Approximately 15 million American's report falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month. We all want to live a happy life but we aren't always sure what we need to do to achieve our desired outcomes.
Science informs us that getting enough sleep is one of the most important factors to a healthy, happy life. There are many variables which play a role in the about 50 million cases of sleep disorder in the United States - these factors include (but are not limited to), diet, technology, stress, alcohol consumption, uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, lack of a routine and even various medications American's are prescribed.
Fatal car accidents are up 11% in 2016. Although there is no conclusive evidence that sleep deprivation and fatal car accidents are correlated, it is reasonable to assume more sleep can't hurt. Obviously, there are a lot of factors that come into play, including texting and driving but I would venture a guess and say sleepiness has a significant impact on the lethality of car accidents. Approximately 5% of those with a sleep disorder reported falling asleep while driving at least once in the past month. This is a serious problem that we need to hold ourselves accountable for solving. Imagine looking out your driver-side window and seeing the person next to you sleeping. We often joke about the naps we can get in when cars a fully automated but we are far from being able to do that! In the meantime, what are we supposed to do?
Many of us have probably learned in college that sleep ultimately comes down to life choices absent some other medical condition. If we want to stay up and party all night, we are undoubtedly going to wake up unrested and flat-out tired.
Like anything else, the choices we make day-to-day ultimately impact our performance in the 'real-world'. In this case, being tired increases the chances of a needless fatality or undesirable behaviors being exhibited in your work or home life. If you are tired, figure out a way to take a cat-nap....without getting fired.
As we get older, life plays more of a role in the quality of sleep we get - it is important we manage any distractions that could hijack the "zzZzzZzzzzzZ's". Being sleep deprived increases the risk of depression and managing stress becoming noticeably more difficult.
There was a period a bit over a year ago for me when work stress levels were high and hours were long. Never did I ever have trouble falling asleep, but there comes a first time for everything. Needless to say, sleep was hardly restful and resulted in several lifestyle changes to make sure I was at my best.
Here are the top 10 things you can do to increase your changes of a restful slumber:
No cell phone, laptop or iPad's before bed (or in bed)
Limit alcohol consumption
Find a routine which relaxes you 1-hour prior to going to bed and make sure you go to bed at the same time each night
Go to bed at a reasonable time - preferably getting 6-8 hours of restful sleep
Make sure your mattress provides adequate support and provides characteristics that are most ideal for your lifestyle (click on the link to read more about my favorite mattress to date - the parent company is Saatva)
Invest in a quality pillow which offers adequate neck & spine support
Go to the gym/get exercise
Research and use essential oils - they work!
Use a sleep app such as Sleep Cycle. This will give you data to see if your adjustments are working
If you are really having a hard time getting restful sleep, try Rescue Remedy, it's like over the counter Xanax without the side-effects
Spend as much time readying my blog - if it puts you to sleep, I will have a problem and you will have found the solution to your problem : ).