Do you ever wish there were more hours in a day?
What would you do with all that “extra” time? Work more, play more, sleep more? If the latter, then your body and mind will thank you later.
Sleep deprivation is not something that only affects insomniacs. According to the CDC, 33% of adults, age 18-60, are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. This study was published in 2016, so with the increasing need to stay connected 24/7/365, this number is likely higher today. I am certain that I am not the only person who stayed up late to binge watch Stranger Things Season 4, when I could stream it at any time. FOMO (the fear of missing out) is real.
“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” - 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC
There is no such thing as catching up on sleep, although I admit that I often say that to myself. Once you have lost those hours, they are gone.
Check out these tips from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for getting healthy sleep!
Benefits of Healthy Sleep
Distributed by the US Department of Health and Human Services
We need to sleep to think clearly, react quickly, and create memories. In fact, the pathways in the brain that help us learn and remember are very active when we sleep. Skimping on sleep has a price. Cutting back by even 1 hour can make it tough to focus the next day and slow your response time. Studies have shown that when you lack sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks. This can result in poor performance on the job or at school and a greater risk for an accident or car crash.
Sleep also affects mood. Insufficient sleep can make you irritable and is linked to poor behavior and trouble with relationships, especially among children and teens. People who chronically lack sleep are also more likely to become depressed.
Sleep also is important for good health. Studies show that not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical conditions. In addition, during sleep, your body produces valuable hormones. These hormones help children grow and help adults and children build muscle mass, fight infections, and repair cells. Hormones released during sleep also affect how the body uses energy. Studies find that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese, develop diabetes, and prefer eating foods high in calories and carbohydrates.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Like eating and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your well-being. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Stick to a sleep schedule—Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
- Don’t exercise too late in the day.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
- Don’t take a nap after 3 p.m.
- Relax before bed—for example, take a hot bath.
- Create a good sleeping environment. Get rid of distractions such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV or computer in the bedroom.
- See a doctor if you have continued trouble sleeping.