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Top Strategies for Sleep

Guest Blogger: Brad Krause

Top Strategies for Getting the Quality Sleep You Need

If you want to feel your best, you must prioritize the quantity and quality of your sleep. Develop strategies! When you don’t get the rest you need, the repercussions are far-reaching, impacting many facets of your health in both the short and long term.

In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation is linked to many physical conditions, including an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, higher inflammation (a real problem for neuropathy sufferers), weakened immunity, increased risk of obesity, and even a shorter lifespan. Moreover, there is evidence that insufficient sleep negatively impacts your mental health, including making you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.

This is especially true for people with a chronic condition like neuropathy.  Neuropathy sufferers know the difficulties of sleep due to our burning and pain, restlessness, and anxiety.

Clearly, it pays to prioritize and optimize your sleep. Here, the Calgary Neuropathy Association presents a few top strategies for getting the rest you need to feel your best and live a full and happy life. 

Exercise Regularly

A sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to both your sleep habits and your overall health. When you don’t take time to exercise and burn off excess energy, it’s more difficult to fall asleep at night. Moreover, the quality of your sleep can be impacted, leaving you less energetic when you wake up.

To avoid this vicious cycle, carve out time each day for physical activity. While you may enjoy going to the gym or joining an exercise class, it’s unnecessary. Simply choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and commit to doing it regularly. It’s also helpful to integrate movement into your daily life:

  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  • Walk or bike to your destination
  • Use a standing desk at work
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot

Adopt Sleep-Conducive Habits Later in the Day

Later in the day, it’s best to avoid anything that can impede good sleep. For example, don’t consume caffeine or alcohol in the evening because both can interfere with your sleep quality. Also, Everyday Health recommends limiting your exposure to blue light at night by avoiding electronic devices with screens. While you might enjoy scrolling through videos or watching television late at night, you will get much better sleep if you set a boundary and stop well before bedtime.

Instead, choose an activity that can help you relax and prepare for slumber:

Create and Support a Family Sleep Schedule

There are various scheduling issues that could cause your household to be less conducive to a consistent sleep schedule. For instance, someone in your home could work nights or long hours, or you have a baby that is struggling to sleep on their own. Talk to the adults and older children in your home to create a functional, respectful, and realistic schedule that works for everyone.

Maintain Boundaries Between Work and Home

With so many people working remotely these days, maintaining a strict separation between your professional and personal lives is imperative for good sleep. For example, if you find yourself staring at your computer screen after business hours or checking work emails during your downtime, you will likely find it more difficult to wind down and fall asleep.

“… stick to boundaries: it enables you to shift into a different mode when it’s time to unwind, relax, and prepare for sleep.”

– Brad Krause

To protect yourself from having your job infringe on your sleep, set a reasonable work schedule and stick to it. Also, you should have a separate room in your home designated as your office. You can maintain a healthier life balance when you stick to boundaries because it enables you to shift into a different mode when it’s time to unwind, relax, and prepare for sleep.

Improve Your Sleeping Environment

Amerisleep points out that making your bedroom conducive to good sleep can help you feel more rested when you wake up, explains Amerisleep. Invest in a comfortable mattress, an excellent bed frame, a supportive pillow, and quality linens. Also, keep your bedroom dark, cool, and technology-free because these conditions improve sleep.

Neuropathy care to help with sleep

Many neuropathy sufferers find a great deal of relief when they cut out carbohydrates in the evening.  Simply put, those carbs may cause some low-grade inflammation around the nerves by bedtime putting pressure on the already damaged tissue.   Another option is to use a capsaicin, menthol or lidocaine-based lotion on your feet to give the nerves an alternate message to send to the brain.

Make Good Quality Sleep a Priority

Make sleep a priority because it impacts your health in so many ways. By taking steps to optimize the quantity and quality of your rest (which may include taking warm baths at night and setting boundaries between work and home life), you can live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life!

The Calgary Neuropathy Association helps those with neuropathy self-manage symptoms so they feel empowered and can take an active part in living with and caring for their neuropathy. Contact us today to learn more! 403.668.9777

Also see: CNA’s Sleep-Tips and other helpful sleep posts

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