The Shocking Truth About Not Getting Enough Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? The National Sleep Foundation thinks that you might not be, and that’s why they’re kicking off their Sleep Awareness Week 2016 with the theme of #7Days4BetterSleep.

Sleep Awareness Week started on March 6th this year and leads up to the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, which is when the highest number of Americans are losing the most sleep, according to studies that the National Sleep Foundation has done on sleep patterns.

The NSF has been around since 1990 and was founded by leaders in sleep medicine in order to improve our health and well-being by educating the public about the huge impact that sleep has on our lives.

According to the data that they have collected, a third of all Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, and it shows when they visit their healthcare providers.

People that get less than the recommended 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night are faced with health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and even heart attacks. Not to mention the lack of attention and focus that plagues those that are missing out on sleep.

The reality is shockingly simple: poor sleep habits can take years off of your life.

That sounds scary, but the good news is that it’s never too late to cash in on the benefits of developing good sleep habits, such as lower blood pressure and stress levels, sharper memory and focus, and even an improved mood.

Just a few of the ways that you can start getting better sleep are:

-Setting a sleep schedule, and sticking to it. Getting to bed just an hour earlier than usual can have amazing benefits that you’re missing out on by finding excuses to stay up later than you should be. If you know that you can’t sleep in any later than you already are, that means setting an earlier bedtime and not finding more ways to stay away from your bed.

-Create a “wind down ritual” that includes weaning yourself off of electronic devices at least 45 minutes before bedtime. Sleep studies have shown that staring at screens before turning in for the night can decrease your ability to fall asleep.

-Write down what’s going through your mind just before bed. Taking the time to jot down what you want to get accomplished the next day can cut down on the chance that you’ll be mulling over all that you have to get done, and keep you in bed, instead of jumping up to take care of business.

Sleep Awareness Week is all about highlighting the importance of sleep, and the NSF is encouraging everyone to take their pledge to better sleep by making use of the resources that they provide, including their own 7 tips to getting good sleep.

You can check out more about Sleep Awareness week by visiting the National Sleep Foundation website or by following the #7Days4BetterSleep campaign on Facebook and Twitter to get daily updates and tips for getting the sleep that you need and deserve.