Do you sleep well? If you are like the 50-70 million people in the United States that report experiencing sleep problems, your answer might very well be “no”. Your behaviors during the day, and especially before bedtime, can have a major impact on your sleep. They can promote healthy sleep or contribute to sleeplessness.
The term “sleep hygiene” refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you have difficulty sleeping or want to improve your sleep, try following these tips to establish healthy sleep habits.
1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. 8 hours of rest is ideal for adults, so set your bedtime accordingly.
2. Shut it all down. Experts recommend that you shut anything with a blue light down 60-90 minutes before you need to be asleep. This includes:
- Tablet (iPad/Kindle etc.)
- Smart Phone
3. Add exercise/physical activity into your day. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. SleepfoundationÆorg†reports that as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality. Be careful, however, to avoid strenuous exercises too close to bedtime.
4. What you eat matters. Avoid caffeine past 2:00pm. You should also avoid heavy foods and those with a lot of sugar.
5. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Ease your body and mind into sleep by following these tips
- Temperature between 60-68 degrees
- Soft lighting while awake
- Black out curtains
- Sleep mask
- Mattress & pillows
Over time, your sleep should improve if you follow these tips consistently. If your sleep problem persists, however, it might be time for you to consider dental sleep medicine. Dental sleep medicine is an area of dental practice that focuses on the use of oralappliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Dentists work together with physicians to identify the best treatment for each patient.
At Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville, we want you to be successful in sleep. Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb is an accredited member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). Book a consultation today by calling us at 908-221-1188 or click the “request appointment” button to get started.