At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we have heard many New Year’s Resolutions concerning Health.
Many people are very determined that 2015 will be the year they make the lifestyle changes needed to improve their daily diet or establish a disciplined schedule for physical activity.
We do not scoff at these New Year’s Resolutions, and we are resolved to help our clients, patients and friends accomplish them. However, there is one neglected area of our health that bears attention and it has an intrinsic effect on diet and exercise: Sleep.
Did You Know?
“An estimated 35 percent of U.S. adults report less than seven hours of sleep during a typical 24 hour period.” Likewise, alarmed experts have stated, “Sleepiness resulting from insufficient sleep, irregular sleep schedules, or poor quality sleep is a cause of motor vehicle crashes, occupational errors with hazardous outcomes, and difficulty performing daily tasks.”
Recent scientific studies have proven that healthy sleep habits contribute to maintaining brain health. As much of the American populace continues to age, protecting cognitive functions becomes more important both for individuals and for society as a whole. As 2015 progresses, The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine predicts you are likely to see more information available about sleep deprivation as it becomes a public health issue of greater concern.
Z-Z-Z by the Numbers
Some adults say they just don’t need the classic 7-8 hours of required sleep. Other adults crave 9. The truth is, we are all a little different in the number of hours sleep we require. According to experts, snoozing for a certain number of hours is only one of the important requirements of healthy sleep. “The quality and timing of sleep are two other important factors for getting proper rest each night.”
The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine lists Five Tips for Improving the Quality of your Sleep, below. These tips make nice little objectives to enhance the overall goal of improving your sleep habits :
1. Prepare your lair! Your bedroom should be cool and dark. Your sleeping environment is so important to the quality of your sleep that you can visit an entire online resource devoted to it.
2. Unplug Yourself! Turn off all electronic devices while preparing for bedtime. This one is possibly the most difficult for those of you who never let their electronic tablet out of sight!
3. Lock In Your Bedtime. Experts advise us to “Stick to a regular bedtime and wake time every day, even on weekends.” This is a 24/7 commitment.
4. Cease the Caffeine: Discipline yourself to resist coffee, tea and caffeine by the early afternoon.
5. Keep Your Late Afternoon Eyes Open! By this we mean you should avoid the late-afternoon nap. Maintaining a regular bedtime is difficult enough with a busy routine. Late afternoon naps will make it difficult to sleep at your regular bedtime.
We have more tips to help you attain healthy sleep, but these basics will put you on the right path to improving your sleeping habits.
If sleep came in boxes or packages, we at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine could supply a Sleep Deprivation Warning, printed on the top of each box or package of zzzz’s:
Caution: Sleep deprivation can cause you health and social problems and adversely effect your performance on the job.
Thank you for reading our blog, and we wish much success on your path to a healthy lifestyle in 2015.