Break out your pillow, blanket and PJs. It's that annual time of year to focus on one of the most important factors that contributes to good health — sleep. This week America will celebrate Sleep Awareness Week, a public education program to spread knowledge of the importance of getting your zzzzs.
Test your sleep knowledge
How important is sleep in our lives? Consider these sleep facts:
- The average person spends 1/3 of their life sleeping, or the equivalent of 25 years.
- The amount of daily sleep required varies by individual. Though eight hours of sleep is recommended for adults, some people require more or less.
- Lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems, including weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.
- Sleep is active. Though our bodies may be at rest while sleeping, our brains are very active.
Tips for good sleeping
So how can you maximize the effectiveness of your sleep? The National Sleep Foundation offers these tips:
- Establish a sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Exercise. Stay active during the day to help you sleep better at night.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals at night. Don't go to bed until two or three hours after mealtime.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress. Since you spend so much time sleeping, it makes sense to invest in a good mattress.
- Relax. Before going to bed take a warm bath, read a relaxing book or listen to soft music.
- Create your sleep haven. The temperature of your bedroom should be set between 60 and 67 degrees. Make sure your bedroom is free from noise and light.
To learn more about the importance of sleep, put on your PJs and visit sleepfoundation.org
*. Because let's face it, if you don't snooze, you lose. Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.