Recently, the National Sleep Foundation developed age-specific recommendations for nightly sleep durations. The recommendation for adults 18 to 64 years old is seven to nine hours each night.
Unfortunately, many of us aren’t getting that. Only 31% of Americans say they're consistently getting enough, reports FastCo, and 30% of people working regular hours get fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night.
The sleep debt adds up. If you sleep one less hour than you should each weeknight, by the weekend, you’ll have accumulated 5 hours of sleep debt, and that amount can be difficult to "pay back." Accumulated sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.
Do you get enough sleep? What are your secrets?
Here are some things we find helpful:
- Value it. The hazards of sleep deprivation are real, and the difference between feeling well-rested vs. slow and groggy all day is huge. A good night’s sleep will help with productivity and happiness. Prioritize sleep as a key part of your healthy lifestyle.
- Wind down. If you’re not tired enough for sleep, ask yourself if you’re getting enough exercise. When you’re physically tired, it’s easier to get to sleep. To wind down, we like a short, gentle yoga routine or meditation session, reading, and eliminating screen-time at least a half hour before snooze time.
- Create routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Once you’re in the habit, it’s easier to keep it up. Your mind and body will thank you.
This post is written by Kelly, a Brooklyn-based writer and producer who loves going to bed at 10pm and waking up to sunshine and coffee.