NUTRITION NOOK

Zzzz’s…Benefits of Resting Well
Caitlin Adams, RD, CSG, LD
Aldersgate Village, Topeka, Kansas

Sleep deprivation can lead to Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain, falls, a decreased immune system and irritability. Sleep helps you to be the best version of yourself and take on the day with energy, but many people find sleep to be elusive. Try these tips to make sure you are getting the restful sleep you need:
• Keep naps to about 30 minutes. Take naps in the early afternoon, later napping can cause you to have trouble falling asleep.
• Exercise early in the day. Exercise can help you sleep at night. It is best to avoid exercise late in the day to avoid getting too energized before bed.
• Eat light meals, early in the evening. Eating early gives your body time to digest your food to avoid acid reflux and indigestion.
• Get outside in the sunshine daily. Sunlight helps your internal clock distinguish day and night. When it is too hot or cold to go outside, try to sit by a window for at least 15 minutes.
• Make a sleep routine. Doing the same daily activities before bed can train your brain to get ready for sleep.
• Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Studies show that 60 to 67°F is the optimal temperature for sleeping.
• Avoid TV and other bright screens before bed. Screens tend to keep the brain active and awake, and disturbing news stories can cause worry, which can disrupt sleep.
• See your doctor for suggestions if you are having trouble sleeping. Chronic conditions and medications can cause sleep disturbances.

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