Improve Sleep Habits to Avoid Chronic Diseases

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Ever tossed and turned, couldn’t get to sleep, and then finally got out of bed to do something else? That might not be a big deal if it happened once in a while. But what if poor sleep and insomnia was a regular thing?

New research suggests that insomnia that lasts for six years or more is a direct risk factor for heart disease, lung cancer, and early death. Poor sleep has also been linked to chronic conditions like high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Not everyone responds to lack of sleep the same ways. It’s why some people can pull an all-nighter or work graveyard shift, and function just fine on fewer hours of sleep than recommended. But the long-term implications of insomnia and lack of sleep suggest, it’s important to deal with sleep issues instead of just ignoring them.

Need help getting to sleep? Here are some things you can do or avoid:

  • Create a cool, quiet, and dark sleeping environment.
  • Play white noise or sounds of running water in the background
  • Develop a bedtime routine, and go to sleep at the same time every night
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day, and don’t drink alcohol just before bed.
  • Turn off the TV and all other electronics about an hour before bedtime.
  • Get a new mattress or comfy pajamas. Or use a sleep gadget or mobile app to measure your sleep habits.
  • Avoid eating meals late in the day.
  • See your doctor if poor sleep persists.