It’s SATURDAY! Based on recent recommendations for healthy sleep duration – more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a recent study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

To promote optimal health and well-being, adults between the ages of 18 – 60 years are recommended to sleep at least 7 hours each night. However, the report indicated that an estimated 83.6 million U.S. adults sleep less than 7 hours.

Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality. Insufficient sleep impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community.

Healthy sleep duration in adults can be promoted by behavior changes, such as setting a pattern of going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning; making sure that the bedroom environment is quiet, dark, relaxing, and neither too hot nor too cold; turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices, and distracting or light-emitting electronic devices from the bedroom; and avoiding large meals, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime.

Keeping a 10-day sleep journal or diary about sleep times, napping, and behaviors that affect sleep, such as exercise, alcohol use, and caffeine consumption might be helpful when trying to identify any sleep problems.

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