How to have good sleep hygiene

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Getting a full night's rest can seem easier said than done.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that sleep is important but did you realize it can be important for your health? As a society that is always moving, it's important to know the side effects of sleep deprivation.

Doctor Akshay Mahadevia, MD-ABSM, is a sleep consultant with over 30 years experience in helping patients who may suffer from sleep trouble, such as insomnia. Dr. Mahadevia says sleep deprivation can affect you physically, mentally, emotionally and medically.

But how much sleep do you need?

Doctor Mahadevia says generally speaking for adults we should get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. But he also says there are instances where some people do not need as much sleep. These are called short sleepers. These are people who can function fine on less sleep. But for those who struggle to get a full nights rest, Dr. Mahadevia has these tips for you:

1.) Try your best to go to bed at the same time every night, and to wake up at the same time every day. This helps generate a pattern which can be beneficial for your health.

2.) Try not to nap during the day. Dr. Mahadevia says generally, napping is not actually good for your sleep hygiene.

3.) Do not eat food or drink caffeinated beverages before bed.

4.) Do not use nicotine or drink alcohol before bed.

5.) Set your room up for ideal sleep by turning off the lights and all electronics at least one hour before bed.

Following these tips can help you have a good night's rest.

Dr. Mahadeiva says to take one hour before bed to unwind. He uses the analogy that if you were to go to a store at 6:01 and the shop closed at 6:00 you may still see people inside, but if you knock on the door, they will tell you the shop is closed. That is the same for sleep. Taking this hour before bed gives you the time you need to just spend time by yourself. You can use this time to meditate, practice gentle yoga, read a book, or just reflect on the day. Do what you need to do to relax and unwind.

But for parents what should you do?

Dr. Mahadevia suggests working together with your partner and come up with a shift system. For example, from bedtime to 2:00 am one person is designated to get up if the children wake up and need attention. Then, from 2:00 am until morning time, the other person will wake up.

Where can you get other information and resources?

If you struggle from poor sleep, reach out to your doctor. They may recommend some over the counter items, such as Melatonin to help you sleep.

There are websites where additional information is available such as the National Sleep Foundation's website, which you can find

or

The Academy of sleep medicine's website found here

To learn more about Dr. Mahadevia and his area of medicine you can visit him online here or call his Davenport office at 563-323-1352.