Sleep and Your Health

Some statistics on your health and sleep.

-Only 20% of teenagers get enough sleep (8-10 hours is optimal)

-According to a study done at the University of Michigan states that children who get less than 9.75 hours of sleep are 40% more likely to be overweight by sixth grade.

-The same study shows a direct correlation between the hours of sleep a child gets and their risk for obesity.  The rate for obesity declines with more sleep.

-Adults who sleep less that 7 hours have a high risk for weight gain.

-Only 20% of teens get adequate sleep.  A survey reported that 16% of teens admit to having sleep problems and 28% admit to falling asleep in school.

-New science relates the lack of adequate sleep to increased risk for obesity, depression, alcohol and drug abuse and future cardiovascular disease.

-Adolescents with a history of sleep problems are twice as likely to have ADHD as those without.  Some ADHD medications can exacerbate the sleep quality issues.

-A good night of quality sleep is key to memory and learning.  Our brain takes information in our short term memory and moves to the long term memory during sleep.

How can you and your family get the quality and ideal amount of sleep?

-Set a sleep schedule and do your best to keep it!

-Stay away from caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, as well as alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime.

-Stay physically active and exercise early in the day.

-Have a relaxing bedtime routine to get your body ready for sleep

-Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day.

-Get lots of bright light in the morning.

-Drink 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water per day.  Even mild dehydration (1/2 cup of your body’s water) could turn into   low-grade chronic fatigue.

-Naps are ok but try to limit them to 15 minutes.

-Go to bed when you are sleepy.  If you don’t fall asleep in 15-20 minutes get up and leave the bedroom.

-Move the television out of the bedroom.

-Keep the bedroom cool and add blankets if you are chilly.

There are many things to try, but the important thing is to keep searching for the combination that is right for you and your body. Get the rejuvenating health benefits of sleep that your body deserves every night. Try using light therapy for sleep in the morning when you wake up to help keep your circadian rhythm in check.