Sleep is as important to our well-being as a healthy diet and exercise, according to the Sleep Foundation. Inadequate sleep can also induce or make feelings of anxiety and stress seem worse. Dr. Peter Martone, one of the leading experts on sleep in the country, has helped over 100,000 patients learn how to sleep well through the night.
“Whether we like it or not, our health is a product of our daily rituals,” he says, adding that good sleep habits will lead to a better night’s sleep and improved mental and physical health. Martone, the founder of Atlantis wellness, says that texting, computer work, and gaming have put Americans at risk for degenerative disc disease, but proper sleep positioning can offset this damage.
He says, “Sleep is an art, and it takes time to master. The most common cause of my patient’s chronic health problems is that they are sleep deprived.”
Here are his tips:
- Sleep Position. Side sleepers have the most troublesome sleep, says the expert. “To get a good night’s sleep and prevent tossing and turning adopt the Neutral Sleep Position,” he says. A Neutral Sleeping Position is a position where your body weight is distributed over the greatest surface area of your bed putting your joints in a neural non-stressed position. That means sleeping on your back with a pillow under your neck with your arms down by your side. “If you commit to adopting a Neutral Sleeping Position, you will be able to reverse the damaging effects that our modern-day lifestyle has on your spine and posture. You will be able to correct your posture while you sleep,” says Martone.
- Core Body Temperature. “Your core body temperature plays a critical role in getting you to sleep quickly and into a good deep sleep as well,” says Martone. “It is important for your body temperature to drop two degrees to be able to get a good quality sleep.” You should sleep at a room temperature of 68 to 70 degrees. Keep your torso warm under a comforter, but let your hands and feet be exposed. Don’t eat late at night because this will raise your body’s core temperature and avoid strenuous with two hours of going to bed.
- Sleep Timing. “My number one sleep hack should be simple, but it is very hard for people to get right due to their ever-changing life schedule,” says Martone. “Do not schedule your sleep around your life but schedule your life around your sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every night, without an alarm clock, is the best way to ensure your body gets great quality of sleep.” He recommends going to bed as soon as possible when then sun goes down and awakening with sunrise.
- Hours of sleep. The amount of sleep we require depends both on your age and tends to differ in medical literature. Most experts agree that the younger we are, the more sleep we need, and the older we are, the less sleep we need, says Martone. Also, the faster your metabolism, the more sleep you need, and the slower your metabolism, the less sleep you need. “Imagine that your body is a smart phone,” says the expert. “The open apps that are running on your phone are like your metabolism and recharging your phone’s battery is like sleep. The more apps that you have running, the quicker you drain your battery, which will in turn require more time to recharge.” The same is true for your body, Martone explains. The healthier and more active you are, speeding up your metabolism, the more sleep you will need.
- Shutting off your brain. You cannot think yourself to sleep, says Martone, instead, you must “remember” yourself to sleep. “Your sleep and memory centers are both located in the back part of your brain, and the part of your brain that handles thought is in the front of your brain,” he explains. “The trick is to stop thinking and start remembering to get to sleep.” To do so, recall a happy, calming, and peaceful time. Think about, feel and experience everything in that memory. It should not stimulate but calm you like a walk in the park while you smell the flowers, Martone suggests. For more information, visit www.30DaySleepQuest.com.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.