Get Enough Sleep

05/27/2016

You should be getting more sleep. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) warns that people who don’t get enough sleep increase their risk for obesity and depression. These problems have been linked to increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Lack of sleep can also cause forgetfulness, and affect creativity and problem-solving.

How much sleep should I get a night?

The CDC recommends that everyone get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. But they report that almost 30% of Americans usually get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. More than 50 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or chronic sleep loss.

How can I get better sleep?

The first thing to do is recognize when you are sleep-deprived. It can be hard to know how much sleep you’re getting a night. Try tracking your sleep if you feel exhausted all the time, or need a lot of caffeine to stay alert during the day. If you are sleep-deprived, try one of these tips to get better sleep. 

  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same times each day.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • If you can, keep your bedroom for sleep only. Watch TV, exercise, and get on the computer in another room.
  • Exercise every day, but not right before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a big meal at night.
  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol, especially late in the day.
  • Take 15 minutes to wind down before bed.
  • Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. Many wear out in 5 - 7 years.

For more information about sleep deprivation, contact your health care provider, or visit the CDC’s website.