You get home from work after an exhausting day and on your commute home, or even many times throughout the day, your mind may focus on your nice comfy bed. Upon your arrival home, dinner needs to be made, dishes need to be washed, the house needs cleaning, and maybe there are even kids that need to be bathed and put to bed. By the time the to-do list is completed, the clock confirms that there are only so many hours until your day must begin again.
Many of us have the same problem. We all lead busy lives and sometimes sleep is at the bottom of our priorities. However, it is one of the most important actions we can take for better health.
While you sleep, your body works on maintenance of many biological aspects of our body. All of this work that is performed during sleep is to prepare the body for the next day, hence why little or no sleep leaves one drowsy and unmotivated during the day. The body never had time to re-charge!
Most adults need seven and a half to nine hours of sleep every night to be completely functional and ready to move the following day. Children and teens need even more sleep, anywhere from 12 to 18 hours for newborns and 10 to 11 hours for ages 5 to 12.
You may be depriving yourself from sleep if you:
- Need an alarm clock to wake up in time
- Need to nap to get through the day
- Rely on the snooze button
- Fall asleep while watching TV or a movie
- Feel sluggish and sleepy in the afternoon
Don’t get too frustrated if you are having trouble making time for the right amount of sleep right away. As a recently graduated college student and now working in the real world, I definitely understand the troubles associated with making enough time for sleeping the right number of hours. However, once I learned just how important it is, I made sure to work on getting it right. Practice time management and set a schedule for yourself. Make a list of tasks you must complete and what can wait for another day. Once you are in the routine of going to bed on time, your body will become accustomed to this and you will naturally want to sleep, at least from personal experiences.
If you feel like sleep deprivation is affecting your life and your health, I recommend talking to your doctor. There is always an answer! Once you become used to your new routine and get all the Zzz’s you need, you will reap the benefits of proper sleeping patterns!
Stay healthy and be strong!