How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 12:14 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With all the stress of the pandemic, you may be finding it more difficult to sleep. All of us know how great it feels to wake up after a good night’s rest, but did you know that sleep can have a big impact on your health as well?

“We know that sleep is a restorative process for our brains. We know that that restorative process leads to better mental health, and we know that it leads to better physical health as well,” Dr. Carlton Kemp, a sleep physician at Memorial Health said. “We need good sleep to have good physical and mental health, and we need good physical and mental health to have good sleep. If one piece of that puzzle is not working in sync, then we get, for lack of a better term, discombobulated. "

Dr. Kemp said he has seen the medical community focus on sleep more and more. On the other hand, he believes getting a good night’s rest is much more difficult than it used to be.

“They don’t shut off their brains as well because they’re used to doing more things at home and specifically more things in their bedroom. We always tell patients the bedroom is for sleep, not for answering emails and doing presentations. People take their laptops to bed. People want TVs in their bedroom. They want to be on the information highway, and I think that has hurt us in being able to relax to sleep.”

He says there are a few easy steps you can take to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily.

“So good routines. Same fixed wakeup time, same fixed sleep time. Making sure your mental health is good. Making sure you’re physically tired when you go to bed, that you’ve exercised or done something physical during the day. Those are all mainstays of being a good sleeper. We need to be careful as a society to believe that any pill or herb or those things are a quick fix. They may be adjunctive to the things that we already need to do.

Doctor Kemp says if you are following this advice but still having trouble sleeping, it may be time to speak with your primary care physician. They can then make the decision of whether to recommend you to a sleep physician.

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