5 things you can do to get more shut-eye

5 things you can do to get more shut-eye

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night, even after counting sheep?

Dr. Margaret Park, a sleep neurologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., explains insomnia and some potential ways to fight it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one-third of adults report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep.

“Insomnia can be either a symptom or a disorder,” says Dr. Park.

As a symptom, insomnia can be described as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and/or the inability to get back to sleep once you’re awake.

As a sleep disorder, insomnia can seriously affect your ability to function when awake. It can also negatively affect your health, potentially leading to diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and depression, according to the CDC.

If you have trouble falling asleep, it is important to talk to a primary care physician or sleep specialist. By having this conversation, the doctor can properly diagnose the problem and recommend the best possible treatment.

Here are five ways to help keep insomnia at bay, according to Dr. Park.

  1. Avoid spending too much time in bed.
  2. Avoid using electronics in the bedroom or while in bed.
  3. Avoid substances such as alcohol, nicotine or caffeine in the evening.
  4. Use relaxation techniques prior to bedtime
  5. Ensure adequate daytime activities such as exercise.

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About the Author

Amy Levato
Amy Levato

Amy Levato, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She is a senior pursuing a degree in marketing at DePaul University. When she isn't interning, she enjoys interior design, dancing and spending time with her family and friends.

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