The results of a research study which compared individuals who regularly slept less than 6.5 hours per night with a group who slept 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night suggests that the chronic “short sleepers” may be at higher risk for development of diabetes, weight gain, coronary disease, strokes and hypertension (high blood pressure). If you are a chronic “short sleeper”, here are some tips to help you get more sleep:
- Be consistent with your bedtime, even on week-ends and holidays.
- Participate in some form of exercise/physical activity every day, but not within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime; it interferes with the sleep stages.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine in the evening; they are stimulants.
- Pay bills, balance your checkbook and deal with worrisome situations early in the evening rather than right before bedtime.
- Avoid watching theTV news and other stimulating and disturbing television shows before bedtime.
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine.