Sleep is Essential

We all know how we feel when we don’t get a good night’s sleep. Research has shown that getting a good night’s sleep not only makes us feel better, it can also help ward off disease, guard against obesity and diabetes, and improve learning and mental functioning.

There is some debate in the scientific community about whether the brain is pruning synaptic connections during sleep or strengthening these connections. However, there is agreement that sleep is essential.

So how can you get a better night’s sleep? Here are my top 3 tips:

1) Have a consistent wake time. Get up at the same time every day with no sleeping in on the weekends. This will help your body and mind get on a sleep schedule. And no worries – you have most likely done this before, when you had to get up at a certain time for school, for work, etc.

2) Turn off electronic media and do something relaxing before going to bed. Electronic media (TV, computers, cell phones, games) stimulate us and use light, which signals waking rather than sleeping. An hour before bed, turn off your electronics and do something soothing, quiet, and relaxing.

3) Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours sleep per night throughout the adult lifespan. Many of us short change ourselves by skimping on sleep. Using your wake time, calculate when you need to go to bed in order to get 7-9 hours sleep per night. Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy, even if that is after your earliest bedtime. With consistency, your body and mind will learn to become sleepy at your bedtime and to wake around your wake time.

Need more help with sleep? Contact Dr. Vance at www.breakforthcounseling.com.

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