A good night’s sleep is critical for good health yet so many Americans are missing out. In a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, almost 30% of respondents reported having trouble falling or staying asleep and about 27% were very sleepy during the day. According to the NIH about 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders. “This is problematic, as a lack of sleep is associated with major depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and autoimmune disease,” says Dr. Colby Kash, author of The Autoimmune Plague. “After studying sleep extensively, I can tell you that I make it a priority to get eight hours of sleep a night. Even frequent but small amounts of sleep deprivation each night can cause stress, and too much stress on the body can cause health issues.”
But sleeping is not just about going to bed because you might be there but can’t fall asleep. “The two most common triggers of chronic insomnia are psychological worries and anxiety,” says Kash. “Think about it. All day you are in information-overload and the only time you stop is when your head hits the pillow, but it is hard for your body to adjust.” While some people might be able to fall asleep immediately, many cannot and struggle with getting quality sleep. “Quality sleep allows you to become the best version of yourself in mood, performance, and health. Knowing this, you should make it your mission to become an expert on sleep,” adds Kash.
Dr. Kash dedicates an entire chapter in his book to sleep with the goal of making his readers sleep experts! Here are a few strategies he shares about how to improve sleep:
Be Strict: Channel your parents and give yourself a strict bedtime. “Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day,” says Kash.
Black Out: The bedroom should be completely dark. This can be accomplished by purchasing blackout curtains. He advises, “Don’t forget about the light that comes from electronics devices. Shut them down at bedtime.”
Bye, Bye Blue: Replace your standard bright white bulbs that are in most bedrooms with bulbs that do not have the blue wavelength of light. “I personally like red lights,” Kash shares.
Bring on Electric Stimulation: Electric stimulation can help stimulate sleep and there are FDA-cleared products for the treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and depression. “While reading and winding down before bed, I throw on my electric stimulator for sessions that vary between 20-60 minutes. Over time, you can decrease the frequency of treatment,” says Kash.
“If we are expected to spend 25–30 years of our lives sleeping, it had better pay its dividends,” says Kash. Try these tips, along with others in his book, to get a better night’s rest and improve your health.
© 2023 Silver Disobedience Inc.