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Words of Wellness

4 Tips for Veterans to Improve Their Sleep and Health

4 Tips for Veterans to Improve Their Sleep and Health

Brad Krause

Are you a veteran who is struggling to sleep at night? Well, you may already know that adequate rest is essential to overall health and wellness. If you are hoping to improve your physical and mental health, you may need to start with resolving your sleep issues. Wondering how? These simple tips and tricks may be all you need to get the quality rest you need at night.

Make Sure You’re Sleeping on the Right Mattress

Is your mattress old? Or, is it not providing the support you need? If so, then it’s time to invest in a new one. If you’re thinking about upgrading your mattress to a king-size, for example, you may benefit from that added space if your bedroom is large or if you sleep with a partner (or dog) and need more space. Sleep style can also impact your choice of brands when it comes to buying a new mattress. The reason? Your sleeping position will ultimately determine the specific firmness level you’ll need. For example, a Leesa Hybrid provides firmer support (ideal for back, stomach, and combo sleepers) and the Nest Hybrid offers a softer level of support (ideal for side sleepers).

Treat Yourself to a Relaxing Professional Massage

Veterans often deal with more stress in their everyday lives, which can impact their quality of sleep. So, if stress is causing your body to feel tense or tight, then you should consider booking a health-boosting massage. More than a luxury indulgence, a massage can be essential for helping to relieve physical tension and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. For veterans who suffer from chronic pain as a result of military service, regular masses may also relieve chronic pain symptoms. Manipulating and massaging muscles can be especially beneficial for back and neck pain sufferers and can help improve sleep quality as well.

Find Other Ways to Fit More Self-Care into Your Routine

A professional massage can be a wonderful way to treat your mind and body to some much-deserved self-care. If you want consistent relief from stress, which can have negative effects on your sleep quality, then you also need to make sure that your daily routines include at least some basic self-care. When you think of basic self-care, you may immediately think about massage and other spa/therapy treatments. In reality, self-care can involve more mundane habits, such as getting enough exercise or eating healthy foods. Of course, these practices will only nourish your physical health, so it is also important for veterans to find positive ways to manage their mental health as well. Some nightly routines that can help you improve your mental health and your sleep include gentle stretching, journaling, or practicing meditation.

Utilize Your VA Benefits to Get Help with Sleep Disorders

If you have tried every trick and tip in the book to improve your sleep and have had little success, your insomnia may very well be a sleep disorder. In fact, VA reports show that more than half of all veterans who are eligible for VA benefits are also affected by serious sleep disorders. Some of the most common sleep disorders that veterans experience include insomnia and sleep apnea and the prevalence of sleep disorders is even higher in veterans who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD. If you think that your sleep issues may be related to a sleep disorder, know that there are ways to get help. You can use the VA’s Sleep Check-Up tool to get a better idea of what is causing you to lose sleep, but you should also speak with your primary care provider. That way you can get started on a treatment plan for better sleep.

If you want to improve your well-being, sleep is a must. Quality sleep is essential for everyone, but it can be especially helpful for veterans who are trying to deal with other issues.

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