Feeling Tired? Get more ZZZ’s with these Simple Tips

Don’t feel like you’re catching enough ZZZ’s lately? You may be chronically sleep deprived. In honor of May being Better Sleep Month, Katrina Marlow, RRT, RPSTG, RST from the BSA Sleep Disorders Center explains what we can do to get more restful sleep.

What are some good sleeping habits for adults?

1.    Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes: Napping does not make up for inadequate sleep but it can help improve mood, alertness and performance.

2.    Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.

3.    Exercising promotes good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes per day can help. However, you should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime.  

4.    Food can also affect your sleep. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, overly spicy dishes, citrus fruits and carbonated drinks can cause indigestion, which can lead to heartburn that disrupts sleep.

5.    Establish a regular bedtime routine such as taking a hot bath or reading.

6.    Make sure you have a comfortable bed at a cool temperature around 60-67 degrees. Put away bright lights including cell phones, tablets and TV.

What time should adults go to bed?

Everybody’s different when it comes to sleep. Some people can get by on 6 hours; others need 12 hours of sleep. The recommended amount for adults is 7 to 8 hours. We all build our own sleeping patterns, and you want to keep it consistent. Don’t deviate more than an hour from your sleep schedule. That means on your days off, don’t go to bed more than an hour later than normal or sleep-in more than an hour later.

Is it ok to leave my TV on at night?

The TV will actually stimulate your brain through your eyelids. Light is one of the things that tells our brain to stay awake or go to sleep. It also tells your brain not to release melatonin, which is needed for sleep. We recommend getting blackout curtains, turn off the electronic devices and even have a dim night-light if you’re use to having some kind of light.

How much sleep should my kids be getting?

- Teenagers 14-17: 8-10 hours

- School aged 6-13: 9-11 hours

- Preschoolers 3-5: 11-13 hours

- Toddlers 1-2: 11-14 hours

For more information about the BSA Sleep Disorders Center, click here