How many hours of sleep do you get in a night? Eight hours? Five hours? Less than that? You’ve probably heard that the more sleep you get, the more refreshed and energized you will feel. But, with workplace related stress on the rise, many people are reporting they’re not getting enough shut eye.
Throughout history, studies have shown that the average amount of sleep an individual gets each night has been declining. In 2010, the National Health Survey examined the sleep habits of workers across several industries and found that, compared to findings over the last 20 years, there was a 6% increase in the number who reported getting less than six hours of sleep each night.
According to a 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, almost 63% of Americans surveyed said their sleep needs are lacking. On average, it was found that many respondents are only getting about six hours and 55 minutes of sleep each night during the week.
Although the “normal” amount of sleep is defined as seven to eight hours a night, these amounts can vary from person to person based on age, gender, what tasks are performed by that person throughout the day, and how much energy is needed to perform those tasks. Some people may require more sleep while others seem to require less.
So, how much sleep do you really need? The National Sleep foundation defines an adequate amount of sleep as being able to wake up unprompted, feeling rested and alert, rather than drowsy. When you don’t get enough rest, you not only feel drowsy, but you can also experience poor performance, decreased alertness, and increased chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
So here are a few ways to ensure you catch some good Z’s each night:
- Turn off electronics close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening.
- Exercise regularly.
- Establish a sleep schedule and stick to it.
- Avoid daytime napping.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal late at night.
These are just a few tips to help you get the rest your body needs. Make it a goal to start counting more sheep at night. The more sleep you get, the less stressed you will feel. And that will not only help you be more productive throughout the day, but also help you feel happier and healthier too.