Getting a good night’s sleep does a body good! According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require between seven to nine hours of sleep each day, depending on their age category. We feel better when we are well-rested and that creates a happier, more positive life. Unfortunately, more than fifty-seven percent of all Americans sleep less than six hours each day. A sleep-deprived body impacts our mood, energy levels, weight, stress levels, and even our critical thinking skills. Numerous studies indicate sleep-deprived people score worse on tests than people who’ve properly rested. Bad sleep can also play a part in accidents on the road and in the workplace.
Why Americans Don’t Sleep
People miss out on the quality sleep the body needs each night due to many causes. Sometimes, health conditions such as anxiety, stress, or insomnia stop us from getting sleep. It is difficult to sleep when a million thoughts are running through your mind. In reality, however, not getting enough sleep can cause an increase in stress and anxiety levels. Busy lives keep many people up at night as they struggle to finish late assignments or tasks.
Tossing and turning on an uncomfortable mattress or even broken bed frames is yet another complaint many people have. Aches and pains are other factors that cause the inability to sleep. There are many things that may keep us up at night. No matter the cause, a lack of sleep is dangerous both mentally and physically. Luckily, there are many techniques that work to increase the quality and the amount of sleep you get each night.
How to Get More Sleep
Strive to sleep no less than seven hours each night. Don’t attempt to make up for lost sleep when there is a day in between. Your body depends on rest each day for replenishment that’s vital to cell growth and body performance. Set a goal to improve your sleep and in a few short days, you’ll sleep better than you have in a long time.
A few ideas that help improve your sleep quality and length each night:
- Determine an appropriate bedtime. The chosen time should allow you to get at least seven (and preferably more) hours of sleep each night. Stick to this bedtime each night and soon it becomes routine and easy to follow.
- Set a routine bedtime routine that you follow each night. Along with a bedtime, create a routine that helps your body better prepare for sleep. For example, 30-minutes before bedtime you can put on pajamas, brush your teeth, and read a few pages of your favorite book.
- Use the bedroom for its intended purpose only—sleep. Do not lie in the bed if you do not plan to sleep. This is a common reason so many people cannot fall asleep or stay asleep at night.
- Turn off the television two-hours prior to bedtime and choose more relaxing activities, such as reading, instead.
- Keep the bedroom dark. Do not put a television inside of the bedroom and certainly do not use a set that is already inside the room at night. Consider using blackout curtains to minimize light coming in through the windows.
- Purchase a new mattress and bedframe. A mattress has an average lifetime of about eight years. Mattresses that are near or past this age should be replaced, as well as those with damage, rips, and holes, or that simply are uncomfortable. If you toss and turn each day, it is time to replace the mattress.
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep should be a top priority in your life, regardless of age, gender, health, or how much you think that a lack of sleep doesn’t affect your well-being. Researchers at Yale University say that sleep is just as vital to our health as food and exercise. Do not harm your body simply because you think that sleep is not important. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Put yourself up to the challenge. Take steps to improve your sleep habits and in 30 days, note how much better you feel. Sleep makes all of the difference in the world in a person’s quality of living.