By Sherry Roberts RD, CDCES
Prioritizing your health is important! In this article, we review three wellness tips to immediately start improving your overall health and wellness.
- Develop Good Sleep Habits
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. It is recommended that adults get at least seven hours or more of sleep per night.1 The CDC recommends these five steps to improve your sleep habits2:
- Set a routine for sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning. Be consistent with your sleep.
- Make sure that your bedroom is a comfortable place to sleep. Keep it quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove the electronic devices from your sleeping space.
- Avoid consuming large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Participate in exercise during the day. Being more active during the day will help you fall asleep better at night.
As with many of our wellness goals, it is important to be consistent with our sleep hygiene. If you are practicing these steps and still do not feel rested, please reach out to your healthcare provider for additional assistance.
- Be mindful of your health and be proactive in your care.
Get your yearly check-up and make sure that your health has not had any significant changes over the last 12 months. Routine lab work can identify if there is any concern and you can address it before it gets worse. Take type-2 diabetes, for example. There are over 37 million Americans with type-2 diabetes, and it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.3 While those numbers are high, there are even more Americans with prediabetes. About 96 million Americans have prediabetes, and more than eight out of 10 people with prediabetes do not know that they have it.4 Prediabetes does not have any symptoms and people can live with it for many years before it leads to type-2 diabetes, but it can be detected with a routine blood sugar test and A1c test. Steps can then be taken to prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. Preventative care can identify health concerns before they reach a higher level, and it can help reduce your risks for complications. You are worth the time and effort it takes to have a preventative care appointment!
- Take the time to expand on your knowledge and learn a new skill or read a new book.
Both will take you on an adventure that you may find that you enjoy. Allow yourself freedom and time to be creative and embark on something that will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. Here are a few tips to help you find a new hobby or book to read:
- Check out the local public library. They will often display new book suggestions or new authors to try out.
- Visit your local community center for a list of classes such as cooking, ballroom dancing, or a new exercise technique.
- Visit the local craft store for groups that may be meeting and sharing ideas for new projects.
- Connect with family or friends that have similar interests and start a project together.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try something new. You may be surprised at how well you like it and enjoy a new challenge.
Wellness can take on many forms. Take time to find your wellness goals and work to achieve them, no matter how long it takes. Once you do, set a new goal and keep striving to learn and grow. You are worth it!
- Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, Alessi C, Bruni O, et al. The National Sleep Foundation’s sleep time duration recommendations: methodology and results summary. Sleep Health. 2015;1(1):40–43.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Tips for Better Sleep. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html. Reviewed July 15, 2016. Accessed January 26, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Home. Diabetes Basics. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html. Reviewed December 16, 2021. Accessed January 26, 2022.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes Home. Resources and Publications. Features and Spotlights. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/truth-about-prediabetes.html. Last reviewed December 21, 2021. Accessed January 26, 2022.