August 14, 2009
Sleep Health – Are you counting dollar bills instead of sheep?
If you’re more often counting dollar bills instead of sheep as you drift off, you’re part of a growing number of Americans. One third of us report that we are tossing and turning because of concerns about the economy, notes a recent poll.
It may seem impossible or almost indulgent in times like these to clock the recommended 8 hours of Zzzs each night. But if you’re not doing everything you can to secure enough quality snooze time, you may doing yourself – and your bank account – more harm than good.
Consider the rising costs of health care. Then, consider these startling facts coming out of recent research – many experts say they’re just the tip of the iceberg:
- Less than 7 hours of sleep a night significantly increases the likelihood you’ll be obese; lack of sleep may disrupt hormones that keep your appetite in check.
- Increased risks of heart disease, diabetes and various cancers have all been linked with poor sleep quantity and quality.
- Tossing and turning can worsen depression; some evidence even indicates it may factor into its development.
- Since rest is a big part of quick reaction time in your wake hours, even one night of poor sleep can increase your risk of getting into a car accident.
While you can’t single-handedly fix many of the things that may be causing you anxiety and interrupting your sleep, you can make little fixes that can improve your comfort level and ability to get to Dreamland faster (and stay there the whole night through):
Sleep on a Good Mattress – If your mattress is more than 10 years old, uncomfortable or not big enough to give you and your partner enough room to rest with ease, consider an upgrade. Remember, you spend 1/3rd of your life in bed. This is no time to look for the cheapest one out there. You don’t have to sell the ranch to afford a good mattress either. There are some excellent alternatives out there but keep in mind…”You get what you pay for!”
Control Light – Even the soft glow of a television or computer screen can throw off the internal clock that allows you to sleep and wake on a normal schedule.
Keep Cool – Set your room temperature to 60 to 65 degrees.
Block out Noise – If nighttime sounds keep you up, consider earplugs or even turning on a fan (many find the whirling sound of the air soothing).
“Sleep in America”, 2009. National Sleep Foundation. Accessed: March 2009.
Courtesy of www.findmymattress.com
Check out some of our other Healthy Sleep Articles;