Got Sleep? National Sleep Awareness Week Begins
The National Sleep Foundation hopes to wake up America to the importance of sleep, just in time for Daylight Saving Time. How much sleep do you get a night?
Did you get a good night's sleep?
Monday marks the beginning of National Sleep Awareness Week, an annual education and awareness campaign that wants to make sure you get your proper share of zzz's to avoid sleep deprivation.
The week, spearheaded by the National Sleep Foundation, takes place Monday through March 11, when Americans will lose one hour of sleep with the "springing forward" clock change to Daylight Saving Time.
The foundation hopes to promote the importance of sleep while raising awareness about the benefits of good sleep habits and the importance of identifying the signs of a sleep disorder.
According to the foundation, about a third of Americans don't get enough shut-eye though research shows adequate sleep is key to a healthy lifestyle.
Take the time to educate yourself about your own sleep needs this week—and don't forget to get some rest!
Good Sleep Tips
- Set and stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.
- Expose yourself to bright light in the morning, and avoid it at night. Exposure to bright morning light energizes us and prepares us for a productive day. Many find it helpful in overcoming the winter “doldrums” that come with getting up in the dark. Alternatively, avoid exposure to bright light late at night. Dim your lights when it’s close to bedtime, and put night lights in your halls and bathroom for nighttime awakenings.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise in the morning can help you get the light exposure you need to set your biological clock. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime if you are having problems sleeping.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Allow enough time to wind down and relax before going to bed.
- Create a cool, comfortable sleeping environment that is free of distractions.
- Treat your bed as your sanctuary from the stresses of the day. Use your bed for sleep only so you positively associate it with sleeping. If you find yourself still lying awake after 20 minutes or so, get up and do something relaxing in dim light until you are sleepy.
- Keep a “worry book” next to your bed. If you wake up because of worries, write them down with an action plan, and forget about them until morning.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, chocolate and tobacco at night (remember, even decaf coffee has a little bit of caffeine).
- Avoid large meals and beverages right before bedtime.
- No nightcaps. Drinking alcohol before bed can rob you of the deep sleep and dreaming you need, and it can cause you to wake up too early.
- Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medications might be contributing to your sleep problem.
- No late-afternoon or evening naps, unless you work nights. If you must nap, keep it under 45 minutes and before 3 p.m.
Source: National Sleep Foundation
Do you have any helpful sleep tips? What do you do to ensure you get enough sleep each night? Tell us in the comments!