Between restless kids, stressful jobs, busy schedules and poor diets, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You may think you are getting enough, but still finding yourself excessively tired throughout the day. March 10-16 is National Sleep Awareness Week, so we’re taking a look at how much sleep we actually need each night.
Sleep needs can vary across ages and lifestyles. To determine how much sleep you need, it’s important to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep.
In general, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but to find the right quantity of sleep for you, ask yourself these questions:
Are you productive, healthy and happy after seven hours of sleep? Or does it take nine hours of quality sleep to help you be focused and productive the next day?
Do you have any health issues such as obesity or risk of any diseases?
Are you experiencing trouble sleeping?
Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
Do you often feel sleepy throughout the day or while driving?
Pay careful attention to your mood and health throughout the day and take note of how you slept the night before. For instance, if you find yourself feeling energetic and productive one day and remember sleeping 8.5 hours the night before, you may have found your sleep sweet spot! Track your sleeping patterns in a notebook or diary until you find a quantity that works for you.
If you find yourself struggling to get a good night’s sleep, here are some tips:
- Design a strict sleeping schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Exercise regularly.
- Ensure your bedroom has the ideal temperature, lighting and sound.
- Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Avoid sleep stealers such as alcohol and caffeine.
- Turn off electronics before bed.
As we celebrate National Sleep Awareness Week, it may be time to reevaluate your sleeping habits and make some changes! Sleep affects almost every aspect of our lives, so make sure you are getting enough quality sleep each night.