We’ve talked about newborn, toddler and teen sleep habits, but what about us? Who’s responsible for taking care of everyone? We are! If we don’t set a good example of what healthy sleep habits look like for our kids, then we can’t expect them to follow through with them. More importantly, if we don’t set aside time for ourselves to make sure we get enough sleep, everyone suffers, including us!
As Sleep Awareness Week nears its end, we want to take some time to remind ourselves (and you) to take care of yourself. This is a go, go, GO society that’s demanding of our time, emotion and energy. We’re on this journey with you and are experiencing the same throes of parenthood, trying to juggle it all and we know how hard it is, and trust us when we say you’re doing an amazing job!
While sleep might not be as critical for adults as it is for babies and their constantly developing brains, it’s still incredibly important for a myriad of reasons. According to the 2020 Sleep Poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, “Americans feel sleepy on an average of three days a week, with many saying it impacts their daily activities, mood, mental acuity, productivity; and more and 62 percent of Americans say their response to feeling sleepy is to shake it off.” Here are some of our motivating reasons to get a few more winks at night:
- Improves concentration and productivity
- Reduces your risk of heart disease
- Leads to better, healthier food choices
- Helps you exercise and maximize your athletic performance
- Stregnthens your immune system
- Lowers the risk of depression
Tips for Better Sleep
The NSF recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults aged 18-64 and 7-8 hours for older adults aged 65 and over. Characteristics of a good night’s sleep include waking up feeling refreshed, alert, and able to be fully productive throughout your waking hours. The NSF’s Sleep Health Index® score – based on measures of sleep quality, sleep duration and disordered sleep – is worse among people who report having more sleepy days. In the 2020 Q1 Sleep Health Index, sleep quality, rated 64 on a scale of 0-100, was below average compared to prior Indexes.
The good news is that the NSF put together some simple and effective sleep tips to help you (and your loved ones) get a better, healthier night’s sleep.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine to help your body wind down and get ready to sleep.
- Set your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to promote for optimal sleep.
- Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning and avoid bright light in the evening. This helps keep your circadian rhythm in check for better sleep.
- Use ear plugs or white noise machines to silence any distracting noises that can disturb your sleep.
- Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading.
- For optimal sleep, use blackout curtains to block out light and keep your room dark.
- It’s during sleep that your muscles recover and repair themselves, so make sure you get enough sleep.
Not mentioned but a tip we use and have found success with is:
Invest in a comfortable, breathable, healthy mattress. Most people sweat while they sleep and most mattresses absorb all of that sweat over time. That’s why all Nook mattresses come covered in our organic, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic covers to help you sleep better and your mattress last longer.
Still unsure about the importance of sleep? Check out this great infographic put together by the National Sleep Foundation!