Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep?

alarm-clock-2322673_1280 (2)Get the Rest Your Body Needs with These Tips

How much—and how well—you sleep affects your health, emotions, safety, and so much more. If you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling completely refreshed, it might be time to take steps to improve your sleep health.

Adults need 7–8 hours of sleep every night for good health. While you sleep, your body is at work, maintaining healthy brain function and physical well-being. Studies show that sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity and depression.

There are many things you can do to sleep better:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid artificial light from TVs and electronics before bed
  • Enjoy a light snack, but skip a heavy meal or alcohol before bed
  • Say no to caffeinated soda, coffee, tea and chocolate late in the day
  • Spend time outside every day to reset your internal clock with nature’s rhythm
  • Get regular physical activity, just not right before bed
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, cool and dark (try ear plugs or an eye mask)
  • Turn on a fan or sound machine to drown out background noises
  • Calm down before bed with a hot bath or relaxation techniques
  • Try melatonin or valerian, mild supplements that may help you fall asleep
  • If you occasionally use over-the-counter sleep aids, beware of side effects, medication interactions and precautions for other health conditions


If you’ve tried everything and still don’t get 7-8 hours of sleep, wake up frequently, or are excessively tired during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. Make an appointment with your primary doctor, who may:

  • Ask about your sleep habits and what your sleep partner says about your sleep
  • Do a physical exam and/or blood test to rule out other conditions that could interfere with sleep
  • Conduct a sleep study to measure how much and how well you sleep

If your doctor recommends prescription drugs to help you sleep or a sleep study, your Health Plan requires preauthorization.

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