The keys to a healthy lifestyle are eating right, exercise, and what’s the third thing? Oh yes, sleep. While we give a great deal of attention to the first two, the importance of a good night’s sleep is often overlooked.
March 13th through the 19th has been designated Sleep Awareness Week and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) want to raise awareness and educate the community about how important sleep is to each and every one of us. While most of us understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, we often do not make sleep a priority.
There are many health benefits that sleep can provide. Sleep aids our heart, brain, lungs, and muscles to function properly. Additional benefits include:
- Improved immunity
- Decreased pain
- Increased alertness
- Lower risk of injury
- Improved memory
- Better mood
The NSF recommends that adults receive seven to nine hours of sleep each night. They also provide the following tips to ensure a restful night’s sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Try to separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety; a lot of which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Napping may help you during the day, but it can interfere with your ability to sleep at night
- Avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages at least five to six hours before bed.
- Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
- Evaluate your sleep environment. Remove any noisy distractions, eliminate bright lights and set a comfortable temperature to optimize your sleep.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and Make sure your mattress is supportive.
If you still have trouble falling asleep or getting a restful night’s sleep, you should speak with your doctor as there may be an underlining medical issue. Jamaica Hospital operates a state-of-the-art sleep center that can help diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders. For more information, or to make an appointment, please call 718-206-5916.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.