Disguising itself as a mere nuisance, lack of sleep is actually a detrimental public health problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Where you may believe that only getting five to six hours of continuous sleep a night is an annoyance that you have to live with, the CDC reports that sleep disorders lead to difficulty performing every day tasks and unhealthy behaviors. The health impact of a nation of sleep-deprived citizens is monumental in scale, as more auto and workplace accidents occur because of our lack of shuteye. Ensure a good night's rest by following these tips and tricks:
- Pay attention to what you are sleeping on. Get a good, high-quality mattress and pillow that properly support your back and neck, allowing you to rest in a comfortable position.
- Keep a regular schedule. As tempting as it is to sleep in on weekend mornings, try to rise at approximately the same time as you would during the work week. Go to bed at the same time each night also.
- Get outdoors and get some sun. Sunlight increases your body's natural abilities to fall and stay asleep. Open up your curtains, take work breaks outdoors and remove your sunglasses from time to time.
- Turn off the TV. The light from televisions and computer monitors help to stimulate the brain, making it difficult to relax at bedtime. Keep electronic gadgets out of the bedroom and try to limit your exposure during that last hour before retiring for the day.
- Change out your light bulbs. Switch out the bright bulbs in your bedroom to a lower wattage in order to relax both your eyes and your mind.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep, disturbing it by raising your body temperature. Also, avoid heavy, rich foods at night and refrain from eating anything within two hours of heading to bed.