A lot of Americans are not sleeping well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared lack of sleep a “public health epidemic” and with good reason. In a fairly recent CDC study 35% of adults reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep and almost 40% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day.
Another recent study found that study subjects who slept for 5 hours or fewer had a harder time remembering things than well-rested subjects. Sure, for a lot of people, diet and exercise can help some with regulating sleep, but there is no substitute. Here are some great tips from this week about how to not be a sleepy, forgetful person.
First up, the Ultimate Bedtime Routine, brought to us by Sarah Klein and Jan Diehm of Huffington Post. A most helpful infographic:
If you are still laying in bed at night even after following the above diagram (that “Stop Stressing” bubble at the bottom can be a toughy) then perhaps a little mindfulness practice might do the trick. Shelby Harris of Psychology Today comes through with five recommendations of how to bring mindfulness to your pillow as well as your day:
1. Strengthen your mindfulness "muscle."
2. Find the mindful in the mundane.
3. Eat mindfully
5. Be patient!
And, finally, if patience just isn’t cutting it for you, and it is your stomach, not your mind, that need placating, Dr. Andrew Weil has some good advice about the best things to eat before we go to bed. You may not be surprised to see a lack of chocolate cake or a hamburger on the list, but some of these items might intrigue you:
Good sources of tryptophan [a sleep inducing amino acid] include cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, peanut butter, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tofu, and turkey. You could munch on some nuts, or have some whole grain crackers with peanut butter or cheese for your snack. Because protein can be more difficult to digest, if you opt for a slice of chicken or turkey, keep your portion small."
Sweet dreams, Warriors!
- CDC calls insufficient sleep a public health epidemic: Learn to sleep like a baby via Center for Disease Control
- Missing sleep may hurt your memory via Science Daily
- The Mindful Way to Fall Asleep via Psychology Today
- Q&A Library: Best Bedtime Snack? via Dr. Weil
- Ultimate Bedtime Routine via The Huffington Post