Sleep Well, Be Well


SleepAlong with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Adults typically need 7-9 hours of sleep. Why is healthy sleep important? It promotes physical health and mental well-being. It also boosts performance and reduces safety risks.

Here are some sleep tips you can follow to establish healthy sleep habits:

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends or during vacations.
  • Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least seven hours of sleep.
  • Establish relaxing bedtime rituals. Light readings, listening to calming music or taking a warm bath are just a few ways to relax yourself before bed.
  • Use your bed only for sleep or sex. Put the screens away.
  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature and limit your exposure to light close to bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a large meal close to bedtime. If you are hungry, eat a light, healthy snack.
  • Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime.
  • Resist the urge to nap late in the day (especially after 3 p.m.). Generally, nap for only 30 minutes.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine or using nicotine in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol less than three hours before bed. It might help you fall asleep, but as the alcohol breaks down in your body later, it causes interruption in your sleep.
  • Reduce your fluid intake in the evening so you don’t have to wake up to use the bathroom.

It’s not just the quantity of sleep that is important, but also the quality. Millions of Americans have an untreated sleep disorder that prevents them from sleeping well. They may spend eight hours in bed but never get quality sleep. Chronic insomnia, loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome are just some of the problems that can disrupt your sleep.

Poor sleep can lead to many health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke and depression. It also affects performance at school and is a factor in work safety and productivity.

Make sleep one of your top priorities – you must sleep well to be well.

Altru Sleep Center is home of an accredited six-bed center that offers sleep studies six nights per week featuring the latest technology, expertise from registered polysomnographers and respiratory therapists, and state-of-the-art equipment. Altru Sleep Center provides comprehensive clinical evaluations and treatment to patients with a variety of sleep-related disorders.

Each month, Altru Sleep Center offers the public free sleep screenings. For more information please call 701.780.5484.

20150614_114610~2Sheila Thompson has worked at Altru for over 20 years, with 18 being in Altru’s Sleep Center. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, reading and hanging out with her grandson and family.

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