Last week, we explored general tips for physical health. Those were basically low-hanging fruit; easy items to start working on incrementally. Today, we’ll cover more information about sleep and what options you have to improve your sleep. First, why is it important?
Sleep affects your cardiovascular system, immune system, and, as this Matt Walker Ted Talk hilariously discusses, your reproductive system. And improvements to your health are easy to see…if you can only get to bed. The video does a good job of describing some of the research behind quality sleep, and it’s about 20 minutes long. (Speed it up in the settings though if you’re trying to get to bed.)
If sleep has such a profound impact on our health, why do we continue to do such a poor job of getting sleep, and what can we do to change that?
Life is busy, and sleep shouldn’t be something that requires a lot of thought. It does require time though. Allotting sufficient time to sleep is a first good step. There are other things you can do as well. I like this publication from the University of Nebraska Extension that provides 4 pages of tips and tricks to improve sleep.
Of course, all the tips in the world won’t do you any good if you have sleep apnea, insomnia, or some other sleep disorder. Be sure to speak with your doctor if you continually have trouble sleeping. It might be as simple as taking a medication at a different time of day or having additional tests to determine the cause. Your doctor can help with that.