Making sleep a priority

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You eat right. You exercise. You engage in an active lifestyle for your health.

But is it too active?

If you’re not getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, all that effort may be for naught, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The organization recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get between seven hours and nine hours of sleep every night. Throwing that schedule off by missing only 90 minutes of sleep each night can have an impact that results in a lack of alertness.

More than 37 percent of adults in Michigan get less than seven hours of sleep a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That can have negative results on a person’s memory, communication skills, reaction time, situational awareness and ability to make decisions.

Not getting enough sleep can also be bad for your physical health, too, with Type 2 diabetes and weight gain among its common consequences.

The National Sleep Foundation (yes, it’s a real thing) offers several sleeping tips to help improve your quality of life:

  • Stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends. 
  • A relaxing, bedtime routine activity conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause stress and excitement.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. 
  • Vigorous exercise is best to help you sleep, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
  • Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, dark and free from any noise that can disturb your log-sawing.
  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable and supportive.

If your morning routine consists of stumbling around in a groggy haze while making wild, blind, thrashing grasps in the general direction of the coffee pot, you may want to reconsider your sleep schedule and habits.

So, the next time someone tells you to quit being so lazy and get out of bed, be sure to tell them your lounging for good health.


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Tags: health, sleep

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