If you asked someone to rank the importance of sleep on a scale of 1-10, they would probably rank it fairly high. Little can compare to a good night’s sleep leaving your mind and body feeling refreshed and restored. Most people know and have experienced the benefits of sleep, but many are still not getting enough.
The current sleep recommendations suggest that adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. These recommendations may seem doable but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of all American adults are not getting adequate sleep (CDC, 2020).
As we go about our day, sleep may be sacrificed due to the many priorities competing for our time including time spent working, commuting, socializing, and relaxing. Others factors that can interfere with sleep include stress, dietary habits and sleep disorders.
Getting enough sleep should not be considered an option as it is vital for good health. Not getting the recommended amount of sleep may increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and depression.
Tips for Better Sleep
- Avoid large high fat meals, liquids and caffeine close to bedtime.
- Stay active. Strive for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including the weekends.
- Avoid working and watching television in bed.
- Avoid electronic devices approximately one hour before bedtime.
- Keep a consistent bedtime routine and find time to unwind.
- Create a sleep inducing bedroom environment that is cool, dark and quiet.
Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (April, 2020). Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html