The Power of Sleep
How many of you woke up peacefully this morning feeling refreshed, well-rested and ready to start the day?
How many of you jerked awake to the sound of an alarm, groaned and slowly rolled out of bed with only one eye open; or, how many of you hit the snooze button once, twice or even three times before getting out of bed.
If you answered no to the first question and yes to any of the rest, you are not alone. It is estimated that around 75% of Americans are waking up abruptly to the sound of an alarm clock and around half of those are hitting the snooze button.
So, how do we get away from these mornings that start way too early and are never greeted with the enthusiasms that a new, beautiful day should? The answer is very simple; and, we all know it: we need more sleep.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 Americans are not getting enough sleep. Why is it that sleep is one of the most important things our bodies need but is also the first things we sacrifice when looking for extra time in the day?
Sleep is the time for our brains and many other systems in our body to recharge, restore and replenish. How many of us are more concerned about our phones being fully charged than we are about our own bodies?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, sleeping impacts our brain functions and its ability to adapt input; without enough sleep, our brain may not fully process what we've learned during the day and may affect our future memory.
The CDC reports that being sleepy throughout the day and constantly depriving ourselves of getting enough sleep may be linked serious health consequences such as: depression, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, not enough sleep can cause impairments in our attentiveness, coordination and reaction times that may lead to workplace accidents or accidents on the road.
Now that we may understand a little more of the importance of sleep, how much sleep do we need exactly? Click on this link from the National Sleep Foundation outlining the recommended sleep times.
The most important step in getting the sleep we need is by making it a priority. Click on this link from the National Sleep Foundation that is filled with many tips on getting a better night's sleep, or watch the quick video below from the Mayo Clinic. If you have more time, there is also a link to a great Ted Talk about sleep.
What happens when you just cannot sleep? There are nights where you may find sleeping more difficult than others and this can be normal. However, if this becomes a reoccurring problem and you find sleep difficult night after night, even after following every tip available, it may be time to speak to your doctor. The CDC recommends that keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep habits for ten days and talking to your doctor may be necessary in getting better sleep. There are also many disorders that cause sleep disturbances that may need to be addressed in order for you to receive the sleep needed; these may include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy or more. Please click on this link from the National Sleep Foundation to learn more about sleep disorders.
Now, that we've learned a little more about the importance of sleep and how to get a better night's rest, let us put into practice the things we have learned and give our bodies the sleep it needs.