Sleep a Necessity, Not a Luxury

HealthDay News reports that as the pace of life gets faster and faster, and people try to cram more and more into every minute of the day.

Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

But lack of sleep affects a person in one of two ways.

First, sleeplessness influences the day-to-day performance of tasks.

The longer-term effects of sleep deprivation involve a person’s health. Doctors have linked lack of sleep to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, depression and substance abuse.

My Take?

Not getting enough sleep will prevent you from being highly healthy. If you do not or cannot get enough sleep, visit your family physician.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers these tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

Stick to a regular sleep schedule.

Avoid exercising closer than five or six hours before bedtime.

Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed.

Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.

Don’t take naps after 3 p.m.

Relax before bed, taking time to unwind with a hot bath, a good book or soothing music.

If you’re still awake after more than 20 minutes in bed, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Anxiety over not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

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