Are you one to focus on your health by exercising and eating right? Do you lack in the sleeping department? Missing out on good Zzzzz’s can really hurt your health. Quality Zzzz’s along with healthy eating and sleep hygieneactivity, are so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Here are four tips to consider when reflecting on your sleep habits…

Sleep Rule #1: Wake up at the same time every day.

Listen to your body, we are most tired and most alert when our internal body clock tells us. If you stay up late occasionally or sleep in on the weekends it can throw your whole routine off. Try and keep your sleep and awake times as consistent as possible. According to research done at the University of Arizona, altering your normal routine can increase your chances of heart disease by almost eleven percent.

Sleep Rule #2: Craving lots of sleep? Tell your doctor.

Individual sleep needs vary from person to person. However too much sleep can be un-beneficial for your health as well. If eight hours of sleep feels good to you, than 10 hours of sleep must feel great to you, right? Wrong. Listen to your body, contact your doctor, and come up with a routine that works best for you. Over sleeping/excessive sleeping is typically associated with depression and can be linked to heart disease. (Yes, you heard me correctly. If you don’t sleep enough, you are at risk for heart disease, and if you sleep too much, you are at risk for heart disease). Feeling like you don’t know how many Zzzz’s to get? Bring this topic up at your next doctors visit! For now, aim to sleep between seven and nine hours each night, and don’t forget to stay consistent.

Sleep Rule #3: Insomnia is a huge concern, don’t brush it off.

Are you one to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Your metabolism could be effected by your insomnia. Insomnia can also have negative impacts on our hormones and our blood pressure. An occasional night without proper rest is not an issue, but a frequent occurrence needs to be discussed with a doctor or sleep specialist.

zzzSleep Rule #4: Get screened for apnea if you are known to snore.

I am sure you have heard of sleep apnea; a condition in which you stop breathing for several seconds at a time during the night due to heavy snoring. Sleep apnea puts you at risk for increased blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. When your sleep is interrupted by a quick jolt due to a heavy snore, your stress levels may also be increased. Consider a sleep evaluation to see if a sleeping device is necessary.