Just came across an article about the dangers of having short sleep durations. How much sleep do you really need? Looking at the table, the minimum hours a working adult in the 20s to 30s would need at least 7 hours of sleep. Are you having enough of the restorative powers of sleep?
If you are not having enough sleep, you will face the following:
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents (i.e. you might just into an accident sleeping at the wheel);
- Increase in body mass index (i.e a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation. Your body can’t accurately tell the difference between fatigue and hunger, causing over-eating);
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems;
- Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse; and
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information.
These are very serious risks that everyone should take special note. That means taking an hour early to hit your pillow, and leaving that game or late night movie to another time, in consideration of what sleep deprivation could do to you, not to mention the wrinkles and dark rings under your eyes. Here are some practice tips to help you sleep well:
- Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends;
- Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep;
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool;
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows;
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex (keep “sleep stealers” out of the bedroom – avoid watching TV, using a computer or reading in bed);
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime;
- Exercise regularly; and
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol products close to bedtime and give up smoking.
Have a good sleep habit and great week ahead!