When it comes to sleep, this is one tired nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) between 35-45 percent of Americans unintentionally fell asleep during the day at least once and nearly five percent fell asleep while driving during the past month. And these are just the ones who admitted it. In addition to that, take into consideration that there are 50 to 70million American adults who have sleep or wakefulness disorders. Polls by the National Sleep Foundation also show that 48 percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally and 22 percent experience insomnia just about every night. And as a result, a quarter of Americans are taking a sleep aid to help them nod off. Are you one of them?
Exposure to bright light during the daytime helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle. Nighttime light exposure however can be disruptive to sleep. Limit outdoor light by covering windows with curtains and avoid the use of electronic devices in the bedroom. Even the dimmest light can interfere with sleep.
The body’s GI system works hard to digest food that can impact your body’s ability to rest. Not to mention after eating there is the potential experience of indigestion, nausea or diarrhea which can also disrupt sleep. Avoid this by passing on light snacks and heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Exercise at anytime of the day can improve sleep. It provides numerous health benefits and burns energy that prompts the body to “want” to rest.
An uncomfortable sleep surface can greatly impact one’s quality and ability to sleep. The average life span of a “good” mattress is 10 years and even less for others. If you can feel the springs when you lay on your mattress then Houston, you have a problem. As well, make it a practice to change pillows out annually. Some can easily lose their form and for hygienic purposes, why not change them up. They’re inexpensive and are considerably a small price to pay compared to quality sleep.