It's been called a huge public health issue that's not being addressed... lack of sleep. Let's face it. We're busy. And when the day gets packed - sleep is often the first thing to go, so you can finish everything you need to do.
“There's always one last thing to do at the end of the day,” says Dr. Drake McDonald, with Colorado Springs Health Partners Neurology and Sleep Medicine. “And there's only so many hours in the day and what sacrifices... is sleep.”
But with so much at stake when it comes to your health and productivity... You have to take action. To start with, you have to have good sleep hygiene, or habits.
Here are three to focus on: First, go to bed at the same time every night, which can be hard on the weekends. Also, no exercising in the final third of your day. So get that workout in early in the day. And no caffeine in the last half of your day. That means no coffee with dessert.
But there are other things you should know, to get more shut-eye. Starting with a nap. It may work for your toddler. But, as an adult, think again.
“People who nap excessively often will have fragmented, shallow sleep and it's almost like they can never get enough rest,” says Dr. McDonald.
If you’re a worrier, that can be a problem too. That to-do list can keep you up.
“Those things which we can't solve in the last one or two hours of the day, we really do not want them to fill our minds right before we go to bed,” says Dr. McDonald.
And guess what... it's going to be even more of an issue, the more candles you have on your cake.
“The older you get, the less deep sleep occurs,” says Dr. McDonald.
In fact, he says the best sleep you'll ever get is when you're 12, 13 or 14.
And if you find yourself tossing and turning... don’t just lie in bed looking at the clock. Dr. McDonald says you should get up, read a book - do something sleep-provoking. Then go back to bed.
But now that you've got some slumberland schooling, maybe those zzzzzs will come a little easier.
11 News is on your side with information about sleep all week long. Look for more sleep stories after 6am during 11 News This Morning.