By Lisa Bailey, PA-C

 

Sleep is glorious and we all know that we don’t get enough of it. But have you ever wondered just how much sleep your body needs to be healthy? According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should average between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This varies from person to person. When work, family obligations or social commitments start piling up, we sacrifice sleep to get everything done. While we all know that lack of sleep impacts productivity, we tend not to think about it too much. But, maybe we should. Skipping sleep can have adverse effects. Those who sleep less than their body requires risk sleep disorders, weight gain and depression. Here are some healthy sleep habits to ensure you are getting proper rest:

 

Try keeping a log of the hours you slept and note how rested you feel in the morning. After a few weeks, review the information charted and see how well rested you feel depending on the number of hours you slept. The goal is to find how many hours it takes you to feel well rested throughout the day.

 

Should you find that you wake frequently or have difficulties falling asleep, try sticking to a routine every night.  This includes going to sleep and waking at the same time. Take deep breathes, play soft music, dim the lights, avoid caffeine or alcohol and turn off the electronics. Our days are often overfilled and can be exhausting. Slowing down may be just what your body needs to help you feel rested!

 

If you still don’t feel fully rested, schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you may have a medical condition called sleep apnea which is a potentially serious sleep disorder affecting many people with excess weight where breathing stops and starts throughout the night. Sleep apnea can be treated and your body will reward you with more energy and a full night’s rest.