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Mental Health Association of East Tennessee gives the do’s and don’ts of trying to get sleep

We charge our phones every night to 100%. Why don’t we do our bodies the same courtesy?

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One-third of people do not get enough sleep in the U.S. but in the southeast the problem is even worse, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In Tennessee, 37% of adults get less than seven hours of sleep when the required amount is seven to eight hours.

“Identify when you need to go to bed so you can get your eight hours of sleep,” CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee Ben Harrington said. “The human body actually needs to be recharged for restorative purposes.”

The American Heart Association said a chronic lack of sleep is linked with numerous health issues including stroke, obesity and even Alzheimer’s.

The Mental Health Association of East Tennessee recommends some things to get better sleep:

- Establish a nighttime routine. Reading a book with the television playing the background one hour before bed is a great way to wind down for bed time.

- Stay off phones, video games, and tv before bed. Harrington recommends turning your phone on silent one hour before bed to avoid phone calls or text messages.

- Make your bedroom the coldest room in your home. 

- Keep pets out of the bed. Harrington said your dogs or cats will try to get comfier at the expense of your sleep.

- Limit caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine in the second half of your day will keep you up. Alcohol might put you to sleep, but the sleep you get will not be restful. Drinking any fluids two hours before bed can also cause trips to the restroom.

“If you minimize your fluid intake at night around 8 o’ clock you might not have to get up and go to the restroom," Harrington said. 

Sleep is key to your long-term physical and mental health. Putting these tips into practice can help get you on track to a full-night’s sleep.