Sleep. Are you getting enough?
Chances are probably not. 40% of Americans are not getting the recommended about of sleep - 7 to 9 hours. The average American is getting 6.8 hours of sleep, down 1 hour since 1942, where we were sleeping for 7.9 hours a night.
Medical studies have shown that the lack of sleep can be related to health and cognitive problems. People who do not get enough sleep:
are quicker to anger,
have their head in the clouds,
divergent thinking is impaired making it harder to switch subjects,
functions of brain structures - hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, partial lobe are altered making false memories more likely to occur,
are more likely to go for unhealthy, sugar ladened, higher carb, processed, pseudo-food.
So, how can you increase your sleep time? Try one or more of these:
1. Set and keep a regular bedtime and wakeup time. If you need 8 hours of sleep to feel replenished and refreshed, count back 8 hours from when you get up in the morning. More about a morning rituals so you can "own your day" in a later email.
5:30 am wakeup 9:30 pm bedtime
6:00 am wakeup 10:00 pm bedtime
6:30 am wakeup 10:30 pm bedtime
2. Limit caffeine consumption after 2pm. Caffeine is notorious for keeping people awake, right! Did you know that it is also found in dark chocolate - so watch those evening munchies! Especially if you are sensitive to caffeine.
3. Keep it dark. Light in the bedroom, while you are sleeping, interferes with melatonin (your body's natural sleep hormone) secretion making a good night's sleep hard to get. Red numbered clocks are considered the best.
4. Use a fan or white noise machine/app. I use "Sleep Pillow Sounds" on iOS. My son has a white noise machine that I got from Amazon.
5. Make your bed! According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their bed are 19% more likely to get a better night's sleep.
Try a few of these out and remember it takes more than trying something one time to see if it works!
Here's to a better night's sleep!