Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health, but many of us don’t get a full eight hours every night.
Below are four tips your sleep doctor at Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center recommends to help you get to bed early and stay asleep longer.
The Importance of Sleep
- Increasing your productivity and concentration
- Lowering your risk of weight gain
- Improving your athletic performance
- Lowering your risk of heart disease
- Increasing your social and emotional intelligence
- Preventing depression
- Lowering inflammation
- Increasing your immune system
Tips to Improve Sleep
Wearing Warm Socks
Cold feet can prevent your brain from getting the signal that you are trying to fall asleep.
Wearing socks can actually decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. The reason may be that warming the feet causes the blood vessels to dilate. This signals to the brain that it is time to fall asleep.
Using a Weighted Blanket
The use of a weighted blanket simulates the comforting feeling of being swaddled as a baby. Wrapping a baby tightly in a blanket helps mimics the safety of the womb, helping them to fall asleep.
When certain points on the body are stimulated through deep-touch therapy, the brain releases serotonin, which regulates sleep. A weighted blanket can stimulate these same points.
Doing meditation or yoga before bed can help clear your mind and put you in a relaxed state. One method of meditation is called a body scan.
A body scan is much simpler than it sounds. It involves bringing awareness to one point of the body at a time, helping to bring you to a more coherent and relaxed state.
Close your eyes and pay attention to the movement of your breath. As you feel yourself relax, begin to notice the sensation at the top of your head, your face and neck. Bring your attention to each body part as you move down your body, until you reach the bottom of your feet. The process takes 10 to 20 minutes, and by the end you should be relaxed and ready for bed.
Drinking Spiced Milk
A glass of milk with warming spices may act as a natural sedative. There are a number of recipes available online, but the an easy one includes:
Warmed together on the stove, you can add in a few teaspoons of sugar if you want a sweeter treat.
If these methods don’t help you get a better night sleep, you may be experiencing a sleep disorder. Your ENT doctor will review your symptoms and, if necessary, order an in-office or at-home sleep study. Once the results are in, they will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.
To learn more about getting a good night’s sleep or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at Oregon Ear, Nose & Throat Center today.