We all know that Americans need more quality sleep, and we know the consequences of skimping on sleep. But do you know how sleep-deprived your particular state is? As a Californian, I would have guessed we are relatively more sleep deprived out here, and ditto for New York. And I would have been wrong.
We're coming up on one of my favorite times of the year: that time, just after spring breaks out but before summer begins, in which thousands of college graduates are released into the world. And as they go forth we give them lots of advice. The advice varies, sometimes conflicts, but the general idea is: Here is what you need to know in order to succeed in the world. This year my book tour is taking me to a lot of colleges, and my first piece of advice is to start by defining success for yourself -- by being clear about what you want, what you value and what you are about. But to do that, we need to abandon, or at least mitigate, some of the worst practices of the adult world that students are already mired in: burnout, sleep deprivation, stress and anxiety. This is all the more important because this generation is starting out their adult lives burdened with multiple deficits.
Nighttime creepy-crawlies aren't limited to camping or Halloween. For approximately 10 percent of Americans, tingly, itchy sensations -- mostly between the ankle and the knee -- aren't the creeping of spiders or the fluttering of bats, but a neurological disorder called Restless Legs Syndrome, or RLS.
Regardless of whether this lack of shut-eye is voluntary or not, as time goes on it negatively impacts you mentally, physically and emotionally. The more you know about sleep and your own individual patterns, the better equipped you are to deal with sleep interruptions and learn to wake fully refreshed after a night of quality sleep.