Studies Show Adults are Not Getting Enough Sleep
Teenagers require eight to 10 hours of sleep, as any parent of a teen can tell you. We try to get children to bed early so they aren’t cranky the next day, or falling asleep in school. We want children to get to sleep so we can have a few moments of deserved down time.
But, we don’t allow ourselves the same delight of waking up feeling refreshed. We watch TV after the kids go to bed. We try to cram in more screen time sending email or working on an online college course, or worse, playing games on Facebook. Online games can be fun, but are they worth feeling dragged out the next day always in search of the perfect cup of caffeine to get through the day?
New guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation show that most adults aged 26 to 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep. You already know you aren’t sleeping enough, even if you tell yourself that you can function on six hours or less. But, functioning isn’t living. You know that you feel better if you are well-rested, if you remember what that is like. For many of us, we don’t get the sleep we need, often for long periods, as found in a 2013 Gallup poll that found that Americans spent only 6.8 hours sleeping.
If you sleep the recommended seven to nine hours per night, your life will change for the better. You will feel more energized, more positive, and more alert. And, your mind will not be turning to the coffee pot as a way to get through the day. Follow a sleep hygiene routine. Go to bed at the same time every night. Use your bed for only sleeping and sex. Turn off the TV. Avoid caffeine. It may seem difficult at first because you may have caffeine so we can get through the evening, but just yawn away because a better night’s sleep is coming soon.