Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Study after study tells us how physically and emotionally damaging lack of sleep is. To compound matters, more studies are coming now proving that not getting enough sleep is also causing significant mental impairment in individuals, so add mentally damaging to physically and emotionally damaging.
I don’t know about you, but just one of these three makes me determined to getting more sleep – the three combining efforts (like a frightening tag team) makes me want to go to bed right now!
The hard cold truth is that, apparently, most of us are actually sleep deprived. We’re filling out our to do lists so ambitiously that we neglect to figure in time for sleep.
Obviously we’re not doing ourselves any favors by skimping on sleep. In fact, we’re doing ourselves a whole world of harm. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that most of us get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than this (on a regular basis) is associated with:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- A Shorter Life Span
- Weight Problems
A few tips from experts on improving your sleep:
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Whether it’s reading before bed, taking a bath or shower, or watching a little television – having a routine you associate with “winding down” helps significantly (this is also very, very true with kids).
- Try to keep regular hours for sleeping and waking. I’ve started making myself follow the weekday routine on the weekends and it has helped my sleep greatly.
- Get enough activity during the day but not too close to bedtime. Too much activity right before lying down to sleep spells disaster. I used to do a few regular “chores” (cleaning the litter box, loading the dishwasher…) right before lying down but found that doing them earlier in the evening helps me fall asleep faster.
- Essential Oils – Lavender, in particular, is wonderful for helping the mind and body wind down. I love using Downy Infusions Lavender Vanilla on my bed linens and gown – it sets the stage for very sweet sleep. A lot of people also keep a small bottle of lavender essential oil (Amazon link) by their bed to simply smell right before lying down. There’s just something relaxing and magical about lavender that helps most of us fall asleep faster.
- Be sure your vitamin levels are within a healthy range. If your magnesium, for example is low, it will VERY MUCH impact your sleep.
- Don’t even think about touching that phone or iPad! I know, I know, it’s easy to take one last look at Twitter, your e-mail, or Instagram, but they’ll be there in the morning!
Sweet dreams! ~ Joi