Do you normally get enough sleep? Many people don't; in fact, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control, says that 30 percent of all workers in the United States are sleep deprived, meaning they get fewer than seven hours of quality sleep a night. That can put employees like drivers, warehouse workers, and health care providers at on-the-job risk, but even if you're just chained to your desk, chronic sleeplessness can still affect your health by increasing your risk of obesity, heart disease, and other conditions. So, how do you know you're sleep deprived? Here are eight signs you should be getting better sleep, from sleep experts and Prevention magazine.
- You need an alarm to wake up.
- You use the snooze button on your alarm more than twice.
- You fall asleep in fewer than 10 minutes.
- Simple decisions stump you.
- You're still hungry after eating all day.
- You keep coming down with colds.
- Weird things make you cry.
- You've become a klutz.
If this sounds like you during the workweek, read on for our advice on how to get a good night's sleep.
- Change your habits: You can turn from restless night owl to refreshed morning lark, you just have to be mindful (and truthful) about your sleeping habits. We spoke to the experts to find out how to train yourself into a champion sleeper; read our tips for changing your sleeping habits here.
- Have a sleep-inducing snack: Certain foods can help induce sleepiness, so try eating a light snack of one of these 15 foods that help you sleep. And be sure to avoid these worst foods to eat at night.
- Drink this, not that: A cup of milk? Drink up; milk can help lull you to sleep and get your body in a sleepy state of mind. A tumbler full of bourbon, however, isn't the best nightcap, since alcohol can disrupt your sleep later in the night. Read more about the best and worst things to drink before bedtime.
- Relax with yoga: Relax your body and mind to get ready for slumber with these soothing yoga poses you can do in bed.
- Avoid, avoid, avoid: Certain things in your life, like worrying about your to-do list, the light emanating from your laptop screen, and vigorous exercise, can aggravate or energize your body and brain instead of helping you wind down. Make sure you avoid these six things before you go to bed to get a good night's sleep.
- Consistency is key: Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule each day of the week, even on weekends. Getting up and going to bed at the same time everyday will help your body fall into a natural rhythm, so it knows when to sleep, and when to be awake.
- Clear your mind: If work or family issues are making you think and worry in bed instead of snoozing, figure out how to manage them. Talk to your boss, spouse, a friend, or therapist.