Why bedtime routines are critical to your overall health – Orange County Register

Lack of sleep can trigger the onset of many health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reported that sleep deprivation can cause diminished levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, possibly leading to obesity.

Skimping on the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night puts the average, healthy person at an increased risk of developing a number of health issues, as well as decreases their energy levels and hinders their performance at work or school.

However, getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can be difficult for many people, especially adults with small children. That is why bedtime routines are crucial to ensure you get the rest you need.

Here are some tips for developing a bedtime routine.

Prepare the night before. Whatever you need the next morning before heading out the door (clothes, backpacks, briefcases, etc.), gather it up the night before. Being prepared will relieve stress so your mind will be less likely to worry about what you will need to grab before you leave the house the next day.

Allow a buffer zone. Your mind needs to prepare for sleep. Give yourself an hour or so before your bedtime to wind down and relax.
Do something that takes you away from your daytime stresses, sets your mind at ease and signals your brain that it’s time for bed. For those who become caught up in activities, it is sometimes helpful to set an alarm an hour before bedtime to signal that it’s time to relax.

Keep a cool room temperature. Hot environments are known to interfere with sleep. Your body actually falls asleep when your core temperature drops. The best temperature for optimal sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be aware of your sleep patterns. If your spouse complains about you snoring or if you cannot stay asleep through the night, you could be suffering from a condition such as sleep apnea or insomnia.

Let your doctor know about any issues…

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