Published: April 5, 2013

By Alex Erkenbeck, Program Assistant, Community Health

The end of the year can bring on some crazy times. My health tip of the day is:  Sleep can help you learn.  Really.

Sleep is an important ingredient in handling pressure. Not only does sleep make it easier to emotionally cope with stressors, it also helps people solve complex problems and remember the information learned throughout the day.  Getting enough sleep also boosts the immune system and helps people avoid getting sick. All of these benefits are especially useful during this time of the year.
It can be hard to get 7-8 hours of sleep just when it’s needed the most. Luckily, there are ways you can make it easier to get just a little more shut-eye:

  • Use earplugs, an eye mask, a bandana, or a fan to make your bed a safe, quite and dark place.
  • Develop a bed-time routine you follow every night.
  • Regular exercise, especially outside, improves sleep. 
  • Avoid high-anxiety activities right before bed. These could include television, paying bills, school work, or intense conversations.
  • Avoid bright lights before bed including light from television and computer screens.
  • Light nighttime snacks that include protein such as peanut butter and milk can be helpful.
  • Avoid nighttime partaking of heavy meals, alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine since they negatively impact sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon.

 Try out some of these techniques to get more sleep, everyone is unique in what helps them get the most sleep possible and once you find your favorite combination, you are well on your way to sweet dreams. Interested in learning more about sleep? Community Health is offering a free, open session of our “Sleep to Learn” presentation on April 16 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Wardenburg’s West Solarium.

For more health tips visit the Community Health website.