As a young kid I was a light sleeper. I would wake up to the slightest sounds. Sometimes I was even afraid to go back to sleep.
As an adult, I’m not afraid of those sounds, but sleeping has become more difficult. I tend to toss and turn waking up in the process. Most nights, I wake up three to four times. It’s no wonder why I drag my feet throughout the day.
Sometimes, my mind just won’t turn off, and I find myself making a mental list of the things I need to do in the morning. The “Don’t forget” list grows larger by the hour, but, of course, many of my to-do’s are forgotten once I actually crawl out of bed.
I’m not a napper unless I am running a fever or recovering from surgery. Sleeping when the sun is up just has never been in my cards.
I realized sleep deprivation is an issue I need to look further into. Lack of sleep not only may lead to an extra cup of coffee, but can lead to a number of issues: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is important for an adult. It will aid in your mental wellbeing, a proper immune function, and healing. Without an adequate amount of sleep, inflammation can increase in our bodies and put our health at risk.
To gain a better night’s sleep, read these five tips.
Put down your electronics:
Eliminate your electronic use an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from your electronics (such as cell phones, computers, and television) can disrupt the brain’s natural production of melatonin leaving you more alert and staying awake longer.
Stick to a schedule:
Like most toddlers, having a routine is beneficial for all involved. Staying up later, or sleeping in, can harm your internal clock and make you feel like you have jet lag. Sticking to rituals before bed may actually help. Taking a warm bath, reading for 15 minutes, and listening to some music can all help in putting you to sleep.
Drink your caffeine earlier:
That extra afternoon cup of coffee may keep you awake during the day, but it harms your sleeping at night. The effects of caffeine can last from 8 to 14 hours.
Leave the bedroom for sleeping and sex:
When you watch T.V., use your electronics, talk on the phone, and more, you begin to associate your bedroom with more than just sleeping. This may tend to leave you more alert in the bedroom leading to anxiety and stress when sleep becomes difficult at night. If after 20 minutes and you aren’t able to sleep, leave the bedroom until you are groggy.
Make your room comfortable:
Do you wake up with the sun rise? Consider blackout curtains. Is your bed uncomfortable? Consider changing your bedding or get a new mattress. Is it too hot or cold? Most people sleep best when the bedroom is 65 degrees and well ventilated.
There are many factors in life that can increase your risk for cancer. Taking measures to prevent cancer are some of the most important things we can do. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the easiest things you can do for your health.
Angela Banker is a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a sister; she is also a young survivor, a caregiver, a supporter, and a fighter. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, and found herself empowered to share her story to raise awareness about breast cancer. Angela participates in Relay For Life, started the Sisters Beating Breast Cancer page to inspire others, and continues to "fight like a girl" with the hope that her daughter will never have to hear the dreaded words, "You have cancer."