Are you sleeping enough?
Probably not. Life is hectic. You run from one errand to the next – maybe not as many as usual during the quarantine. Still, you also have responsibilities to family and friends, and significant others or your job, and sleep doesn’t sound as good as wanting to wind down by binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix.
I’ll admit, my sleep habits suck. I’m guilty of staying up too late regularly for just one more episode of my favorite show. Lately, I’ve been watching old episodes of Law and Order. Anyone else? What’s your late-night guilty pleasure TV series? Tell the truth. Come on. We’re all friends here.
But seriously, by staying up late, I realized I was missing out on the fantastic benefits of getting enough ZZZZZs, and I’ve been trying to change that disturbing late-night pattern.
Why You and I Should Focus on Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential, and adding just one or two hours more per night is all that most people need to feel healthy and perform at their best. That goes for children and adults. Even athletes are faster and more energetic when they sleep enough. And BTW, while we may not all be athletes, physical activity, in any capacity, is known to help with falling sleeping. The bottom line is that we all need the proper sleep duration for our respective ages, for our health and well-being. Short sleep duration – which is not getting in the recommended number of hours, can result in unhealthy consequences.
But getting enough sleep? It does a body good, not to mention you wake up feeling refreshed! Sleep helps!
- Better immune system. Getting sick less often is a significant plus – I have a life to live – and sleeping can help. One two-week study found that people who get in their eight hours a night or more were three times less likely to suffer from the common cold.
- Reduction in critical health issues. Diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, and stroke risks are higher when a person gets in less than 7 to 8 hours per night. Mental health can also be affected.
- Lower weight. Seriously. Poor sleep has been linked to obesity due to hormonal imbalances and not having the motivation to get up and exercise. And when you sleep well, you’ll have higher levels of leptin, the hormone that is responsible for suppressing your appetite.
- Increased productivity. Your brain needs sleep. Sleep improves performance, productivity, and concentration. One study found that medical errors increased by 36% when interns worked for more than 24 hours. (Yikes!) Also, short periods of snoozing can have a similar impact on the brain as alcohol. (Say it ain’t so!)
- Improve your social skills. I’m not one to get cranky when I’m tired (hungry, yes – I’ll bite your head off!), but I know that after a long day, the last thing I am is chipper. Studies have shown that getting enough shut-eye increases your social skills and helps you stay happier for longer.
Wait a Second. How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?
Okay, you need to get your ZZZZZs in, and while you may think your personal sleep need may be different than mine, it’s really not. At any given age, we all need the right amount of sleep, including naps. but how much is enough? Well, it depends. Harvard Medical School and the National Sleep Foundation are good sources to check for this info. So is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Different age groups require different amounts. Midlife sleep time is different than a teenager or even adults that fit into the 65+ category.
Sleep Foundation recommends:
- Teenagers should get in 8 to 10 hours per night.
- Young adults between 18 and 25 should average 7 to 9 hours per night.
- Adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye per night.
- Older adults over 65 need 7 to 8 hours per night.
If you’re curious about kids, up to 13 years-old, they sleep forever. Newborns should get in 13 to 17 hours a night, while preschoolers should average 10 to 13 hours a night.
So, what to do if you can’t decompress to get to bed?
If you’ve tried using a sleep mask (have you tried this one?), meditation apps, and counting sheep, and you still can’t relax before bed, or you toss and turn all night, I recommend trying CBD. CBD won’t help you fall asleep but it does help you relax. Sugar & Kush has 0 THC, 0 calories, and is all-natural. The brand also has out-of-this-world bath bombs that smell scrumptious. Many people swear by taking a long soak in the tub before bedtime.
If you do try anything from Sugar & Kush, use GWEN15 for 15% off anything on the site.
Not into CBD? Try Melatonin Gummy Vitamins, 5mg for a great night’s sleep. Or, another alternative is to try drinking a cup of tea near bedtime (not too close or you’ll have to get out of bed and pee!). This one – called Hey Girl, tastes delicious, and I love that it’s 100% natural.
Last suggestion? Comfy pajamas can make all the difference. I love my Jenni pajamas from Macy’s.
OK now – it’s time to shut off the light, and go night night.
Wishing you restful nights, plenty of ZZZZZZs, and a partner who doesn’t snore.
Disclaimer: Oh, wait a minute – almost forgot to mention. I’m not a doctor (although I am a Jewish mother, so, lol!. And I’m not trying to provide medical advice on sleep disorders or sleep deprivation—nothing about sleep apnea or disorders here. Instead, I just wanted to research info on quality sleep patterns, healthy sleep patterns, and what kind of increased risks were associated with my poor sleeping habits.
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** This post may contain affiliate links, but please know all opinions are my own. You’ll only find products here that I am familiar with and/or genuinely love.