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Social historians sayÂ Americans are sleeping less. In the 18th and 19th centuries, people averaged 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Today, people in the U.S. sleep an average of 7.5 hours. In Canada, the average is 8.2 hours.
There is no formula for how much sleep is enough for you. Some people need ten hours, and some get along fine on six. But, one thing that is certain for everyone is that not getting enough sleep takes a toll on oneâ€™s mental health.
The loss of a nightâ€™s sleep results in irritability, fatigue and mood shifts. It undermines creativity, flexibility, originality, and the ability to deal with unfamiliar situations.
How can you make up for lost sleep? Donâ€™t try to do it with a long afternoon nap. That can cause insomnia, and another miserable day tomorrow. Rather, experts say, you should go to sleep 15 or 20 minutes earlier each week until you are sleeping enough to eliminate daytime sleepiness.
The demands of jobs, community, and family can make it difficult to get enough rest, but the quality of sleep can also help to make up the difference. That means that if you get six hours of good sleep it is better than eight hours of interrupted or poor sleep.
Here are some tips on how to get restful sleep:
- Try to eliminate noise and light.
- Keep regular hours.
- Cut down on stimulants like caffeine.
- Donâ€™t go to bed stuffed or starved.
- Develop a nightly ritual that sends signals to your body that itâ€™s time to sleep.
- Sleep on a good mattress.
Regular exercise can also help relieve both physical and mental tension – as long as you donâ€™t exercise too close to bedtime and help prepare your body for a good nightâ€™s sleep: that magical state of non-consciousness your body uses to restore itself.
Expert Home CareÂ Live-in care, Elder care,Â & Senior home care in NJ Â 800-848-2336.