- Logical reasoning
- Stress management
These all affect how we function in regard to productivity, focus and overall quality of life.
Not getting enough sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity. Lack of sleep is not only unhealthy; it can be dangerous, too. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that more than 100,000 auto crashes each year are related to drivers not getting enough sleep. These crashes have lead to tens of thousands of injuries and disabilities as well as death.
How Much Do We Need
There is not an exact number when it comes to how much sleep we need. How much sleep we need depends on our age but also varies between individuals. Two people the same age and gender could have two different sleep needs.
Also, not getting enough sleep can create what is called a sleep debt. Similar to being overdrawn at a bank, we will often pay back this debt which will cause a variation in the total amount of sleep needed as well. It is important to assess how you feel on different amounts of sleep to find what works best for you. Are you in a better mood when you sleep seven hours? Or do you feel your best with nine?
Tips for Rest
The following are some suggestions to help you create better sleep habits:
- Establish a regular sleep and wake time, even on the weekends.
- Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine about an hour before you plan to sleep. For example, soaking in a hot bath, listening to soothing music, etc.
- Stop using nicotine products.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime.
- Exercise regularly but try to complete the workout at least three hours before bedtime.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
- Try to finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime
- Use your bedroom only for sleep. Do not watch TV, use a computer or read in bed.