Marathon Monthly April 2019 Physical Therapy
Why You Need 7-9 Hours Of Sleep
There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation. Just because you’re able to operate on six or seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap. Signs that you’re not getting enough sleep. If you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep each night, chances are you’re sleep deprived. What’s more, you probably have no idea just how much lack of sleep is affecting you. How is it possible to be sleep deprived without knowing it? Most of the signs of sleep deprivation are much more subtle than falling face first into your dinner plate. Furthermore, if you’ve made a habit of skimping on sleep, you may not even remember what it feels like to be truly wide- awake, fully alert, and firing on all cylinders. Maybe it feels normal to get sleepy when you’re in a boring meeting, struggling through the afternoon slump, or dozing off after dinner, but the truth is that it’s only “normal” if you’re sleep deprived.
You may be sleep deprived if you. • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time • Rely on the snooze button • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning • Feel sluggish in the afternoon • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving • Need to nap to get through the day • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed
TOP TRICKS TO GET MORE SLEEP AT NIGHT 1. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day. 2. Reduce irregular or long daytime naps. 3. Try to sleep and wake at consistent times. 4. Take a melatonin supplement. 5. Lighten up on evening meals. 6. Exercise early. 7. Turn off the tech. 8. Only use your bed for sleep.
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