Sleep is essential for physical health and mental wellness. But did you know that 1 in 2 adults experience difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep?
Many myths regarding sleep still abound, but here are some that you should be wary of:
- Myth: you can train your body to require less sleep
- Myth: you can make up for lost sleep on other days
- Myth: resting in bed is almost as good as sleeping
The most important fact about sleep is that we require at least 7 hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep each day.
You might have already discovered that good sleep is better achieved when you’ve had a good day. If you were active and felt positive about your day – chances are you were able to fall and stay asleep easily. It’s days where you were upset or felt down which made it difficult to sleep. It’s also known that your overall health does affect sleep. Creating an environment that promotes good sleep is the first step.
Sleep hygiene is about creating an environment conducive to good sleep. It requires the removal of barriers to sleep and making sleep a priority in your life.
- Exercise regularly – earlier in the day is best
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, computer gaming, and bright lights near bedtime
- Remove natural sleep barriers such as noise and light from your sleeping space
- Create your personal cocoon – warm non-stimulant drink, meditation or relaxation, stress reduction techniques
For infrequent bouts of insomnia, there are solutions at your pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist about sleep aids and natural products. Reviewing your medications and when they are taken may also be part of the solution to better sleep.
If you still experience difficulty sleeping or if sleep quality is causing you to feel sleepy during the day or affecting your mood, discuss this with your doctor and pharmacist. Often, the cause of chronic inadequate sleep can be several things. Finding the solution may require trying a couple of things, but it’s worth the effort.
A healthy lifestyle requires good sleep, and your pharmacist can help you achieve this goal.