But do you realize just how important it is? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list lack of sleep along with smoking, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition as risk factors that cause major chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
Better Sleep for a Healthier You
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list lack of sleep along with smoking, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, stress, being overweight, and depression at the top of the list for risk factors that cause major chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition to being a factor in serious disease, losing sleep can result in other losses for you, such as:
- Impaired driving ability that can result in an accident;
- Decreased job performance, which is bad for you and your company;
- Decreased decision-making ability, which can negatively affect everything from your food choices (caffeine and fast food) to financial decisions in a typical day.
These consequences can ultimately mean money out of your pocket! Focus on getting more sleep on a regular basis and you will probably see improvements in your life all the way around.
Tips for Better Sleep
Try keeping a sleep journal. This can just be a small notebook that you keep by your bed. Write down the conditions of the room when you went to sleep, what time, when you woke up, what time you ate dinner, and other factors that may affect your sleep.
Adjust the light in your bedroom. The darker your bedroom at night, the better. Also, try to not watch TV or be on the computer one hour before bedtime. This simple trick often helps people relax and sleep better.
Get more daylight. Make sure you get more daylight exposure, especially in the morning. Take off your sunglasses in the morning, even for a little while. Take more breaks or walks outside during the day, and let as much sunlight as possible into your home or workspace.
Sleep in a cooler temperature. Most people sleep better in a room that’s between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Try varying the temperature in your bedroom, either by adjusting the thermostat or changing the thickness of blankets, and make a note of which nights you slept better.
Get up a little earlier. This isn’t advice most people like, but waking up even a half hour earlier and doing something you like to do can give you more energy and put you in a better mood to face the rest of the day. Of course, we recommend getting some exercise, such a taking a walk around the block. But anything, even playing a video game, may help to jump-start your day.