Better Sleep = Better You

According to, sleep disorders “involve problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning. Sleep-wake disorders often occur with medical conditions or other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or cognitive disorders.  There are several different types of sleep-wake disorders, of which insomnia is the most common.”

Some of the most common sleep disorders include insomnia, parasomnias, and excessive daytime sleepiness.  Some other notable examples include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking.  Sleep disorders can range from inability to sleep, problems with breathing during sleep, and issues with movement during sleep.

Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, involves issues with falling or staying asleep paired with daytime impairment.  It can be debilitating and a variety of factors can contribute to its presence.  Insomnia symptoms can be normal in small amounts due to issues such as major life stressors like a death in the family or divorce, but chronic insomnia is not normal and can lead to many other health issues, both physical and mental.

In general, sleep disorders can put you at risk for a variety of mental, and physical, health conditions.  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, ”Studies also show that sleep deficiency changes activity in some parts of the brain.  If you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change.  Sleep deficiency has also been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

While sleep hygiene may not solve every sleep problem, it is an excellent place to start when you want to improve your quality of sleep.  Sleep hygiene refers to the environment and behaviors that affect your sleep.  Good sleep hygiene is important to help aide in ideal sleep quality and quantity, but when you have concerns about sleep that cannot be solved by self-adjustments alone, make sure to speak with your doctor. recommends these steps towards healthy sleep hygiene:

  1. Set Your Sleep Schedule
    • Avoid unnecessary naps
    • Have a fixed wake-up time

  2. Follow a Nightly Routine
    • Keep your routine consistent
    • Budget 30 minutes for winding down

  3. Cultivate Healthy Daily Habits
    • Be physically active
    • Get daylight exposure

  4. Optimize Your Bedroom
    • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow
    • Set a cool yet comfortable temperature