It's 1 a.m. and I'm tossing and turning again. Do I have insomnia? No. I'm married to a buzz saw (or so it seems).
But snoring is more than just an annoyance. "The spouse of someone who snores can lose up to 5 years off of their life," according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Columbia University in New York City and host of "The Dr. Oz Show."
Why? If you continually go without enough sleep, the aging process accelerates, which puts you at risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, memory loss, and possibly diabetes.
Over the years, I've learned that the best way to combat my husband's snoring is to fall into a sound sleep early. As the saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure. These days, I know if I don't follow my normal bedtime ritual, I can expect to be woken up by my husband's snoring.
Here are some tips that help me sleep through the night:
- Set the mood. Bright lights stop your body from producing its natural sleeping aid, melatonin, according to the website of Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. So, dim the lights, shut off the television and stay off the computer.
- Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature. For most people, that's between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep a notepad next to your bed, so you can write down whatever pops into your mind when you're trying to sleep. You can worry about those things tomorrow.
- Keep Fido out of your bed. Much like humans, pets can toss and turn during the night, keeping you from getting a good rest.
- Just relax. Right before bed, clear your mind; take a few deep breaths and stretch. If you're feeling especially stressed, try a warm bath before bed.
- Don't have any caffeine for about 6 hours before bed.
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine around bedtime.
Healthy Bites appears on MyHealthNewsDaily on Wednesdays. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!