MOD DOC - Secret to Better Sleep
Whether it was from our mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparents or the television, we have all heard that sleep is important. As doctors, we have echoed this sentiment and researchers have linked not getting a good night’s sleep with obesity, poor concentration, poor athletic performance, and an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and depression.
One particular study, that I am reminded of during this season, was conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; they found that when healthy adults were inoculated with the common cold virus and who had less than 7 hours of sleep were 3x more likely to develop a cold than those with 8 or more hours of sleep. Furthermore, those participants in the study with poor quality sleep were 5.5x more likely.*
Despite urgency from all angles, the CDC reports that one third of US adults still get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. We clearly live in a sleep deprived world but together we are going to change that!
Secret to Better Sleep: Wind-Down Routine
The key to a good night’s sleep is in how we transition from our daily routine into a mindset of sleep. It is this wind-down routine that prepares our body and minds for sleep. This is not simply a 15-minute ritual. It requires a commitment to slowing down at the end of the day. Here are ways to help you wind-down to achieve better sleep.
Set a Bedtime – this allows your bodies internal clock to develop cues to feel sleepy at the same time each night.
Prepare your Environment –keep your bedroom cool, dark and comfortable and NO screen time. This will help promote a feeling of sleepiness and the darkness actually boosts the natural production of melatonin (called the “darkness hormone”).
Practice Mindfulness – Turn on the MOD LIFE Music and practice your Deep Breathing. The key is to focus on your breathing and to be bathed by the music as you transition your mind away from stressors of the day.
Stick with it! – Don’t get frustrated if this takes some practice.
By developing a routine that allows your mind and body the time required to wind-down you will not only sleep better but you will also be less stressed the next day. Hopefully you see the beauty in this positive cycle – better sleep, less stress, better sleep, less stress…
Until next time remember that self-care is not selfish. It is survival!
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