This post will put to you to sleep—if you follow the expert tips. And here’s why you need these shut-eye strategies now. Americans have never been more fatigued. More than one-third of US adults routinely sleep fewer than seven hours a night, jeopardizing their health and concentration, a CDC study released last week shows. Skimping on slumber magnifies the threat of developing cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of Americans, and also boosts risk for diabetes, depression and even obesity, other CDC research shows.
More frightening fallout from America’s exhaustion epidemic: 50 percent of adults ages 19 to 29 admit that they’ve driven while drowsy in the past month, as did more than one-third of younger teens, and 28 percent of Baby Boomers, according to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll released on March 7. About 5 percent of adults have actually fallen asleep at the wheel in the past month, the CDC found.
What’s behind these troubling trends? Americans are too wired to unwind, the NSF’s 2011 Sleep in America poll survey suggests. Ninety-five percent of those surveyed spend the hour before bedtime staring at some type of screen, from the TV to the computer, video games, or cell phone, at least a few nights a week. What’s more, nearly one in ten teens are awakened nearly every night after going to bed by text messages, emails or cell phone calls. Not surprisingly, in light of these findings, 43 percent of survey respondents say that they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights.
What’s the solution? “Very simple strategies and changes in your daily habits can powerfully improve your sleep—without pills,” says sleep researcher Alison Harvey, Ph.D., professor of clinical psychology at University of California, Berkeley. Here’s a look at seven natural, science-backed ways to get the healthy rest you need.
What keeps you awake a night—and what helps you catch more—and better—Z’s?
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