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World Sleep Day encourages you to evaluate your sleep hygiene

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Friday was World Sleep Day. Doctors say good sleep hygiene is important because it’s been shown to have an effect on your life expectancy.

Dr. Edmundo Rubio, Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Carilion Clinic, said he has seen more people experiencing poor sleep in the wake of the pandemic. Stress and depression can lead to insomnia.

Dr. Rubio says it will help to take the TV out of the bedroom and make sure the room is dark and quiet.

But the number one thing he recommends to improve sleep hygiene is reducing screen time a few hours before bed.

”The light emitted by high efficiency screens has a similar wavelength to light emitted by the sun. And that’s a wavelength of about 490 nanometers,” Dr. Rubio explained. “And it’s light that can penetrate to the back of your retina in your eyes and that tends to lead to a decrease in melatonin levels.”

Dr. Rubio says before you try all kinds of medications or pills to help you sleep, you’ll want to rule out any possible causes for your poor sleep - such as sleep apnea.

He says we should aim to get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you find yourself waking up, tossing and turning, get out of bed. He recommends going into another dimly lit room and doing a boring task, like tidying a closet, to help make you tired enough to go back to sleep.

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