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Are you one of the 35% of Americans who suffer from sleep deprivation? It’s easy to recognize the immediate effects of poor sleep habits such as an irritable mood and decreased energy. But, what about the not-so-obvious health consequences? Inadequate sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and increased mortality. Sleep deprivation also directly impairs brain functioning and muscle recovery. You simply can’t function at your best when overly tired!

Wondering if you are sleep deprived?

If you experience any of the following, there’s a good chance you may need more sleep.

  • Waking up feeling groggy and stiff, rather than refreshed.
  • Feeling tired or depleted throughout the day.
  • Unable to sleep or frequent tossing and turning at night
  • Problems concentrating or impaired memory.
  • Oversleeping or hitting snooze on the alarm more than 4x/week.
  • Sleeping less than 7 hours per night.

How much is enough?

It is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. Research shows that it is not the amount of sleep that is often neglected, but the quality of sleep. Here’s a few proven tips for improving sleep quality.

  • Go to bed and wake up at consistent times.
  • Create a pre-sleep routine (reading, soft music, deep breathing, etc.)
  • Keep your room cool (60-69 degrees F), quiet, and dark.
  • Switch your smart phone to night mode at least one hour before bed.
  • Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  • Do not consume caffeine after noon.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Exercise regularly.

Healthy and Happy

According to the American Psychology Association, sleeping 60-90 minutes more each night can make you healthier and happier. We’re all about that! This week, prioritize getting at least one extra hour of sleep per night and notice the difference. Do you have more energy to play with your kids? Are you better able to concentrate on your work? Most importantly, do you feel healthier and happier?