The theme for this year’s National Sleep Foundation: Sleep Awareness Week® 2022 is to help you become your Best Slept Self. The goal is to help you understand how important sleep is to your overall mental and physical health.
Sleep Awareness Week® begins at Daylight Saving Time (DST) as most of us move our clocks ahead (spring forward), losing a precious hour of rejuvenating sleep. Since this nocturnal deprivation affects all of us, we want to highlight this information so you can understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep and how it helps you feel your best.
National Sleep Foundation History of Sleep Awareness Week
For more than 30 years now, the National Sleep Foundation has been researching and reporting on the importance of sleep. It began in 1998 when the National Sleep Foundation came into being because poor sleep is a public safety hazard every time you get on the road sleep deprived. Like alcohol, drowsiness can lessen your reaction time, as if you were driving inebriated. Around seven percent of motor vehicle crashes in our country and 16 percent of fatal crashes link to driver drowsiness. And that’s not all. Statistics confirm that chronic lack of sleep and poor sleep can cause accidents and injuries while working. Excessive daytime sleepiness impacts cognitive abilities like the following:
- Problem-solving abilities
Not only do the physical effects of sleep deprivation lead to neurological and psychological disorders like reduced immunity and depression, but it also impacts your cardiovascular health, making you vulnerable to hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
Your goal is to wake up feeling completely refreshed. Children ages 6-13 years typically need nine to 11 hours each night, while teenagers 14-17 years generally require eight to 10 hours a night. If you are 18 to 64 years old, seven to nine hours of sleep a night is optimal. For those over 65, seven to eight hours of good quality sleep is ideal for improving outlook, mood, and attention span.
Boosting Sleep Quality
Slide under those sheets at the same time every night so your body can acclimate to a regular sleep-wake schedule. Get regular exercise during the day, and avoid blue light from your smartphone, tablet, and computer before bed. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy and fried foods late in the day as they interfere with restful sleep. Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable; a good range is 60 to 67 °F. Keep out light and noise with light-blocking curtains, an eye mask, a white noise machine, or a pair of earplugs that can help you settle into a restful sleep. Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time every day so your body can fall into that rhythm.
Fun Fact: taking a hot shower, bath, or just a foot bath can help you relax and improve sleep!
Sleep Awareness Week Activities
Hopefully, you are excited to get the sleep you need to have a healthier, happier life. Here are three things you can do now to recognize Sleep Awareness Week:
1. Share the news about Sleep Awareness Week, and use the hashtag #SleepAwarenessWeek to spread awareness on your social media outlets.
2. Adopt one new daytime habit that supports healthier sleep! Start a workout routine, write in a gratitude journal before bed or practice soothing yoga or meditation before hitting the sheets.
3. Give yourself something to look forward to by investing in a mattress that supports your body, a comfortable pillow that supports your neck and back, and changing your sheets often so your body sighs with relief.
We hope you enjoy learning about Sleep Awareness Week so you can achieve the quality sleep you need! Please call our team if you have questions or concerns about your sleep quality, especially sleep apnea. We are here for you!