Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is essential to human well-being. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t spend about one-third of our lives asleep. Too many of us do not make sleep a priority, and studies show it can affect you in negative ways.
There are many signs of fatigue such as moodiness, reduced productivity, weight gain, cognitive recognition, drowsiness, and decision-making problems. While everyone’s needs are different, the average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, some adults can get away with as little as five to six. Kids 6 to 13 years old and teenagers typically need eight to eleven hours of sleep, especially to be attentive in school. Make sure your children go to bed on time, so they can make good grades.
Learn to include sleep-promoting techniques into your routine to ensure you get your necessary amount of sleep. First, you need to support your natural rhythm by establishing a consistent sleep schedule. Try to choose a bedtime when you normally feel tired, and stick to the time every day, including the weekend. Avoid sleeping in, even on the weekends, because throwing off your rhythm can make you feel jet-lagged. If you need to stay up late, try to wake at your normal time, and opt for an early afternoon nap instead. Also, be smart about taking naps. Try to limit naps to about 15 to 20 minutes in the late afternoon, or you will have trouble falling asleep at bedtime.
Another issue for many people is controlling your exposure to light. Light is a natural indicator of your sleep cycle. Be sure to expose yourself to light in the morning, because it will make you feel more awake. If you work inside, be sure to expose yourself to light during your breaks to make you feel alert. At night, avoid screens for at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted by electronic devices is the most disruptive to sleep. Stay away from late-night television, because it is often more stimulating to the brain than relaxing. Be sure to minimize light in your room at night. It will cause you to be tired quicker, and if you have to get up in the middle of the night, keep the light to a minimum.
A few other tips are to exercise regularly, give yourself time to wind down before bed, and be smart about what you eat or drink.