5 things you can do to get more sleep

5 things you can do to get more sleep

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

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

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

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

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’s 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. Don’t use 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.

Another common sleep problem is sleep apnea. Left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and more. Click here to learn your risk.

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About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.