Most Americans don’t get enough sleep. In fact, a recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has found that 85 percent of adults in the United States get less than seven hours of sleep a night.
Sleep deprivation has previously been shown to increase the risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Due to this serious relationship between lack of sleep and disease and illness, individuals must work toward healthy sleep habits.
The survey conducted by the AASM found that 68 percent of participants lost sleep due to drinking alcohol past bedtime. Approximately 88 percent reported staying up late to binge-watch a TV show, 66 percent stayed up to read, 58 percent watched sports, and 50 percent played video games. Due to the pandemic, many people are struggling with sleep. About 22 percent of all people reported sleeping problems, and 19 percent say they get less sleep than before the pandemic.
Sleep Better in 2021
To get a better night’s sleep, the AASM recommends setting a bedtime that allows at least seven hours of restful sleep a night. Develop a calming nightly routine with such tasks as meditating or journaling. Limit all noise and distractions, including televisions from the bedroom, which should be dark, quiet, and cool.
Limit all alcohol after bedtime, cut off caffeine after lunchtime, and ditch any sugary snacks. Most people aren’t aware that everything consumed close to bedtime could impact their sleep.
Many people struggle with AASM’s suggestion of turning off electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime, but it’s one of the most important ways to ensure a good night’s sleep.
“Despite the fact that many Americans are no longer commuting to and from work, it is paramount to establish and maintain morning and bedtime rituals, such as getting up and going to bed at regular times to achieve adequate sleep,” said Dr. Kannan Ramar, president of the academy.
By not getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, risks for certain health conditions increase. These include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and frequent mental distress. By following the advice by the AASM and getting the required amount of sleep, you can drastically reduce the risk of illness and disease.
AASM has said that sleep makes you happier, healthier, and smarter. It can affect mood, learning, relationships, memory recall, thinking, and creativity. In today’s world, we need to do everything we can to ensure we stay healthy and happy, and by getting enough sleep, you can improve many areas of your life.
So, make 2021 your year to focus on sleep. By following the guidelines from AASM, you will begin to feel better, look better, and be ready to face the new year.
Sarah Cownley earned a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England, and she enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.