4 Tips For Better Sleep Tonight from Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser
Sep 02, 2022
Quick Health Scoop
Did you know that 70 million Americans have a hard time sleeping?1
Never fear: Dr. Susan from Nature Made® has useful tips to support our sleep
Some ways to help ensure better rest are through good sleep hygiene, good sleep positions, effective napping, and possibly Melatonin for those who need sleep support†
Aim For Better Rest
Wondering how to fall asleep fast? It’s a question that many of us have since about 70 million Americans have a hard time sleeping according to a recent study.1 That’s about one in three people! But a restful night’s sleep is possible. Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser, Head of Scientific Research at Nature Made®, has some helpful tips.
#1: Sleep Hygiene
It’s time to ask yourself: Does your bedtime routine help or hinder your sleep? Good sleep hygiene encompasses a regular routine that gets you prepared for a good night’s sleep. Here are some things to consider:
Put your screens down 1 hour before sleep as the blue light might disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.
Ensure your room is cool, dark and quiet for optimal comfort.
If you have trouble sleeping, don’t toss and turn. Get out of bed. Walk around the house or read a book, and once you feel sleepy, head back to bed.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends! Consistency will help your body to feel sleepy at your desired bedtime.
Exercise is helpful, but don’t do it too close to bedtime as it might be difficult to relax and transition to bed.
#2: Sleep positions
Despite what you might think, sleeping positions do matter. Why? Some sleep positions aren’t beneficial for a neutral spine, such as the freefall position. This is when you’re on your belly with your hands tucked underneath the pillow. It might feel cozy at first, but this position can add curvature to your spine and neck, which might make you uncomfortable when you wake up. What is the best sleeping position? A fetal position or a log position on your side. This allows a neutral spine position while you sleep.
You might have heard about it, but what is Melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in a small organ in the brain called the Pineal Gland where it plays a role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin peaks when the sun starts to set as a signal for your body to prepare for sleep. Some sleep supplements use Melatonin as a drug-free way to support sleep.†
So, what are the benefits of Melatonin? When you take Melatonin for sleep support, it acts similarly to the Melatonin you make in your body, giving you a dose before bedtime to help induce sleep. A dietary supplement that contains a small dose of Melatonin should be given about an hour before bedtime. A safe Melatonin dosage for adults is between 0.3 mg to 10 mg when used occasionally for 2-3 months to help support restful sleep. If your sleep issues are ongoing, you should talk with your healthcare provider.†
Nature Made® has a variety of sleep supplements containing Melatonin in different dosages and forms, so browse to find the best Melatonin supplement for you.
When it comes to naps, do you snooze or lose? Dr. Susan is a fan of naps, but there are some helpful guidelines around napping. The optimal nap length is 10 to 20 minutes, as this provides restorative sleep without drowsiness. If you nap longer than 30 minutes, you get into a deeper sleep, which is harder to recover from. However, a 5-minute nap time is not long enough to be restorative. How do you achieve this sweet spot? Set an alarm and don’t nap too close to bedtime.
Now it’s time for some sweet dreams. Thanks, Dr. Susan!
Dr. Mitmesser provides scientific leadership at Pharmavite to advance innovation and new product development strategies, and to ensure the scientific integrity of all products made under its brand portfolio. She has a passion for nutrition and wellness and leverages her ability to communicate scientific findings to consumers and the marketplace.
She brings extensive experience in research and nutritional biochemistry across various industries and sectors, including food, dietary supplements, academia and clinical settings. She serves on the Editorial Board of four peer-reviewed journals: Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology, Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care, World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, and Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. In addition, she has published in many peer-reviewed journals and is a contributing author for book chapters relating to nutrition in adult and pediatric populations.
Dr. Mitmesser is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the New York Academy of Sciences. She also serves on the Senior Scientific Advisory Council for the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
Currently, Dr. Mitmesser is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Connecticut and in the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She holds a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser, Head of Scientific Research at Nature Made®, has some helpful tips.
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