Talk to your average Joe or Jane, and they're likely to tell you that they're not getting a whole lot of sleep these days. Health experts stress that at the very least, people should be getting seven to eight solid hours of shuteye every night, yet poll after poll reveals that Americans are lucky to get this amount.
The problem isn't just among adults, either. Researchers from Florida International University found that among teenagers and adolescents who get five hours of sleep per night or less, they're at a greater risk for long-term health issues, such as obesity or even behavioral problems.
Experts aren't sure, exactly, what it is that makes sleep so important for good health and well-being, but they are aware of the consequences that result. You name the side-effect, and a lack of sleep is linked to it, with headaches, stomach aches, short attention spans and even shorter fuses - i.e. tempers - being among them.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can to do get a good night's sleep on a regular basis. These are but a handful of them:
1. Commit to a full night's sleep. Even if it means cutting back on TV time or a night out with friends, set a goal for yourself to be under the covers by a specific time each night. Also, try to get up in the morning right around the same hour as well. The body thrives on consistency. This should help make your sleep more truly restful.
2. Create a sleep-conducive atmosphere. If you sleep in a room that's hot or noisy, dollars to donuts you're not going to sleep soundly. You want to make your environment as sleep promoting as possible. Ideally, the temperature should be between 60 and 65 degrees, with no light creeping in. Also, keep that TV off. Experts agree that electronics left on prevent the body from achieving REM sleep, the deepest form.
3. Establish a routine. Again, sleep quality is highly related to healthy habits. Take an assessment of what types of things you do before going to bed at night. If that routine has led to a good night's sleep, it's likely not a coincidence. Whether it's having a small bite to eat, reading a book or taking a hot bath or shower, keep doing the same thing on a nightly basis, provided it's been working. If not, try something different.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
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