Are you getting the right amount of sleep? Too much sleep and you may be left feeling tired and groggy. Or even wake up with back pain or headaches. Too little sleep and you may find yourself unable to focus, tired, and irritable. Not to mention, you’re also at an increased risk of getting into an accident due to drowsy driving.
According to the CDC, about 1 in 3 people don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, it can affect your health and well-being. Lack of sleep can also lead to serious health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and more.
While getting a good night’s rest may seem like a luxury, experts agree it is a necessity.
What is the magic number behind getting the right amount of shut-eye? It depends on a few factors including age. For adults over 18 years old, the CDC recommends 7 or more hours of quality sleep each night.
It’s important to note that quality sleep is different from your sleep quantity. Furthermore, according to the Sleep Foundation, it’s defined by you, the sleeper. Do you wake up feeling rested? Or did you toss and turn all night?
Wondering how napping plays into all of this?
Sleeping about 20 to 30 minutes early in the day can be beneficial for adults wanting to boost their alertness. Any longer than that, and you risk going into a deep sleep that according to the Sleep Foundation can actually make you even more tired and groggy.
Tips in getting the benefits of a nap for adults:
- Timing. Make sure you nap at least 8 hours before you go to bed so that you don’t disturb your nighttime sleep schedule.
- Set an alarm. To not risk falling into a deep sleep, set an alarm so you don’t sleep more than 30 minutes.
- Log your napping. To make sure napping is beneficial to you, note how you feel before and after your nap, as well as how long you napped.
Tips for getting better sleep:
- Stay on a schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help improve your sleep.
- Limit screen time. Screens can worsen your quality of sleep. Try disconnecting 30 minutes before you retire to bed.
- Limit alcohol. According to the Sleep Foundation, even low amounts of alcohol can affect sleep quality by 9.3%.
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