One of the most important factors that contribute to overall health and wellness is sleep. Sleep is essential for energy, a strong immune system, brain function, hormones, exercise performance, and so much more. Without a good night of sleep, your quality of life and overall health can suffer. To help you get the best night of sleep possible, we recommend following these 9 tips.
1. Increase Daytime Bright Light Exposure
One of the ways your body automatically knows when to sleep is from light exposure. When it’s light out, your body feels more awake and when it’s dark, your brain signals that it’s time to go to sleep. Increasing your bright light exposure during the day can help maintain the circadian rhythm. It also helps increase daytime energy and night sleep duration and quality. Studies have found bright light exposure to help those with insomnia fall asleep 77.5% – 80% faster. If you have to work at night, try making your environment as bright as possible while you’re awake and as dark as possible when you do go to sleep.
2. Avoid Blue Light Exposure at Night
Daytime light exposure is beneficial for sleep, but so is reducing blue light exposure at night. Blue light exposure tricks your brain at night into thinking it’s actually daytime. It can reduce melatonin production which is the sleep hormone that helps you become relaxed and fall into a deep sleep.
To get your best night of sleep possible, we recommend avoiding blue light exposure at least two hours before going to bed. You can start by turning on the night light filter on your devices to block blue light—or avoid using them at all. Additionally, you can wear blue light filter glasses. Try avoiding blue light exposure before bed for several weeks to see if it enhances your quality of sleep.
3. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day
A morning cup of coffee is a great way to wake up in the morning, but if you’re still consuming coffee or caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and night, it can have a huge impact on your quality of sleep. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to six to eight hours. With that said, you should stop drinking caffeine after 3-4 pm to enhance the quality of your sleep.
4. Reduce or Skip Naps
Although a nap might give you a much-needed boost of energy, taking too long naps, or too many naps can impact your quality of sleep. Sleeping during the day can confuse your internal clock and make it harder to fall or stay asleep at night. Try to limit your naps to 30 minutes or less or to skip them in general. Focus more on sleeping seven to nine hours at night.
5. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Your body naturally likes staying on a schedule. When you go to bed and wake up at different times every day, it can confuse your internal clock and make it difficult to get good quality sleep at night. When you stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekend, it can help you fall asleep much faster. Eventually, you might even wake up without help from an alarm clock.
6. Take Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is the sleep hormone that helps your body relax and go to sleep. Simply taking a melatonin supplement before going to bed at night can help you fall asleep faster and improve your quality of sleep. Start by taking only 2mg of melatonin every night to start.
7. Skip Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol might help you unwind after a long day, but it can prevent you from getting a good night of sleep. Alcohol can affect sleep hormones, increase symptoms of sleep apnea, and interrupt melatonin production. It can also disrupt human growth hormones that play a key role in circadian rhythm.
8. Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
Your sleep environment can set the entire tone for your quality of sleep. If it’s not dark enough, too noisy or your bed isn’t comfortable enough, it can impact your sleep. Try using blackout curtains and replacing the background noise of the tv with a fan or white noise instead. If you can, also upgrade your sheets, pillows, mattress, and blankets to help you feel more comfortable. We also recommend sleeping at 68 degrees or cooler for the best results.
9. Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Naples, FL
If you’re using all of our tips above and still waking up feeling like you didn’t sleep a wink, you might have a sleep apnea emergency. Symptoms include snoring, feeling tired during the day, irritability, choking or coughing during the night, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating and falling asleep during the day from feeling so tired.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes your airway to become obstructed while you sleep which causes you to wake up repeatedly throughout the night to start breathing again. It can prevent you from getting the deep, restorative sleep you need to feel energized during the day.
At Massa Dental Center in Naples, FL, Dr. Massa will give you a home sleep test to get diagnosed with sleep apnea. Then, the results will be diagnosed by a physician. Once you’re diagnosed, we can help you find the right oral appliance to treat your condition. Oral appliance therapy will help your airway stay open so that you can sleep without waking up hundreds of times throughout the night.
Not only will you feel more energized and notice improvement of other sleep apnea symptoms, sleep apnea treatment will help decrease serious health risks associated with untreated sleep apnea. These include heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and much more.
Contact our dental office to learn more about sleep apnea treatment in Naples or to book a consultation by calling (239) 597-7333 today.