Stayed up late to watch funny/stupid YouTube videos? Woke up to a baby puddle of drool in the middle of lecture? Pulled an all-nighter?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might not be getting enough sleep. The CDC recommends 8.5-9.25 hours for 10-17 year olds and 7-9 hours for adults.
Insufficient sleep is linked to chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and depression. It can also cause motor vehicle and machinery related crashes, which often result in substantial injury and disability. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and unintentional accidents are 4 of the 7 leading causes of death in the United States. As dramatic as it may sound, catching some extra Z’s can help save your life.
More than two-thirds of teens don’t get enough sleep. Sleep-deprived teens are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking cigarettes, getting into a physical fight, feeling sad or hopeless, and seriously considering suicide. There is talk of public health policies to delay the start of school so that students can get more sleep. But until that day comes, all you can really do is sleep.
“Pass out at 3. Wake up at 10. Go out and eat and do it again. Man, I love college.” Between the studying and the partying, getting an adequate amount of sleep has become a challenge for college students. Not doing so can impair your memory and concentration. Dr. Adam Knowlden, the lead researcher from the University of Cincinnati, explains, “During sleep, the brain acts like a hard drive on a computer. It goes in and cleans up memories and makes connections stronger, and it gets rid of things it doesn’t need.” So hey, instead of spending the night studying at the student center, how about you just sleep? After a full night’s rest, you’ll be more energetic and productive.
Flash forward 20 years. Now you’re working at some 9-5 job. Bad sleeping habits can decrease your productivity at work. Researchers have projected that more than $63 billion is lost due to poor job performances from insomnia. Insomnia is the inability to initiate or maintain sleep. Dr. Ronald Kessler, Ph.D, a psychiatric epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, found that in actuality the primary cause of inefficiency was workers showing up too tired to perform their job effectively. Don’t be a waste of space. Sleep earlier. Get money, get paid.
Sleep Hygiene Tips from the CDC:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
- Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
- Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
And here’s a playlist of modern day lullabies (Bon Iver, Ellie Goulding, Bright Eyes, and more) that will surely send you into a deep slumber.
By ALYSSA LLAMAS