“Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow”. The assessment of sleep duration and quality is an essential component of the lifestyle medicine approach. Optimal sleep duration is between 7 to 9 hours. There are many lifestyle factors that affect the quality of sleep. Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has declined. Poor sleep has negative effects on your hormones, brain function, exercise performance and emotional wellbeing. Disease risk increases and it can also cause weight gain by increasing nighttime cortisol, decreasing insulin sensitivity and lowering daytime leptin levels. This results in a higher intake of calorie dense food, especially from saturated fat, during the day.
Here are some lifestyle interventions to improve your sleep health:

  1. Increase daytime exposure to sunlight.
  2. Increase daytime physical activity.
  3. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening.
  4. Turn off or dim unnecessary lights at least one hour before bedtime.
  5. Establish a regular sleep cycle for bedtime and wake time.
  6. Eliminate nighttime caffeine and limit daytime caffeine.
  7. Avoid alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime.
  8. Eliminate after dinner and late-night snacking.
  9. Optimize your sleep environment.
  10. Minimize stress – bath, meditation, deep breathing, stop stimulating activities 90 minutes before bed.

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