Are you getting enough sleep at night? Approximately 70 million people in the United States have sleep problems that keep them awake when they want to sleep, and therefore in a sleepy state when they need to be awake.
The NIH states that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to be well-rested, yet most people sleep less than that many hours. Here are what they recommend for a good night’s rest.
Top 10 Tips For Getting More Sleep
- Go to sleep at the same time each night, get up at the same time each morning.
- Avoid naps after 3 pm
- Stay away from caffeine and alcohol at night.
- Avoid nicotine completely.
- Exercise regularly, but avoid doing it 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal at night, opt for a light snack.
- Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold.
- Follow a routine that helps you relax before bed (for example, reading or listening to music).
- Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
- See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
Teens and sleep
Sleep problems are a special concern for teens. The average teenager needs about 9 hours of sleep at night, yet most don’t get that many hours. lack of sleep in adolescents is associated with symptoms of depressive mood. This can also impair academic performance in the classroom and physical performance in sports.
A sleepy teenager behind the wheel of a car is an especially dangerous combination. NSF states that drowsy drivers cause more than 100,000 accidents or collisions each year.
In addition to sleep advice for adults, teens can also try the following:
- Avoid time in front of any type of screen (TV, PC, etc.) at least one hour before going to sleep.
- Forbidden to spend all night doing homework (Do not leave homework until the last minute!).
- Make notes in a journal or on a to-do list just before bed to reduce stress.
- Sleeping no more than 2 hours later on weekend mornings than on weekday mornings. Sleeping in beyond that time will disrupt a teenager’s biological clock and make it even more difficult to get up early on Monday morning.