Happy World Sleep Day! Are You Celebrating Accordingly?

March 14, 2014 / Michael M. Siegel, MD

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Today is a very important day of the year where worldwide the importance of getting enough sleep is stressed. Four out of five Americans don’t get the necessary amount of sleep that they need to function at the best of their abilities. Not only does lack of sleep impact the performance of adults, but children as well. Children who lack even an hour of sleep don’t function as well both cognitively and emotionally the next day.

Why does it seem to be so hard to get the recommended amount of sleep? It could be for a couple of reasons. Some people believe that there are not enough hours in a day; therefore, there is not enough time to get an extra hour of sleep in. In addition, sleeping and napping have a bad reputation and are often misunderstood as being lazy. In reality, the positives of sleeping outweigh the negatives and promote a healthier, more productive lifestyle.

Just a few of the advantages you get from more sleep are increased cognitive function, good overall health, a cheerful mood and a healthy weight. Another perk, more sleep means better skin, memories and judgment, livelier libidos and most importantly an increase in longevity.

No matter how consistently someone works out or how clean they eat, if they aren’t getting enough sleep - they are not in top physical shape.

For some, sleeping isn’t as easy as it sounds. Over 100 million people reportedly suffer from sleep apnea worldwide.

Here are a few tips that will help you catch those much needed ZZZ’s:

  • Avoid caffeine after noon as well as alcohol.
  • Drink caffeine-free herbal tea before bed to help you relax.
  • Read a book.
  • Stretch to relieve stress, aches, and pains. This will also help calm you down.
  • Take a warm bath or shower.
  • Find the right temperature in your room.
  • Have a ‘before bedtime’ routine to get your body ready for sleep.

 

Most importantly - hide the light! Put away the computer, mobile devices and turn off your TV. Light from these tech devices tricks your mind into thinking it is daytime. Put away these gadgets 30 minutes before bedtime.

Are you getting your eight hour minimum of sleep per night?