Catching Some Z’s

by 26Health Staff

Resilience to stress relies on multiple dimensions creating the foundation for wellness: Social, Exercise, Education, Diet, and Sleep.

Sleep patterns can set you up for a healthy balance in the mind and body as your sleep cycle influences body temperature, hormones, immune system, and time for the brain to re-calibrate. Poor sleep increases other health risks including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, trouble concentrating, difficulty managing emotions, depression, anxiety, memory challenges, increased potential for substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

The demands on your time or other physical or mental health concerns can influence how much sleep you get. Adults are recommended 7 hours or more nightly, and the younger you are the more is recommended. If you’re having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much please talk with your healthcare provider.

Sleep hygiene, the habits that help or stop us from sleep, include the following tips…

  • Consistent sleep and wake times.
  • Exposure to sunlight in the day and no bright lights or screen time (including cell phone) 30-60 minutes before bed.
  • Finish your exercise at least three hours before you sleep.
  • No caffeine past noon.
  • No large meals, alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs before bed.
  • Create a tidy sleep environment with cool and fresh air and limit distractions.
  • The bedroom is for sleep and intimacy only – no work, difficult talks, or television.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep avoid lying in bed, move to another calm space until you are ready to return.

Concepts from practice with clients and additional references from the mind-body teachings of Dr. John Arden, the Center for Disease Control, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and the Sleep Research Society.