March Is National Sleep Awareness Month! Learn About the Importance of Good Sleep Hygiene.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems, and these issues affect individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you are currently experiencing sleep problems, no matter how minor or severe, consider the following: The way you sleep at night can impact the way you feel during the day. So why not maximize both experiences? Below, we look at some of the key benefits to getting a good night’s sleep.

  • Enhanced mental clarity and performance. When you get the right amount of sleep at night, you’ll be better able to function during the day. Studies show that individuals who do not get enough sleep will be less productive in their daily activities; they will generally take longer to complete tasks and will likely make more mistakes throughout the day. Their reaction-time will be slower and they’ll be more likely to misunderstand the situation at hand. Optimal mental clarity and daily performance is best achieved after a solid night of rest.
  • Improved emotional well-being and brain activity. It’s no secret that sleep helps your brain work to its fullest capacity. While you are asleep, your brain has time to prepare for the upcoming events of the day. How? By forming new pathways that allow for learning and memory retention. Without the proper amount of sleep, you may find it difficult to solve problems, make decisions, control your emotions, or even cope with change. Sleep is a critical component to both your mental and emotional well-being, and without the right amount of it, you may quickly notice changes in your mood and behaviors.
  • Better physical health. Sleep plays an important role in your body’s ability to heal and repair, especially when it comes to your heart and blood vessels. Sleep-deficient individuals are more at-risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Not coincidentally, these are the same individuals who are at increased risk of obesity. As human beings, we need sleep to regulate the way our body controls and reacts to hormones such as insulin. When there’s a sleep deficiency, blood sugar levels can spike and put an individual at an increased risk of serious health issues.

Sleep Better. Feel Better.

How much sleep you need will depend on a number of factors, but general guidelines according to the National Sleep Foundation are as follows:

  • Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
  • Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • Children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
  • Young Adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
  • Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
  • Seniors, 65+ years: 7-8 hours

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Make the most of it by monitoring your sleep schedule and looking for ways you can improve your sleep. You mind, body, and soul will thank you for it!

For comprehensive behavioral treatment in Northern California, contact our team of Chico mental health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions. We’re here to help you live life in balance.