Experts estimate that 50 to 70 million Americans are afflicted with chronic sleep disorders and sleep problems. As you age, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to urinate or awaking much earlier in the morning than you would like to get up. You should get at least eight hours of sleep every night, but only 28 percent of adults in the U.S. are getting enough sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep is as important to your health as eating well and exercising. Sleep restores your body and allows the body to repair itself. Getting enough sleep supports your immune system so you can fight off health problems and diseases. Studies show that when animals are deprived of sleep they lose their immune function and die after a couple of weeks.
Protect your health by following these 10 tips for better sleep:
Turn Off The TV And Other Electronic Devices
Television, phones, computers and tablets stimulate your mind instead of relaxing it. The light these devices produce suppresses production of melatonin, a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin’s production is sensitive light exposure.
If you like to read before bed, choose a book or an eReader that requires an additional light, like a book light or lamp, instead of the backlit screen of an iPad. Once you are done reading, keep your room very dark or wear a sleep mask. If you do wake up to use the restroom at night, do not turn on any bright lights.
It is also important to keep your devices quiet. Leave your cellphone to charge in another room, turn it off or at least put it in a “do not disturb” mode so that texts, emails and other notifications do not interrupt your sleep.
It is important to relax your mind to make it easier to fall asleep. Meditation and other relaxation exercises like visualization, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing can easily be performed in bed. Relaxation exercises can help calm your mind, help you wind down and prepare you for slumber.
Set A Sleep Schedule
Putting yourself on a sleep schedule helps you get the best rest. Get into the routine of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time in the morning. Even though it may be difficult, try to stick to your sleep schedule on weekends, too. Avoid the temptation to sleep in on weekend mornings. When your body is used to the schedule, it makes it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed every the morning.
Protect Your Prostate Health
As you age, your prostate enlarges. Symptoms from an uncomfortably enlarged prostate can interrupt your sleep. Urinary symptoms like frequent urination and nighttime urination have many men waking up several times a night, making it impossible to get a good night’s sleep no matter what they do.
You can protect your prostate health through lifestyle changes and supplements that shrink the prostate. The top prostate supplements that work, like Prost-P10x, contain natural ingredients that help support normal prostate size and urinary flow. Exercising and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and tomatoes, along with other fruits and vegetables, can also help protect your prostate health. You should also avoid the worst foods for prostate health.
Caffeine can cause sleep problems for you even 10 to 12 hours after you consume it. Try cutting back your caffeine intake and avoiding it in the afternoon to see if it helps. Cutting back on caffeine may also help reduce your nighttime urination, because incontinence in men is linked to caffeine. As a rule, you should cut back on the amount of liquids you drink in the evening.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Some men mistakenly drink alcohol, hoping it provides enough relaxation to help them sleep better. This is not a good idea. Even though alcohol can make you fall asleep faster, it reduces the quality of your sleep and may cause you to wake in the night. Alcohol is a diuretic. Drinking it before bed may add to nighttime urinary symptoms that men with an enlarged prostate are already experiencing. Avoid alcohol for a few hours before you plan to fall asleep. If you are concerned about alcohol and prostate health, it is best to stop after your second drink.
Eat An Earlier Dinner
Eat dinner at an earlier time and avoid eating heavy or rich foods within two hours of bedtime. Fatty foods take longer to digest and may keep you up at night. You should also avoid acidic, spicy foods that can give you heartburn or stomach trouble.
Keep It Cool
People sleep better in a cool, well-ventilated room than when it is warm and stuffy. Most people sleep best in a room that is 65 F.
Turn the heat down or off at night and even crack a window if it is not too cold. You will notice a difference in how you sleep and feel in the morning. Plus, needing to cuddle up to your partner for warmth can lead to having sex, which also helps you fall asleep.
Have Sex Before Sleep
Having sex leads to better sleep for many reasons.
Having an orgasm releases various brain chemicals, including prolactin, which is connected to feeling sleepy.
The findings from a recent study shows that sex with a partner leads to better sleep than, say, “taking matters into your own hands.” According to the study, an orgasm from intercourse releases four times more prolactin than masturbatory orgasms. Plus the oxytocin and vasopressin released during orgasm are also linked to better sleep. The physical effort required for sex helps tire you out as well.
Create A Bedtime Routine
Relaxing bedtime routines that can hasten sleep include taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or books on tape, doing some easy stretches, meditating or doing relaxation exercises, or engaging in a relaxing hobby before bed. Find something that relaxes you and incorporate that into your daily bedtime routine to help unwind and get your body ready for sleep. If you follow these and the other tips for getting better sleep, you should find yourself waking up feeling more rested in the morning and ready to tackle your day.