Catch Your Zzzzs! It's Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep is an important part of our overall health. Many of us don't get enough and many of us don't get the quality of sleep that we deserve.

The National Sleep Foundation has announced March 4 - March 11, 2018 to be Sleep Awareness Week. We all know that a good night’s sleep is an essential factor to having a good day. But how much sleep is enough? What can you do to ensure a restful night’s sleep? What is sleep hygiene? Here are four parts of a good night’s sleep.

 

Get Enough Sleep...

The right amount of sleep varies from person to person and can change as we age. Young children and teens require much more sleep than adults because their bodies are growing at a rapid rate.  While adults 25 - 65 years of age are recommended to get 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night, seniors (ages 65+) can get by on 7-8 hours.

The amount of nightly sleep required by each individual may vary but staying within these guidelines recommended by the National Sleep Foundation is a good start.

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Shut off the screens...

Sleep.org suggests that the blue light emitted by phones, tablets and even televisions can have a negative impact on the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and even the quality of sleep that we get during the night. Instead of catching up on a few emails before bed, try reading a favorite book for thirty minutes. If you use your cell phone as an alarm, by sure to turn off your notifications, as little chimes and buzzes can disturb your beauty sleep as well.

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Limit caffeine and sugar...

Avoid caffeine and sugar right before bed and limit your intake throughout the day. Excessive amounts of either can leave you wired and jittery, and throw off your sleep schedule. Instead of slamming another cup of joe to get through the afternoon, try eating a protein bar or some fruit for a little energy boost and be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

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Bedtime is important...

Getting your body and your mind used to a healthy sleeping routine requires sticking to a schedule. It’s important to pick a bedtime that works for you and a wake-up time that allows you to get an adequate amount of sleep. Staying up late or sleeping in for a few days in a row can throw your routine out of whack. A regular bedtime will help you maintain your schedule and keep you well-rested for the day ahead.