Sleep Awareness Week was created to highlight the benefits of getting good, healthy sleep, especially during the time change that comes from Daylight Savings Time. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “One in three adults do not regularly get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep they need to protect their health." Understanding why sleep is crucial to your physical and mental health can help you prioritize sleep and healthy sleeping habits.
It can be easy to underestimate the importance of sleep on our minds and bodies. Looking at some of the risks that come from not getting enough sleep gives us just a tiny glimpse at how vital it is in our lives. Some risks of a lack of sleep can include:
Reckless and drowsy driving:
Not getting enough sleep can result in car accidents and unsafe driving habits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 6,000 crashes per year are due to individuals driving drowsily.
Inability to remember important information:
Sleep is critical in helping us remember things, and not getting enough of it can make it extremely difficult to keep a good working memory. You might do poorly in school, make mistakes at work, or forget meaningful events due to a lack of sleep.
Increased health risks:
Not getting enough sleep can result in various health problems or increased risks for conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and strokes. Since sleep also allows for healthy growth, not getting enough of it can stunt normal growth.
Getting sick more often:
If you find yourself chronically sick, it could be due to a lack of sleep. Sleep helps the immune system stay strong and healthy, and those who get enough sleep may find themselves less sick due to a stronger immune system.
It's clear how sleep influences our mind, body, and actions. Being aware of just how powerful sleep can be in various aspects of your life can help you create healthy sleeping habits and prioritize the amount of sleep you need each night.
If you are in the United States, most states observe Daylight Savings Time in March. Daylight Savings Time means that everyone will set their clocks forward an entire hour to conserve energy. Unfortunately, Daylight Savings Time can disrupt your regular sleeping schedule, resulting in poorer sleep quality. An external event like Daylight Savings Time can cause you to wake up feeling exhausted, thrown off balance, and frustrated.
Maintaining a regular sleep routine is one of the easiest ways to ensure better sleep quality. You can avoid the abrupt change in routine that Daylight Savings Time causes by adjusting your sleeping habits little by little a week or two beforehand. Slow, small changes in your routine will be easier for your body to get used to.
You can counteract the effects of Daylight Savings Time by:
Setting your bedtime later than usual:
While it may seem counterintuitive, setting your bedtime a little later than usual every day will help your body learn to fall asleep at that time when Daylight Savings Time arrives.
Making sure your bedroom is dark enough:
A dark room will help you sleep better. Making your room dark no matter the time can help train your body to fall asleep when it's dark.
Using a light therapy lamp:
A light therapy lamp that turns on in the morning can help your body wake up even if the sun hasn't risen yet.
You can help raise sleep awareness by creating conversations with those around you about sleep. You might not typically talk about sleeping habits with others around you, so Sleep Awareness Week provides an easy excuse to start talking about it. By doing so, you can learn more about how the people around you view sleep.
Sometimes, a lack of sleep can be seen by society as a positive sign that you are:
A diligent student
A dedicated employee
Leading a productive, fulfilling life
In reality, a chronic lack of sleep can lead to trouble concentrating and burnout in school and the workplace. These ideas are incorrect, and a lack of sleep is not something to be proud of.
You can help fight these harmful stereotypes by speaking positively about sleep and its benefits and helping others learn the risks involved with not getting enough sleep. Many do not know how important sleep is to our overall physical and mental health and can learn a lot from a simple conversation about sleep health.
Sleep Awareness Week coincides with Daylight Savings Time. Daylight Savings Time means that most people in the United States will set their clocks forward an hour, disrupting regular sleep habits and resulting in a poorer quality of sleep. A lack of sleep is detrimental physically and mentally, increasing the risk of health conditions and diseases, leading to poor memory and concentration. If you are having trouble sleeping, you can try implementing healthy sleeping habits into your life, such as developing a routine and making sure your environment is sleep-friendly. When these tactics don't work, it could signify a more significant problem. At SokyaHealth, we understand the value of good sleep. Our licensed therapists know how frustrating and exhausting a chronic lack of sleep can be and can provide holistic therapy methods to help you get the sleep you need. Call us today at (877) 840-6956 for more information about our program.