I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't get rattled easily -- I get my work done, I pace myself, I'm cool under pressure. But that's during the workday. Once I get in bed, all bets are off. My mind begins to tick, and then I start making lists -- and the next thing you know, I'm the Queen of Eyes Wide Open. "Toss" and "Turn" are my middle names.
So, I've recently begun researching what's behind those sleepless nights, and I've been amazed at what I've read. Did you know that insomnia affects women nearly twice as much as men-- but women are more likely than men to report their insomnia to their doctor? Were you aware that the optimal temperature for deep sleep is around 68 degrees -- which is why we keep flopping around at night when it's too warm? And did you know that if you fall asleep in five minutes or less, chances are you are sleep-deprived? Ideally, it should take you ten to fifteen minutes to drift off at night.
We've learned a lot about sleep in recent years, but in our fast-paced, high-stress, 24/7 world, fewer and fewer of us are getting enough of it. And despite the fact that we've all heard the experts say that we need between seven and nine hours a night, nearly half of American adults do not get enough sleep. But the fact is that sleeping is just as vital to our health and well-being as diet and exercise. It affects our mood, our ability to learn and our memory function. And depriving ourselves of proper sleep can have serious health consequences.
So, in honor of National Sleep Comfort Month, we've put together a list of tips from the National Sleep Foundation to help you prepare for and get the most out of your sleeping hours.