How much sleep are we getting and how much should we be getting? According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) Americans are getting 6.8 hrs/night and we should be getting:
Preschool (3-5 yoa) = 10-13 hrs/24 hrs
School Age (6-12 yoa) = 9-12hrs/24 hrs
Teen (13-18 yoa) 8-10 hrs/24 hrs
Adults (18-60 yoa) 7+hrs/24 hrs
Why do we need a good nights sleep? 2 words: REPAIR and RESTOR
What are the short term consequences to not getting enough sleep? 1. Forget 2. Tired and sluggish 3. Loose ability to concentrate/focus 4. Gain weight (↓Sleep = ↑Cortisol)
So how can we improve our sleeping?
- Get adjusted: Getting adjusted balances your body and nervous system. This healthy balances of your brain communicating with your body correctly, and vise versa, improves everything in your body including your sleep.
- Stick to a sleep schedule: Set 8 hours aside for 7 hours of sleeping and try to go to bed the same time every day (including weekdays and weekends). Remember, if you are unable to fall asleep within 20 minutes get out of bed and do something relaxing.
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Avoid being hungry or stuffed (try to avoid: Carbs, protein and fat snack) or having nicotine or caffeine. Also be careful using alcohol to fall asleep.
- Create a restful environment: Try to have an environment that promotes sleep such as: cool temperature, dark, and quite environment. Also try taking a relaxing bath, shower or reading before going to bed.
- Limit long daytime naps: Napping offers a lot of benefits such as relaxation and reduced fatigue but long naps can interfere with you nighttime cycle. So if you have to nap limit it to 30 minutes and not late in the day. The only exception is if you work the night shift.
- Include physical activities in your daily routine: Physical activity can promote better sleep but do not do physical activities to close to bedtime. Remember spending time outside is great for your body and mind and does promote normal hormonal levels and thus sleep.
- Manage worries: Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. This can include: Journaling, meditation, taking breaks in the day, relaxing your muscles and getting adjustments.