The Evening Routine
You know the picture, smiling parents reading a book to their happy child adorned in new pajamas. That is the dream of a calm evening leading into peaceful sleep. Then there’s the reality, homework, dinner, clean up, TV, phone then commanding kids to finally turn off their lights and go to sleep. You barely remember to brush your teeth before collapsing into bed only to wake up 2 hours later trying to recount what you forgot the day before. For many families, the evening routine is filled with stress and leads to restless sleep.
Sleep disorders have been consistently on the rise in the United States. There are now a staggering 70 Million Americans who report trouble with sleeping. While many turn to their doctor for help, the average medical school spends less than 2 hours IN TOTAL educating young physicians about sleep disorders and their treatment. It comes as no surprise that many physicians’ knee-jerk reaction is to prescribe a sleep aid instead of discovering the underlying problem.
So how much do you sleep? The average adult requires 7-8 hours per night while infants and young children can need 10 or more hours per night. Pregnant women also require more sleep, especially in the first trimester.
A good night’s rest is a key part of having a great day. Set a schedule for going to bed and stick to it. Daily exercise will help increase melatonin production and lower cortisol, both of which help people to sleep better. Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine for at least 6 hours before lights off. Most importantly, RELAX before bed.
If you are watching a TV thriller or surfing the internet before bed, your brain will race long after you start trying to fall asleep.
If your sleep troubles continue to keep you up at night, see your doctor about the next step. Some medical conditions may interrupt sleep. Sleep apnea, reflux, and certain heart conditions are among the more common causes of sleep disruption. Come see us for more help or information and check out this link for even more advice.