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Health

Stop counting sheep and go to sleep
Up all night? How to start collecting more zzz's
 
Published Monday, July 14, 2014 10:00 am
by Brandpoint

Although many people workout, eat right and are very concerned about their overall health, one important factor is often overlooked: sleep.

In today's 24/7 world, people are often going right up until they have to go to bed - leaving them unable to turn off their minds and rest. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 41 percent of Americans report having problems with tossing and turning at least a few nights a week.

Many people are aware of the benefits of sleep, but with a variety of distractions it can be difficult for them to relax in order to fall asleep. A recent Healthcare Research & Analytics survey found that 57 percent of doctors reported one of their patients' biggest hindrances to falling asleep is engaging with electronics such as phones, computers, iPads and the television too close to bedtime.

Often people jump to drastic measures to help with sleep issues, but what many do not realize is great sleep can start with simple solutions, like creating an ideal sleep environment that helps them relax.

According to a survey conducted by HRA, 100 percent of doctors agree that an appropriate sleeping environment is critical to aiding a person's ability to relax so they can fall asleep. What's more is that half of physicians would recommend their patients use clean, lavender scented bedtime fabrics as a way to help them relax so they can fall asleep.

"Sleep plays a vital role in good health throughout your lifetime - and getting enough quality sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety," says Dr. Ian Smith, celebrity physician and wellness expert. "One of the best ways to commit to a great night's sleep is by creating an appropriate sleep environment that helps people relax.”

Smith has teamed up with Proctor and Gamble to introduce the P&G Sweet Dreams Collection for bedtime fabrics. The collection includes laundry detergent and fabric softeners formulated with ingredients to clean, soften and freshen bedtime fabrics, including sheets and pajamas, to help create an ideal sleep environment.

Here are some additional tips to help you tuck in and turn off at the end of a busy day:

Turn-off electronics: Many people lie in bed and check their phones and iPads before falling asleep. The use of these electronics can have negative effects on a person's ability to fall asleep. Turning off technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime will help you fall asleep is recommended.

Create an ideal sleep environment: People can take simple steps toward getting a great night's sleep by first looking at their sleep environment. According to a recent HRA poll of doctors, the top three recommendations they would give their patients for creating an appropriate sleeping environment are keeping the room quiet, using a good mattress and pillow, and keeping the room temperature controlled.

Set the clock: Establish a bedtime hour for each family member to help train their body to relax at the same time each night so they can fall asleep. The NSF recommends doing this every day of the week, including the weekends.

Don't push it: Tossing and turning can lead to agitation and additional loss of sleep. If you're unable to fall asleep immediately, go to a different room to relax the body and mind. Keep the electronics unplugged, and consider reading a book or meditating. Once relaxed, head back to bed for a great night of sleep.

Commit to a great night's sleep, every night. Visit www.TuckInTurnOff.com for more tips, and take the "Tuck In. Turn Off." pledge.

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