I used to think I had some magical power that gave me the ability to stay awake all night. I truly believed I didn’t need to sleep when I was younger.
But we all need to sleep! Most adults need 7-8 hrs of consistent daily rest so their body and brain can recuperate and recharge.
The American Sleep Association (ASA) reported in 2008 that 50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder, so you’re not alone! For a healthy sleep regimen, here is what they recommend:
The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need. While we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.
However, life is anything but consistent no matter how hard we try to control it! So surrender, there are some weeks you’re just not gonna get enough.
Some factors we can control, some we can’t. Take a moment to reflect on your sleep habits. Are you satisfied?
If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, take a moment to reflect on your nightly routine.
- Are you watching TV or staring at your computer or a mobile device an hour before you lay down?
- Are you eating late at night or drinking alcohol that evening?
- Do you have a lot on your mind?
- Are you taking medications?
Luckily there are ways of balancing the inevitable roller coaster ride. You can:
- Drink extra water
- Treat yourself to a fresh juice or healthy treat to boost your immune system
- Lie in a yoga position called “Corpse Pose” for 20 minutes to recharge.
Sleep is so important that if you aren’t getting enough, it will affect your mood, stress levels, weight, and overall health. A great way to treat yourself is by going to bed early and getting a full night’s rest!