How much sleep do you get each night? If it’s 5 to 6.5 hrs., you may not be getting enough. A Harvard School study involving more than 82,000 nurses referenced in an article I recently read cites those who slept fewer than 6 hrs showed an increased risk of illness and even death.
Studies have shown not getting enough sleep can cause your immunity to be compromised, you have increased chance of gaining weight. You’ve heard of it called Beauty Sleep. Well, it’s true. Not getting enough sleep can cause those bags and puffiness under your eyes to develop. Sleep is your body’s way of recharging and repairing itself. While you sleep, you body is hard at work processing all that you took in during the day.
Especially during cold and flu season, it’s important to get enough sleep, be active during the day, and eat (and drink) healthy. While many people feel they can get by on less than 7 hours of sleep, statistically speaking the majority of adults need 7 to 10 hours each night.
With that in mind, it’s important to develop good sleep hygiene. What’s that you ask? Doctors recommend that you:
• Go to bed and wake at the same times every day (avoid sleeping-in on days off).
• Use your bed for only sleep or sex.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine in the afternoon and evening.
• Avoid working out too close to bedtime.
• Get up and do something soothing (read, listen to soft music, write in a journal, etc.) if you are still awake 20-30 minutes after going to bed.
• Call your doctor if you think you have a sleep problem.
If you are sleepy during the day, then you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. I did an informal poll of some friends and found that most of us are “bad” sleepers.
• We go to bed too late, and wake too early.
• We love to have a nightcap drink before bed, which studies have found could disrupt sleep, causing possible waking during the night.
• We drink coffee, and Diet Coke® too late in the day.
• We watch TV, or do work in bed.
• We sleep with snorers, who cause us to take too long to fall asleep and often wake us up during the night.
• We have kids and pets that often wake us during the night.