You’ve probably heard plenty about how important it is to get enough sleep. For many of us, it’s easier to make sure our kids get the rest they need than to take the time to recharge ourselves.
Not sure if you and your family are getting enough sleep? These questions will help you determine whether or not you’re getting the rest your body really needs.
- Are you thinking clearly? Sleep deprivation is a major cause in lack of focus, memory, and decision making skills. So, if you’re cramming extra work into the wee hours of the night, know that you’re actually harming your productivity in the long run. It’s not worth it!
- Are you depressed? Depression often manifests as a result of poor sleep habits and other negative lifestyle factors. Get plenty of sleep, eat right, and exercise – and see how your mood improves.
- Are you gaining weight? Sleep loss leads to weight gain for a couple of reasons: one is that the hormones which regulate our metabolism don’t function right if we don’t recharge. Another is that people who stay up late simply tend to eat more calories over the course of the day (but unfortunately, on average, don’t burn more!).
- Are you a loose cannon? Sleep deprivation causes anxiety, poor stress reaction, and other mood issues. Again – make the choice to take care of your body and watch your mood improve drastically.
- Are you addicted to caffeine? A cup of coffee in the morning won’t hurt you – and in fact is a healthy source of antioxidants – but if you find yourself chugging it down all day long, it might be time to look at your sleep habits.
- Are you dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? You might not jump out of bed in the morning, but it shouldn’t be a huge challenge just to start your day.
- Do you doze off during the day? A quick cat-nap during the day is actually not a bad thing – as long as it’s intentional. If, however, you find yourself dozing off at your desk or other places, you probably need to be getting more sleep at night.
The same concepts apply to kids: when it comes to behavioral issues, take into account how sleep habits, diet, and exercise might help improve the situation. If you notice a child breathing heavily while napping or even snoring, check with your Dr. and ask to have the adenoids or tonsils checked. For adults it’s recommended to contact a sleep center and have sleep patterns observed professionally. Sleep apnea is a common condition that can be addressed with help.
Each person needs an average of 7-9 hours of sleep. Everyone’s different – the exact amount Last May (which is Better Sleep Month), we shared tips on how to get a great night’s sleep. See how you can implement some of those into your family’s lifestyle as you settle into the new back-to-school routine.
May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!