Sleep is an essential part of life. Just like water and oxygen, we can’t live without it, yet many try to! In today’s society, there’s just not enough time in the day, and sleep typically gets put on the backburner for things like work and children. Furthermore, common sleep conditions can keep you up at night. But if you want to be your best, getting enough hours of sleep a night should be a top priority.
According to the Sleep Foundation, adults ages 18-64 require between 7-9 hours of sleep. About half of Americans get less than that amount. Individual sleep needs vary, so pay attention to your body and figure out how much you need to stay alert, productive, and healthy. When you attain enough sleep, the benefits are endless:
- Less stress
- Better mood
- Improved problem solving
- Lowered risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke
- Lowered appetite
- Boosted immune system
- Better work performance
To improve your sleep, stick to a schedule – even on the weekends – and practice a relaxing ritual at bedtime. Exercise daily, and turn off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Create an ideal sleep space by choosing a comfortable room temperature, sounds that may put you to sleep, and how much light you want. Use a comfortable mattress and pillows, and beware of alcohol and caffeine. By following these steps, you’re making sleep a top priority and will surely reap the benefits.
Some disorders may cause a lack of sleep, such as snoring or sleep apnea, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), or insomnia. Even feeling excessively tired after a good night’s rest could be a tip that you should seek medical attention.
UAB Medical West’s Sleep Center is dedicated to giving you the sleep you deserve. Call the Sleep Center at 205-481-8692 to schedule an appointment, or visit www.medicalwesthospital.org to find out more.