National Sleep Awareness Week has wrapped up this morning, which means it's officially time for Daylight Savings! With a majority of adults not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night and the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) calling out a lack of sleep as an epidemic, we thought we'd go to the experts to get their tips for adjusting to this weekend quickly and in a healthy way.
"A lack of sleep is a huge health problem," Dr. Sam Sugar, director of sleep services at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa says. "Sleep abnormalities lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, dementia, diabetes, high lipids—all the costly and important chronic diseases of our time, as well as a two to three times increased risk of motor vehicle accidents."
Dr. Sugar also stresses in that as little as 24 hours after sleep deprivation, you can begin to see a decline in your decision-making capacity and executive functions. That's in addition to abnormal hormonal functions, changes in your blood pressure, and daytime fatigue. Fun!
Dr. Sally Ibrahim, a physician at the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, agrees that regular sleep is necessary for good health. Since we're springing forward, it's more important than ever that you get enough sleep. Here are Dr. Ibrahim's top tips for making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep:
2. Avoid things in the bedroom that alert you at night. Keep the room for sleep and sex only.
3.You don't want to be in bed and not sleep, so avoid going to bed before you are ready.
4. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants (this includes smoking) in the evening.
5. Aim for at least seven or eight hours of sleep nightly.