Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important
things you can do for yourself. Your body and brain
"recharge" themselves during sleep - so if you don't
get enough sleep, you can't be at your best the next day.
Lack of sleep can:
performing even simple tasks difficult
short-term memory, concentration and alertness
- Increase the
chance of being in an accident
- Slow your
body's ability to fight disease and repair tissue
You're probably not getting the sleep you need if you:
- Feel groggy
and lethargic in the morning
- Feel drowsy
during the day
- Need more
than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Wake up
frequently during the night and have trouble getting back
While everyone has different sleep needs, the National Sleep
Foundation recommends that most people get eight hours of
sleep per night. And it's not just the number of hours that
count - it's also the quality of the sleep. It's important to
get an uninterrupted, restful night's sleep.
Common Causes of
A recent Gallup survey found
that stress, pain, and being too hot or too cold were the most
common causes of sleeplessness. Poor sleep habits and using
certain drugs and medications can also affect the ability to
If pain keeps you awake at night, you're not
alone. A recent National Sleep Foundation survey found that 56
million Americans experience nighttime pain and sleeplessness,
losing an average of more than 20 hours of sleep each month.
Many of these people find it difficult to function at their
best due to lack of sleep.
Follow these tips for a good
substances that may cause sleep disturbances. Rather than
relax you, drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco before
bedtime may keep you awake. Drink caffeine in moderation,
and not in the afternoon or evening.
- Get regular
exercise, but avoid strenuous exercise two hours prior to
bedtime. Exercise may "wake up" your body so
that you can't sleep.
- Don't eat a
heavy meal just before bedtime. Digesting a heavy meal may
make you too uncomfortable to sleep.
- Go to bed and
wake up at the same time every day. Many people find that
routine behavior helps them get a good night's sleep.
- Don't focus
on your worries before bedtime. Anxiety is one of the most
common causes of sleeplessness.
sleeplessness persists continuously for more than two
weeks, consult your doctor.