Do you feel that you don’t get enough sleep? Well, you’re not alone! Many people could probably use more sleep. In a recent poll, 30% of US adults reported an average of 6 or fewer hours of sleep per day—a worrisome statistic, considering it is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per day.
Lack of sufficient rest can be attributed to many different causes. Currently, full-time employees in the US are working an average of about 47 hours per week—almost six 8-hour shifts! Adding time for commutes, personal finances, and grocery shopping leaves very little time for family and hobbies, let alone sleep!
Many problems can arise from not getting enough sleep. Aside from general drowsiness and impaired function (some studies even compare lack of sleep to a blood alcohol level of 0.1!), sleep disorders or poor sleep patterns might lead to high blood pressure and other heart-related problems.
Sleep has many benefits, aside from giving much-needed rest to your body. Among them, sleep affects your mood and also allows your mind to regroup, reflect on, and absorb what you learned that day. With most anything in life, and especially when health is involved, one must try to create a delicate balance between what is wanted and what is needed, so be sure to take a look at the tips below for some helpful suggestions on how to make sure you get the sleep you need.
- Go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning
- Avoid large meals before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
- Avoid nicotine
More information about sleep issues and disorders can be found on the National Sleep Foundation’s website.
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