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Are You Sleeping?

by Joe Lawrence October 13th, 2017 | Common Conditions
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tired (2)Sleep is important. Do you get enough? What can you do?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night. How many people actually do this? Sleep is the first thing sacrificed to make up slack from the day. We stay up late to finish that paper for school. We pull an all-nighter to wrap birthday or Christmas gifts. We get up super early to get to work early or to squeeze in the workout we can not make time for in the day. Sleep is treated as a luxury instead of a necessity.

Studies have shown that being overly tired or drowsy is just as dangerous as being drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over 100,000 police-reported auto wrecks each year due to drowsiness with  the leaders being men aged 18-29, shift workers, or parents. Having fit into every one of those categories at one point, I can testify to the difficulty finding quality sleep.

All is not lost. There are some thing that you can do.

1. The ideal thing to do is to build your schedule to allow for some wiggle room for make up work before bed or first thing in the morning. This may require some prioritizing of your tasks. I have found that many things I felt needed to be done right now to the point of losing sleep could have waited till the next day. It took writing out my tasks to see this properly. I simply input my deadlines onto my smartphone calendar. Seeing the tasks written out allows me to see the big picture and plan out my time better. Even more rewarding are all of things that I see have no impact on my life and can be deleted freeing up even more time.

2. Eat less and stay active. When we eat huge meals, we are wearing our bodies out making us tired and lazy. Eating smaller meals throughout the day will allow our bodies to work at an even pace. By remaining active we are allowing our bodies to work off all the stress and food we bring in every day. Exercise also works our bodies out to fatigue helping us to sleep deeper. Not to mention the improved circulation preventing restless legs or arms during our slumber that many of us experience.

3. Nap. Naps not only refresh you and recharge the batteries, they are linked to improved health. The Harvard School of Public Health discovered nappers were 40% less likely to die of heart disease than those who didn’t nap. Many countries and cultures embrace naps or siestas and Americans could learn a lot from them. A nap during mid day will allow for recharged batteries as your body’s natural cycle is crashing.

Sleep is the one thing most people overlook. We all admit we need to eat better or exercise; however, none of us talk about getting more sleep. So, I am telling you right now…get more sleep!

 

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.