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Can’t Fall Asleep? We’ve Got Doctor-recommended Tips

posted: 10/10/17
by: Katie Morton
young beautiful hispanic woman at home bedroom lying in bed late at night trying to sleep suffering insomnia sleeping disorder or scared on nightmares looking sad worried and stressed
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Tossing and turning each night is, quite literally, exhausting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25 percent of the U.S. population say that they don't get sufficient amounts of sleep.

Medical professionals explain that poor sleep habits aren't just a lifestyle issue; they can also be a health problem. Insufficient sleep has been linked to increased rates of ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, depression, anxiety, heart disease, as well as higher rates of home and auto accidents.

If you're finding that insomnia plagues you, there are tips and tricks to help improve your sleep. Taking the steps you need to rest well can improve your mood, vitality, and your overall health. Read on for our doctor-recommended tips to help you get that much-needed slumber.

1. Change Your Diet

Did you know what you eat for breakfast can impact your sleep at night? It's true! Boosting your breakfast with Omega-3 healthy fats can increase your body's supply of sleep-boosting hormones. Try to get 600mg in your morning meal for a better night's sleep. You can supplement with over-the-counter sources or you can add chia seeds, flax seeds, or walnuts to your breakfast.

2. Check Out Your Thermostat Settings

It's an amazing fact that your body temperature naturally increases while it's trying to shut down and fall asleep. According to Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, "your bedroom should be between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees can disrupt sleep." Keeping your bedroom at the right temperature can help you catch some needed zzz.

3. Try a Bedtime Mind-Body Routine

Pedram Shojai, author of The Urban Monk and former Dalai Lama trainee, demonstrated to Dr. Oz how to improve sleep with one simple, pre-bedtime routine. According to Shojai, quieting the mind is key to a restful night sleep. You want to create a restful force field in your brain.

There's a routine you can do in bed that can help turn off the noise in your brain so you can get a restful slumber. For a detailed demonstration, check out the video of these mind-body exercises.

4. Create a Space that Promotes Slumber

According to the Mayo Clinic, properly setting up your sleep space to promote slumber will help curb insomnia. Here are their medically-approved tips: "Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs." Calming rituals such as taking a bath or listening to relaxing music may also help.

5. Ban the Blue Lights

The National Sleep Foundation reports that cell phones, tablets, and laptops in the bedroom can interrupt restful sleep habits. Science demonstrates that blue lights, which are emitted from screens, reduce one's levels of naturally-occurring melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone that is necessary for falling and staying asleep. What can you do to promote healthy melatonin? Medical experts advise against using your cell, tablet, or laptop in bed. They also recommend banning the TV screen from the bedroom, as it also emits blue light.

Don't let insomnia get you down. With these doctor-approved tips, you'll be counting sheep before you know it. Developing habits that allow you to sleep will not only make you feel better, but ultimately, may improve your overall health.