cool and dark. Try using a fan or noise machine for ambient sound.
- Invest in your mattress, pillows, and sleep. For the amount of time you spend in bed, you might as well make it worth it!
If you think you might be at risk for sleep apnea or another sleep disorder don’t hesitate to contact your doctor right away to get tested and treated!