The National Sleep Foundation launched Sleep Awareness Week – set for March 10 through March 16, 2019 – falls right around daylight savings. Here is a look at Sleep Awareness Week and how it might affect your sleep schedule.
About Sleep Awareness Week
Sleep Awareness Week begins on Sunday, March 10, 2019; the same day people across the country have to spring forward for daylight savings. Transitioning to Daylight Saving Time typically means “losing” an hour. Once the clock strikes 2:00 am on March 10, we all shift forward in time, so it is actually 3:00 am instead.
Scheduling Sleep Week to start in conjunction with daylight savings may seem ironic. Many people sacrifice an hour of sleep that day, and it can take time to adjust to the new schedule. However, that is also why it is a perfect time to promote getting a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, daylight savings is harder to handle.
The National Sleep Foundation wants people to understand the importance of sleep. Their mission also includes helping in the fight against sleep disorders.
Both insomnia and not making enough time for sleep can be detrimental to your health and your performance, harming your immune system, making it hard to concentrate, and even increasing your risk of developing depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Healthy Sleeping Habits
While exactly how much sleep you need to feel your best and remain healthy can vary somewhat from person to person, most experts agree, including those at the National Sleep Foundation, that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day. Anything more or less than that can come with consequences, so aiming for that window is wise.
However, babies, children, and teens have different needs. Here is a look at the recommendations:
- Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep each day
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep each day
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day
- School-age Children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours of sleep each day
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep each day
Now, this does not mean that all of that sleep has to be in a row. For example, younger children may sleep for about 8 hours at night and then need naps during the day.
The Importance of a Sleeping Schedule
How much sleep you get is not the only thing that is important if you want to remain healthy and productive. Sticking to a sleep schedule is also beneficial, so you need to try and head to bed at the same time every night and wake up near the same time each morning. And this advice does not just apply to weekdays. Following the schedule on weekends too gets you into a sleep rhythm, which is a better approach.
Other Tips for Healthy Sleep
While sticking to a schedule is one of the most important things you can do, there are other steps that can improve the quality of your sleep. For example, having a relaxing bedtime ritual can get you into the right mindset before you try to get some shuteye.
Having a quality mattress and pillow, adjusting the temperature of your bedroom based on your comfort, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and not using electronic devices an hour before bed can also help. Daily exercise is also recommended, as it can improve the quality of your sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep each night can have a positive impact on your well-being. Sleep deprivation can lower your cognitive ability, negatively impact performance, hinder concentration and productivity, and lead to serious health problems. By getting enough sleep, you might not only feel better, but you could also have an easier time managing the challenges of your day. As a result, reaching your goals could require less effort.
Does daylight savings hurt your sleep schedule? Tell us why in the comments below.
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