Most experts agree that the best things you can do for your health is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Sufficient sleep is important for many aspects of our physical and emotional well-being.
However, for many Americans, getting enough sleep is the thing they are desperately missing. It is estimated that about 70 percent of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived, according to Frank Lipman MD, founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City.
Sleep deprivation, especially for an extended period of time, can cause a multitude of problems. These problems may include:
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
There are many reasons most Americans are not getting enough sleep. Some are medically induced as is the case with those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, chronic pain, dysfunctions of the gastrointestinal area, or hormonal imbalances, specifically those affecting the reproductive, adrenal or thyroid hormones.
There are also several lifestyle factors that can prevent you from getting enough sleep. Excessive stress, an over-excited nervousness system, and an unhealthy diet can cause anyone to suffer from lack of sleep. Unhealthy diet can include excess sugar and processed foods, as well as too much gluten and dairy for some.
The use, misuse, or overuse of stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, illegal drugs, herbs, some vitamins, and certain medications may also affect your sleep habits.
The good news is that you do not have to suffer in silence. There are things you can do to get more sleep as well as get better quality sleep. Being able to get enough sleep isn't something you just work on at night. It is an all-day process.
3 Things You Can Do Today To Get Better Sleep Tonight
1) Get some light
Spend some time each day in bright light. This is especially important if you are among the many Americans who work long hours in an artificially lit office. Try taking 30 minutes each day to soak up some natural sun — while you are covered with sunscreen and other sun protections, of course.