Getting enough restful sleep is a challenge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of Americans get less sleep than they should.
That's a big problem. Sleep deprivation has now been linked to serious health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.
But how much sleep do you really need? And how can you get it? This guide will uncover the secrets of sleep.
How many hours?
The recommended daily amount of sleep for adults is a minimum of 7 hours. A full 8 hours, though, is the ideal sleep duration you should get each night.
Those are the guidelines set by the CDC, as well as NIH (National Institutes of Health), but everyone is different. Figure out the number of hours you personally need to be at your best, and make it a priority to hit that number.
Am I getting enough hours of sleep?
Most of us don't know exactly when we fall asleep each night, so it can be tricky to figure out if you're actually hitting 8 hours. The most surefire way to know if you are getting enough shut-eye is to.
There are, and you can start tonight.
Why you need more sleep
Besides feeling tired, sleep deprivation can have a major impact on your life. Here are some of the ill effects of not getting enough consistent rest.
Sleepiness during the day
It's 11 a.m. or maybe 2 p.m., you're dragging. You can't help from nodding off periodically throughout the day. That's not supposed to happen after a good night's sleep.
Forgetfulness and poor concentration
You can't recall facts and figures you should easily remember. Or perhaps you've had one two many forgetful episodes recently.
For instance, you often find yourself misplacing your keys, or walking out the door without your wallet or phone. Studies indicate a link between cognitive ability and total sleep time.
Irritability and anxiety
People rubbing you the wrong way lately? Have you noticed that you've been more nervous or worried than usual? Our levels of irritability and anxiety can shoot up when we are starved for restful sleep.
The cumulative effects of poor sleep can also lead to weight gain, and that's for starters. Studies strongly suggest that chronic inadequate sleep results in lowered glucose tolerance.
Other adverse effects include increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
How to fix your sleep issues:
Are smart beds the answer to a good night's rest?