TMH officials: Sleep vital for healthy living

Tips for a good night's sleep

Simple steps to help relax and get a good night’s sleep:

— Go to sleep and wake on a consistent schedule, including on weekends.

— Create a relaxing bedtime routine for the hour before you expect to fall asleep.

— Make your sleep environment dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.

— Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow.

— Avoid working, watching TV and similar activities in bed.

— Finish eating or snacking two to three hours before going to sleep.

— Exercise regularly, but not within a few hours of settling down to sleep.

— Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime, and quit smoking altogether.

Source: The Memorial Hospital

As National Sleep Awareness Week approaches, The Memorial Hospital at Craig is reminding community members about the importance of getting the proper amount of sleep.

Hospital officials say sleep is linked to muscle repair, memory consolidation and hormone regulation. It also contributes to a healthy immune system, the ability to concentrate, make appropriate decisions and actively engage in school and work activities.

Aside from a greater risk of accidents, the National Sleep Foundation reports a lack of sleep is linked to serious mental and physical issues including obesity, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, psychiatric conditions, difficulty paying attention, remembering information and reacting appropriately.

As the amount of sleep required declines from birth into adulthood, the National Sleep Foundation recommends healthy adults sleep seven to nine hours every 24 hours. Babies and young children should sleep 10 to 18 hours per day, and teens should get between eight and nine hours of sleep.

Many Americans don’t get enough sleep, according to a news release from The Memorial Hospital, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says jobs where sleep deprivation is of most concern include those in manufacturing, mining, nursing, retail and trucking.

The news release states young people ages 16 to 24 are most at risk for nodding off behind the wheel, with one in seven licensed drivers in the age group reporting they have nodded off behind the wheel at least once during the past year.

The release suggests a thorough physical examination to rule out medical problems if a person consistently experiences morning sleepiness, daytime fatigue or difficulty falling asleep.

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