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Did you know we should spend 1/3 of our lives asleep? Not only that, but sleep debt accumulates, and must be repaid. Here are some tips to get restful, consistent sleep.

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Top 10 ways to get better sleep!
  1. Quit caffeine entirely. It’s the #1 consumed drug in the world and stays in your system for 10 hours. Reach for decaf options; you’ll struggle the first two weeks, but the results feel remarkable.Do not eat within 2 hours of going to bed
  2. Do not eat within 2 hours of going to bed. Food is energy, consuming sugar late at night wakes you up, and inevitably gets converted into fat and stored.
  3. Avoid screens 1-2 hours before bedtime. While satisfying to scroll through our phones mindlessly, our brains interpret the bright lights of screens as daytime, inhibiting the secretion of sleep inducing hormones such as melatonin.
  4. Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Do not work, study, etc in bed. The subconscious mind works in mysterious ways – train it to understand that when you’re in bed, it’s time to sleep.
  5. Have a winding down routine 1 hour before bed. If you’re a work-a-holic, close the laptop and rest the mind a bit. Laying down while your mind is still racing and processing the day prevents you from relaxing, and thus sleeping.
  6. Create a quiet, dark, cool atmosphere, if possible. Use black out curtains, eye covers, and ear plugs as needed. Our bodies naturally sleep better in cooler temperatures. If you sleep with a loud partner who snores or with animals, the slight disturbances can jar you out of certain sleep cycles. You may not completely wake up, but this is detrimental to getting restful sleep.
  7. Alcohol destroys your sleep. It’s necessary to progress slowly from sleep cycles into REM sleep, but alcohol jumps our minds straight into REM, which prevents us entirely from getting restful sleep. If you must drink, do so several hours before bed, and finish the evening with water (remember no caffeine).
  8. MANY medications prevent restful sleep; consult your doctor to review your med list. Sleeping aids can be beneficial in the short term, but longterm, become addictive, such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan) and Z-drugs (Ambien). I’ve encountered patients who unfortunately have taken these drugs for 15+ years. Truly, try to avoid this. You’ll be addicted for life – weaning is a painful process. You may never be able to sleep organically again.

Watch video for the rest of the answers and a BIG NO-NO!!

Happy sleeping!

Danielle Kelvas, MD

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This site is a non-government resource , providing information in a simple and straightforward way. Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine. The purpose of any insurance communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by a licensed insurance agent/producer or insurance company. Medicare Supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. Our advertisers sell insurance offered from a number of different Medicare Supplement insurance companies. The trademarks or service marks sold or described herein, or in blogs or advertisements, are owned by the respective trademark owners and nothing herein should be construed as a representation by this site owner or team members.