Developing Better Sleep Habits – Sleep Awareness Week 2018

With Daylight Savings in effect and everyone feeling just a little groggy from one less hour of sleep, March 11 through March 17 is a perfect time to observe Sleep Awareness Week!

Getting an appropriate amount of sleep is just as important as diet and exercise, but sleep deprivation and mild insomnia are more common than ever.  An estimated 35 percent of all adults snooze less than 6 hours a day and this lack of sleep can cause serious future health problems or worsen existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and depression.  Sleep Awareness Week 2018

Bad Habits or a Sleep Disorder?

Small lifestyle changes can frequently alleviate problems with sleep, however, there are a number of common sleep disorders that might require more advanced intervention to resolve.  If you have taken steps to improve your sleep habits but continue to experience symptoms like excessive daytime sleepiness, awakening with a brief feeling of choking, leg movements that disrupt your ability to fall asleep, insomnia, sleepwalking and waking up feeling that you didn’t get enough sleep, you should contact your primary care physician for further assistance.

Tips for Better Sleep

Set the Scene

Light given off by televisions, computers and other devices can prevent your body from entering a restful state.  Try putting away all electronic devices 15 to 30 minutes before going to bed.

Don’t “Force” Sleep

If you are lying in bed unable to sleep, don’t force the issue!  Try getting up and doing a non-stressful, non-work related activity like reading for a few minutes, then try again.

Your Bed is for Sleep (Mostly)

Avoid eating or watching television while in bed. Instead, try to only spend time in bed when you are trying to fall asleep – this creates an association between the location and resting that can help you fall asleep faster.

Nap Strategically

A quick nap can be a great pick-me-up on occasion, but needing a nap every day can be a sign of a larger sleep problem occurring at night. If you need a nap, try to only do so for 20 to 30 minutes, as longer naps can result in “sleep inertia” the feeling of grogginess and low energy some feel after a quick siesta.  Also try to only take maps before the mid-afternoon (no later than 2:00 pm) so you are ready for sleep at night.


Getting as little as 20 to 30 minutes of physical exercise (even taking a walk) can help you expend excess energy during the day and prepare you for more restful sleep.  Just be sure to do some light stretching to avoid cramps or aches that might impede your sleep. 

Be Consistent

Getting into a rhythm where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day is one of the most important steps you can take to getting more sleep easier, especially if you are older.  Building up a consistent sleep schedule (even on the weekends) typically takes an adjustment period of one to two weeks, but can net you countless hours of better sleep every week.

SelectCare Home Health Care has spent more than 30 years helping New Yorkers rest easier by enabling them to live happier, healthier lives in the comfort of their long-time homes.  To learn more about how we can help your family, call SelectCare today or request a free in-home care guide!




Sleep Awareness Week 2018