If you find yourself struggling to get a good night’s sleep and you wake up feeling tired, you’re not alone. About 25 percent of U.S. adults report they don’t get enough sleep or rest at least 15 out of every 30 days.
Lack of sleep can cause you to be irritable and forgetful, and to feel down or depressed. It can also increase your risk of accidents or falls. Adequate sleep (about seven-nine hours a night for adults) helps fight off infection, supports the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes, and enables you to perform work or activities effectively and safely.
Sleep disorders and chronic short sleep (getting less than six hours a night) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
Here are seven tips to get some ZZZs and feel well-rested:
- Aim for seven-nine hours of sleep a night.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule. Try and get up and go to bed at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon. Taking a nap late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
- Develop a bedtime routine. Add in some relaxing activities like reading or listen to soothing music.
- Limit your use of electronics close to bedtime. Light from these devices makes it difficult to fall asleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit your caffeine intake late in the day. Caffeine can keep you awake and make it harder to fall asleep.
Don’t forget to set up your home for safe sleep:
- Keep a telephone with emergency numbers by your bed.
- Have a lamp within reach that’s easy to turn on.
- Limit hazards in your bedroom. Be mindful of placing objects that could become trip hazards like rugs, cords, or furniture.
While an occasional sleepless night is normal, if you feel tired and aren’t getting a good night’s sleep for more than two or three weeks, you may have a sleep problem. Talk with your doctor about your concerns.
Sources: National Institute on Aging, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion