Sleep Health

*A third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression—that threaten our nation’s health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work, which cause a lot of injury and disability each year. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury—it is something people need for good health. Sleep disorders can also increase a person’s risk of health problems. However, these disorders can be diagnosed and treated, bringing relief to those who suffer from them.

*Text obtained from cdc.gov

How much sleep is needed?  

  • Adults need roughly 7-9 hours of sleep per night
  • Adults that get less than 7 hours of sleep per 24-hour period are considered short sleepers

Why is sleep so important?

  • One study linked insufficient sleep to an increased risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults.
  • Other studies conclude that getting less than 7–8 hours per night increases your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes 
  • Sufficient sleep makes you feel good (and rested!).

Adults who were short sleepers were more likely to:

  • Report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep.
  • Report being obese, physically inactive, and current smokers compared to people who got enough sleep.

Sleep Tips:

  • Aim for the same sleep/wake times each day and have your ultimate goal to not use an alarm clock!

  • Avoid exercise, caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, and screen time (phone/iPad/TV) just before bed.

  • Reduce fluid intake before bed-aim to hydrate earlier in the day!

  • Make sure your pillows and mattress are comfortable.  Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years or so.

  • If you don’t fall asleep after 15-20 minutes, get up and do something for a bit (read--print books recommended over e-books, listen to music, clean up the house, etc.), then try again!

  • Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only. This can help alleviate any potential stressors that may be preventing sleep.

  • Increase natural light during the day so your body can better regulate your circadian rhythm.

  • Relax before bed. Journal thoughts/concerns before bed, take a hot bath or shower, meditate, or practice deep breathing.

  • Nap smart—naps that are too long (longer than 30 minutes) or too late in the day can mess with sleep later!

  • Regular physical activity (but not before bed!)

  • Set up your sleep space!  Should be a quiet, cool/comfortable, dark, and relaxing environment.

 If you have tried all of the above with no luck, visit your doctor.  There may be something else going on.