By Gabriel Olawale
The Founder of Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and President, Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria, Dr Ifeoma Monye, shares simple tips on sleep using Lifestyle Medicine approach, to mark the World sleep day, with the slogan, “Regular Sleep, Healthy Future”.
She noted that there are many factors that may interfere with a good night’s sleep, from work stress to family problems or illness, it is no surprise that quality sleep is often a myth!
Chronically impaired sleep is associated with increased risk of several diseases; Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases, Obesity, cognitive disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders, infection and cancer. Whilst you may not be able to control all the factors that affect your sleep, you can adopt some simple lifestyle habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips.
Stick to a sleep schedule: the recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours (I’d recommend even 8 or 9 hours). Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Include physical activity in your daily routine: regular physical activity can promote better sleep. However, avoid being active too close to bedtime.
Be cautious of what you eat and drink: Do not go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and wreak havoc on quality sleep. Even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Create a restful environment: create a room that is ideal for sleeping, often this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Also doing calming activities such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, before bedtime might promote better sleep.
Manage your worries: Stress management might help, try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Start with the basics, such as getting organised, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation can also ease anxiety.
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night – but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your Doctor.
Ensure you have regular sleep so that you have a healthy future.