sleep tips baltimore

Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours a night to promote your health.

Stop Sabotaging Your Sleep

Research has uncovered evidence that sleep is more critical to our health than previously suspected, and the lack of it is associated with increased risk of a number of medical problems. Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours a night to promote your health. A surprising number of things can sabotage your sleep. Jacques R. Conaway, MD, medical director of the Sleep Center at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, shares his tips for resting easy. 

How Sleep Keeps You Healthy

When you don’t sleep well,  your immune system can be compromised, making you more susceptible to infection, and in the long term, increasing your risk of getting diabetes, heart or vascular disease, or becoming obese.

Why Does This Happen?

Sleep deprivation is associated with increases in markers of inflammation, including cytokines and C-reactive protein. Many of these inflammatory processes affect your body’s ability to fight off infection and are associated with increased risk of heart disease. 

If you follow these tips but continue to have sleep problems, you may have a sleep condition that requires medical attention. Speak with your primary care physician about a referral to the Sleep Center at MedStar Franklin Square. Don’t have a primary care physician? We can help. Call 443-777-7900 to find a  physician near you. 

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep:

  •  Spend 30 minutes in natural sunlight, wake up at sunrise or use bright lights in the morning to regulate your sleep habits.
  •  Get at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, but make sure it’s at least five to six hours before bedtime.
  •  Stop smoking and avoid alcoholic beverages before bed. Nicotine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep.
  •  Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine, but eating too much food late in the evening can interfere with sleep. Drink less before bedtime so that you won’t have to urinate as often.
  •  Limit daytime napping to less than 30 minutes and before 3 p.m. Excessive daytime napping can contribute to inability to sleep at night.
  •  Stick to a regular schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including weekends.
  •  Avoid caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m. Check for caffeine in unexpected places. Orange soda, some flavored waters, and teas, and even decaf coffee have caffeine.
  • Create a relaxing routine before bed, such as a warm bath, a massage, reading a book, listening to quiet music, or practicing breathing exercises.
  •  Make sure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress.
  •  Close your bedroom door or create a subtle background noise, such as a running fan, to help drown out other noises.
  • Make your bedroom an electronic-free zone. Electronic media devices (e.g., TV, computer, mobile phone, video games) stimulate the brain, and using them at bedtime can delay the time it takes you fall asleep.

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 443-777-8382.

Don’t have a primary care physician? We can help. Call 443-777-7900 to find a  physician near you. 

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

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