This month is all about gaining energy to make time for the things that are important to you! Last week we focused on managing stress. This week we’re focusing on sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, yet more than a third of American adults are getting less than that.
Is Inadequate Sleep a Risky Behavior?
Inadequate sleep has been associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases. Obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake are significantly more likely in adults short on sleep than in adults who sleep at least 7 hours a night. Arthritis, depression, and diabetes are just a few of the chronic conditions that are more prevalent in adults who sleep less than 7 hours. We’ve all had sleepless nights, so I’m sure you know the short-term effects of lack of sleep too. Feeling groggy, hungry, easily distracted, and unproductive are just a few of the common problems we deal with on too little sleep.
Caffeine and Alcohol as Coping Mechanisms
It can be tempting to have caffeine to get you through the day, but be careful how much caffeine you have and when you have it because it can disrupt your ability to fall asleep, and thus continue the cycle of sleeplessness. It’s takes 6 hours for half of the caffeine to leave your system, so an afternoon pick me up may still affect you at bedtime. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep; so if you continue to struggle with too little sleep, try tracking your sleep, caffeine, alcohol, and exercise to see if you notice any trends.
What can you do to improve your sleep hygiene?
Create a bedtime routine to help transition into sleep. Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. Save your bed for sleeping, and find other areas to read or watch TV, so that when you go to bed your body knows it’s time for sleep. Make sure your room is dark enough and a comfortable temperature for sleeping. Avoid large meals before bed to reduce any chance of heartburn. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to give your body a rhythm.
A good night’s rest is just the start to having more energy and feeling more productive and inspired in your daily life. While it can be hard to unwind and there are always a million things to do around the house, taking time to rest is an important part of maintaining your health and wellness.
What is your bedtime routine? Let us know on the Sweet Life Wellness Facebook Page!
Time to free yourself from emotional eating?
Begin by registering for the Emotional Eating, a Free Discovery Webinar with Kay Loughrey on Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 pm (45 minutes).
Click here -> to register for this free Webinar! Questions: Call (301) 869-1787 (Option 1). http://www.sweetlifewellness.com/events/
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park
- (2008) CDC Study Reveals Adults May Not Get Enough Rest Or Sleep. In: Medical News Today. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/99048.php. Accessed 3 May 2017
- CDC Press Releases (2016) 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. In: CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html. Accessed 4 May 2017
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sleep and Health Among Adults in Maryland. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/pdf/states508/FS_ShortSleepByState_MD_508tagged.pdf. Accessed 3 May 2017
- Weisenberger J (2016) How Sleep Habits Affects Healthy Weight. In: www.eatright.org. http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/overweight-and-obesity/key-to-healthy-weight-sleep. Accessed 3 May 2017