Friday, January 8, 2016

Why You Definitely Need More Sleep

Well, for one thing, sleep is amazing! It’s one of my favorite states of being. If you’re a busy person with lots of responsibilities and places to be, it’s likely that you’re not getting all of that delicious sleep you need. As we’re about to start a brand new year, now is a great time to put sleep higher up on your priority list. You’ll be glad you did in the long run: sleep helps heal you, body and mind; it helps ward off disease; and it’s an important part of aging well! Here are some suggestions about getting better sleep, and why you need it.

How much sleep is necessary? 
Depending on where you are in life, the amount of sleep you need may change. If you have school-age children, the Sleep Foundation recommends that they get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers should get between 8 and 10 hours, and for pretty much everyone over 18, the suggested range is 7-9 hours of sleep. But too many people just don’t get enough, and it’s estimated that 100,000 traffic accidents and 1,500 deaths are the result of sleep deprivation every year. Yikes!

What’s so great about getting enough sleep? 
Everything! The right amount of good sleep contributes to overall better health, better mood, and better physical fitness. Insufficient or poor sleep can sometimes lead to serious problems like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. More, getting enough sleep can help ease chronic pain because your body has more time to heal. Some researchers even think that getting good sleep can supplement medication for pain.

Personally, I’ve found this to be true as well. When I’m not getting enough sleep, the chance that I’ll wake up with a migraine is significantly higher—so getting in a full night of beauty rest ensures that my days are happier, less painful, and more efficient.

How can I sleep better? 
Getting enough sleep isn’t necessarily just about the hours: it also has a lot to do with the quality of sleep you’re getting. This is why it’s so important to make sleep a priority! Do your best to get a good sleep schedule going that allows you to go to bed when you’re tired, and stick with it. It’s also important that you find the right sleep environment for you: the right amount of light or darkness, sound, temperature, and your bed all play an important role. Be mindful of what you eat and drink before bed, too.

So start the New Year by deciding how much sleep you should be getting and creating a plan to make it work! Sleep is the great equalizer, so make sure you’re getting your equal share!