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A Better Night's Sleep

Woman waking up happy

Did you know that about 20 years of an individual’s lifetime is spent sleeping, but that most of us don’t sleep for the recommended minimum of 8 hours a night? Common sleep mistakes mean we don’t reap the numerous health benefits sleep, or perform to the best of our ability. The demands and expectations of our modern society have placed increasing demands on our time, and more than ever people are making up for those demands by cutting back on sleep.

At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the cost of insufficient sleep is much higher than most people realize. Scientific research is revealing how sleep loss, and even poor-quality sleep, can lead to an increase in errors at the workplace, decreased productivity, and accidents that cost both lives and resources. Awareness can help you improve your sleep habits and in turn, your safety. Lack of sleep exacts a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents. Sometimes the effects can even be deadly, as in the case of drowsy driving fatalities. We all know that we need to get a better night’s sleep but what are the benefits of sleep and what tips can we employ to ensure we get sufficient rest?

The benefits of sleep include:

 Healthier immune systems, sleep can help your body defend against illness.
 Maintaining a healthy weight.
 A Lower risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
 Reduced stress and improved mood.
 Better cognition allowing for clear thinking, improved attention and alertness, and better memory recall
 Creativity – REM sleep has been proven to be beneficial for creative processes.
 Injury prevention- most importantly, adequate sleep also can prevent injuries at work, at home, or on the road.

Helpful tips to improve your sleep:

 Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. An irregular sleep pattern confuses your internal body clock and causes disruption in your sleeping pattern.
 Avoid watching television or using electronic devices such as tablets 2-hours prior to bed. Not only does the flicker rate and blue light of electronics affect our brain’s sleep patterns but electronic use tends to draw us in, leading to the chances of going to sleep later.
 Avoid long naps during the day as this can affect your ability to fall asleep at night. Quick power naps of no longer then 20-minutes can aid in a quick boost of function but any longer could hinder nighttime slumber.
 Using your phone 30 minutes-2 hours prior to bed as the bright light from your phone mimics daylight and stops melatonin from being fully released, keeping you wide awake.
 Avoid caffeinated beverages 6 hours prior to bed
 Enjoy a warm Epsom salt bath to relax muscles and alleviate tension from the day
 Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for the most comfortable sleep

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