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Put These 5 Sleep-Stealing Behaviors to Rest

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Put These 5 Sleep-Stealing Behaviors to Rest

A new CDC report finds that 35 percent of the population gets less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep, putting everyone at risk for nightmares.

By Leah Zerbe, Rodale.com

A new Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study exposes nightmarish sleep statistics nationwide. More than 35 percent of adults surveyed for the CDC study admitted to getting less than seven hours of sleep at night. It isn’t enough, and that increases the risk of all sorts of problems, including high blood pressure and car accidents. (Drowsy driving accounts for roughly 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States, making it one of the most lethal consequences of not getting enough shut-eye.)

7 Surprising ways that sleep affects your health.

Nearly 38 percent of adults also admitted accidentally falling asleep during the day in the last month, while about 5 percent said they nodded off or fell asleep while driving(!). Clearly, sleep-starved people are not only a danger to themselves, but to everyone around them, as well.

Here’s how to get better sleep and avoid dangerously drowsy situations:

• Hone in on hitting 7 to 9.

If you’re having trouble sleep seven to nine hours through the night, consider making some simple changes to help lull your body into sleep mode.

Sleep better: After the sun sets, really focus on limiting your exposure to artificial light. All of those fake bright lights after dark are snuffing sleep-inducing melatonin production, which also has been linked to high blood pressure and diabetes. Cut out screen time (TV, computer, cellphone) an hour or two before bed, and keep lights dim to coax your body off to lullaby land.

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

87 comments

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12:10PM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

thanks

3:14AM PDT on Jul 4, 2013

Thank you :)

8:10AM PDT on May 5, 2012

good to know

12:30PM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Thank you

6:52AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

thanks

1:42AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

This could be me!

5:09AM PDT on May 14, 2011

thanks

3:29AM PDT on May 13, 2011

Eating your last meal of the day at least 3 hours - preferably rather more - before going to bed can help. too. Doing some gentle breathing exercises in bed before sleep helps. Doing enough physical exercise during the day so that your body is actually tired is also important. A lazy day may be wonderful now and again as a rest but we need to tire ourselves in order to sleep well!!

9:35AM PDT on May 10, 2011

It is important to ensure adequate break time before bed - no matter what you’ve been doing prior to going to bed, you need to give your mind and body time to relax before laying down for sleep. Whether you’ve been working, studying or watching T.V, quit what you’re doing at least an hour before bedtime. A poll for the National Sleep Association found that 87% of respondents watched T.V within an hour of going to bed – at least a couple times a week. Violent shows, news reports and vivid stories stay in our heads long after we’ve watched them. Watching T.V or doing anything else that stimulates the brain before bed hinders your quality of sleep.
For some tips on what is OK before bed you can download the FREE ebook, Get To Sleep Now! http://www.instantlyfallasleep.com Its got loads of information on what to avoid and what will help. For example, instead of watching TV before bed and stimulating your brain, call your mom or talk to your children/partner. Chatting is an incredibly beneficial way to slow down your brain, relax, unwind, get your thoughts out and and fall asleep.

9:05AM PDT on May 9, 2011

Aimee Polekoff- My school district tried that suggestion (high school starting later) during my sophmore year of high school. It was a disaster. Kids didn't perform better, it completely screwed up the bus schedule- so much so that those of use coming from farther away from the school (it had a Center for the Arts program so we had kids from a few different towns but generally within 45 mins travel) missed 1st period every day for almost the entire semester until they were able to hire more drivers specifically for the high schools. Not to mention those who did after school activities or worked had far less time to do those things and still get home in time to finish homework. For some it actually increased how late we stayed up because we didn't get out until much later in the afternoon.

Back to the article, some of these are pretty useful tips. My fiance does not get enough sleep, but having to wake up at 4am is the main reason why. Not to mention I can't get him to turn off the tv or video games until 9pm and he generally doesn't fall asleep until about 10 unless he's extremely tired, makes it nearly impossible for him to get him at least 7 hrs.

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