Sleep is essential for a person’s health and well-being, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Yet millions of people do not get enough sleep or do not get enough deep sleep. The American Psychological Association states that 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different types of sleep disorders. Of those 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more.
How Much Sleep Do You Need
Everyone needs deep un-interrupted sleep, but how much is enough? While everyone’s sleep needs vary, most adults are equipped to handle sixteen (16) hours of wakefulness. This leaves about eight (8) hours required for sleep. There are quite a few individuals that can achieve the same rest with only six (6) hours of sleep per night. According to Van Dongen & Dinges in the “Principles & Practice of Sleep Medicine“, sleep requirements don’t reduce with age. Instead, it becomes increasingly difficult to sleep for long periods of time.
Stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties, according to sleep experts. Common triggers include school- or job-related pressures or a family or marriage problem. Serious illness or death in the family can also cause sleep problems. Usually, the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes. If short-term sleep problems aren’t managed properly from the beginning, they can persist after the original stress has passed.
Cost of Sleep Problems
So what does this all mean? It means there are a lot of Americans that are not giving their bodies enough rest. This can cause some very serious side effects. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, there is an estimated $15.9 billion in direct costs and another $50 to $100 billion in indirect costs to society due to sleep disorders or sleepiness. Being tired can have a direct impact on decision making as well. Research shows that people suffering from sleep deprivation react similarly to those of intoxicated individuals. Having a direct psychological impact on the ability to learn and evaluate complex problems, sleepiness can impact your day to day life in a profound way.
If you suffer from a sleeping disorder or sleepiness, there is hope. Aside from using an all natural sleep aid, such as My Healthy Sleep, you should also follow these simple principals and techniques to combat or prevent sleeping problems:
- Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule (Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day)
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise per day
- Minimize noise, light and excessively hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
Check out our Sleep Tips section for more tips on how to get a great nights sleep.