In a survey from 2013, almost half of Americans said that they don’t get enough sleep. However only half of those who said they don’t get enough sleep tried to take any action to improve their quality of sleep. It’s not that people don’t recognize the importance of sleep. Nearly 80% of the people who were surveyed recognized that a lack of sleep can cause negative health problems.
They just didn’t know what to do about it.
It’s now 2016, and while a lot can change in 3 years, there are still plenty of people who aren’t getting a healthy amount of sleep each night. If you’re still trying to think of a healthy New Year’s resolution, sleeping better should be at the top of your list.
Sleep is invaluable to your health. A lack of sleep can have a negative affect on your mental health as well as your physical health, which can directly impact the quality of your life. Sleep allows your body to recuperate, and helps your mind and body for the following day. It’s recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Negative health effects from chronic sleep deprivation include
- Decreased mental acuity
- Slowed reactions which can lead to accidents
- A weakened immune system
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
There are a number of things that can affect your quality of sleep. Huge life events like the loss of a loved one, your mood, illness, stress, medications, and your habits can all factor into how much sleep you get. Some of these things are beyond control, but there are things that you can do to get more sleep.
- Go to bed early. Staying up too late and waking up early is a surefire way to deprive yourself of sleep.
- Avoid lengthy naps during the day. This can throw off your internal clock.
- Try and establish a regular routine for when you go to sleep and when you wake up.
- Bright screens from laptops, phones, televisions, and tablets can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
- Cut out caffeine, especially later in the day.
Things like staying up too late or drinking too much coffee before bedtime are easy to fix. The problem isn’t always that simple, however. A sleeping disorder can’t be cured by cutting out caffeine, and it could require the help of a professional. You might need to schedule an appointment with a sleep medicine physician. If you think that your sleeping problem is more than just bad habits, consult your physician or give us a call at (479) 582-7330.