Sunday, October 2, 2011

Did You Catch Your Zzzzzs?

We all know we're supposed to get 7-8 hrs of sleep a night. But when was the last time you scored an A on this assignment? I was sad to read yesterday that one in three Americans don't get enough sleep and more than 10 percent of the population is chronically sleep deprived. When surveyed, more than half of women say sleep is the first thing they sacrifice when pressed for time. Sleep rejuevenates us, resets us and prepares us for tomorrow. Without it, we do worse on daily tasks, preform awfully at work, and are greater risk for developing heart disease, cancer and depression. Those who sleep less also eat more, crave more foods, and have lower self confidence.
I used to be in the "I'll sleep when I'm dead" camp. And although there's always an exception to the rule, I am now "older and wiser" and realize how important sleep is in my life. If I skimp out the night before work, I'm drowsy and much less productive. Plus I just feel like crap! So I count backwards from whenever I know I need to wake up, and crawl under the covers no later than 7 hours prior.

So are you counting enough sheep? Here's some suggestions:
  • Schedule in sleep. yes I know you're scheduling in appointments, lunches and exercise already. But allot 7-8 hours a night to rest. Turn off the computer, tv, and dim the lights.
  • Take work outside. Only have sex and sleep in your bed. Don't bring in the computer or papers to grade.
  • Relax. Having trouble falling asleep? Make sure to turn off all electronics 1 hr before trying to sleep and avoid bright lights. Have a cup of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea. Read a light book. Meditate. Think soothing thoughts. Take Deep breaths.
Sweet dreams!
How'd you sleep last night? How much do you sleep on average? How can you rearrange your schedule to make sleep more of a priority.

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