About one in every four Americans married or living with someone say they are so sleep-deprived that they are often too tired to have sex, according to a new study by the National Sleep Foundation. Lack of sleep also keeps many people from work and family functions, the report said. Maybe the good old, "I have a headache or I'm wiped" isn't such an excuse after all.
Ironic that I'm writing this blog post when I should be sleeping. According the the National Sleep Foundation this is the average amount of sleep we need depending on age:
Here are some guidelines for getting enough sleep:
To pave the way for better sleep, experts recommend that you and your family members follow these sleep tips. And this is how I measure up:
1) Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends - I fail on this one. I might be living on the edge but I stay up late watching the occasional movie on a Saturday night. whoohoo! 2) Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep - I shut things down early apart from writing this blog post 3) Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool - I sleep in a cave with dark curtains 4) Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex (keep "sleep stealers" out of the bedroom – avoid watching TV, using a computer or reading in bed) - oops again I'm writing this in bed with the Simpsons in the background. I suck 5) Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime - don't agree with this one. I will wake up if I'm hungry. I eat when I'm hungry just not crap before bed unless it's chocolate and I really need a bit 6) Exercise regularly during the day or at least a few hours before bedtime - agreed intense exercise close to bed can mess you up. That's why you've got to spend some time bringing yourself down after a hard workout. We do this at UF 7) Avoid caffeine and alcohol products close to bedtime and give up smoking - oops. Again just finished a wee glass of wine at 9:30. But I don't have caffeine after 12 unless it's super weak Earl Grey tea. 8) Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows - check. I have the brick bill to show for the recent mattress purchase.
I could stay up even later writing a super long blog post about the importance of sleep. There's so much information out there. If you're having problems sleeping, don't let it slide. Bug your doc. Find a solution. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of serious health problems, including obesity. Life gets hard to manage with too little sleep no?
People who are chronically sleep-deprived also can experience attention lapses, memory loss and other difficulties that can impair performance on the job, says James Walsh, executive director of the sleep medicine and research center at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Louis.
Surveys suggest Americans get about 6½ hours of sleep a night — about an hour less than the average in the 1950s, he says. Today, many adults extend their workdays by using cellphones to check e-mail messages.
But if lack of sleep is interfering with a little vavoom in your life, then maybe it's time to give up Glee, American Idol or Facebooking with acquaintances. Sleep more, sex more, tv less and surf less. It's simple. Plus you'll burn more calories, especially if you're not half asleep when you shag.