Stay on track with SLEEP

The number of hours you spend in the sack could be hurting your bottom line. 

According to the latest National Sleep Foundation guidelines, adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. So what’s standing in your way? 

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Nighttime used to be for rest and relaxation, but our devices are keeping us busy right up until our eyes close. St. Elizabeth Family Medicine physician, Dr. Mark Boyd, says lack of sleep hurts your productivity. When you don’t get the sleep you need your concentration, energy level and mood all take a serious hit. 

Dr. Boyd says he’s seen this first hand in his practice, “It’s important to remember that just like diet and exercise, sleep is very important to your overall health.” 

If you are struggling to get the rest you need, Dr. Boyd has created this helpful acronym to get you on track: SLEEP. 

  • S – Schedule sleep.
    • Dr. Boyd says you should be going to sleep and waking up at the same time all days of the week.
  • L – Light.
    • Our internal clock is run by light. When you wake, Dr. Boyd says it’s wise to open the curtains and let some light in; it will help you wake up. In the evening, avoid light 30 minutes before bed. Your phone, computer, and TV are common culprits, although Dr. Boyd admits he has trouble with this one as well.
  • E – Exercise.
    • Just another reason to get moving! Dr. Boyd says morning or early afternoon is the perfect time for exercise but you should avoid exercise right before bedtime.
  • E – Eating.
    • Avoid eating for three to four hours before bed. A drink before bed will help you get to sleep but Dr. Boyd warns that alcohol-fueled sleep is not as restful.
  • P – Pleasant.
    • Make going to sleep an event you look forward to all day. Make your bedroom a haven of rest with a comfortable bed, dark curtains and soft sheets.

If you are having trouble getting the rest you need at night, you might be tempted to take up napping. Dr. Boyd says that could start a bad sleep cycle. If you must nap, do it early in the day and only for a short while.

Give your co-workers, family, and friends the benefit of the best you by making time for the rest you need. 

Dr. Boyd encourages you to speak with your family physician if you are still having difficulty getting restorative sleep despite these helpful tips.

Article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of “NKY Business Journal.”

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