By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: April 7, 2014
The week of March 5 – March 11 is National Sleep Awareness Week®, an annual health promotion campaign sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) and supported by the Red Hot Mamas®. It’s an opportunity to be aware of the impact that sleep deprivation has on, our health, our productivity and our overall lives. NSF says remember the theme of this year’s campaign: “Sleep: As Important as Diet and Exercise (Only Easier!)”
Consider the following:
Approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected by a sleep problem. About 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, and an additional 20 – 30 million are affected by intermittent sleep-related problems. However, an overwhelming majority of sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated (National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 1992).
Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are estimated to cost Americans over $100 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, sick leave, and property and environmental damage (National Sleep Foundation). According to NSF’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, more than seven out of ten adults in America said they frequently have a symptom of a sleep problem such as waking a lot during the night or snoring. About one-fourth of poll respondents said their sleep problems have some impact on their daily lives, though most say they ignore the symptoms.
The NSF poll found that while the majority of America’s adults do not use any type of sleep aid, 11 percent said they used alcohol, beer or wine at least a few nights a month; nine percent said they use over the counter remedies, and seven percent use a prescription medication at least a few nights a month. According to the Red Hot Mamas® and the National Sleep Foundation, there are ways that you can change your behavior in order to get more sleep and to wake up feeling refreshed.
If you are having problems sleeping, try to follow these Healthy Tips for Better Sleep:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment.
- Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
- Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night.
- For more sleep tips, go to NSF’s Web site at www.sleepfoundation.org and visit our Sleep Section.
Red Hot Mamas® is a National Sleep Awareness Week® (NSAW) 2007 Sleep Awareness Co-Sponsor working with the National Sleep Foundation to educate the public about the importance of sleep. More information about NSAW, sleep and sleep disorders is available at NSF’s Web site at www.sleepfoundation.org and www.redhotmamas.org.
National Sleep Awareness Week® is a registered trademark of the National Sleep Foundation. Use of this trademark and the related logo in advertising or promotions of any sort is limited to 2007 National Sleep Awareness Week® Corporate Contributors, Community Sleep Awareness Partners®, and Sleep Awareness Co-Sponsors.