04 Dec 10 Guidelines for Healthy Sleep
Sleep is essential to overall good health. Lack of it can affect us in ways we might not imagine. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to cause weight gain and memory problems. It can also be a precursor to cardiovascular disease. And, of course, it leads to daytime drowsiness which can be potentially fatal to anyone who operates heavy machinery or drives an automobile.
In most situations, getting a good night’s rest is within your control. It just takes a little practice and preparation. By following these 10 guidelines, you should wake up feeling refreshed:
- Fix regular bed times for going to bed and getting up. Try to go to sleep within 30 minutes of your scheduled bedtime and to get up within 30 minutes of your wake up time.
- If you must nap, try not to sleep more than 45 minutes. Any more and you will probably wake up in a fog. You probably won’t be able to go to sleep at bedtime either.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages at least four hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine for at least six hours before bedtime
- Avoid heavy, spicy, and sugary foods four hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly but not right before bed
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and well ventilated
- Block out distracting noise with a fan or sound machine and eliminate as much light as possible with thick blackout curtains.
- Use bedding that is comfortable to you.
- Reserve the bed for sleeping and sex. Don’t use your bed as an office, workspace, or movie theater.
If you follow all of these guidelines and you still wake up feeling groggy, you might have a sleep disorder. One of the most common sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing stops for several seconds during the night due to blockage in the upper respiratory system. Symptoms of sleep apnea include: excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, gasping during sleep, lack of concentration or memory loss, fatigue, depression, and headaches.
If you are not sleeping well, we can screen for signs of obstructive sleep apnea and refer you to a sleep specialist if necessary. CPAP machines with mask and hoses are not the only treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea. We can work with your sleep specialist or your Primary Care doctor to fit you for a dental appliance, which looks much like an orthodontic retainer, to keep your respiratory system open and free from blockage.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and we want to help you get treatment. That is why we offer a no charge initial consultation. If you’re ready for a good night’s sleep, contact us today at (662) 823-7900 to schedule your consultation.