(NAPSI)—Many Americans today struggle to get enough sleep. Despite their attempts to do it all, pressure to meet the demands of an active, on-the-go lifestyle may be holding men and women back from achieving the type of uninterrupted slumber that leaves them feeling rejuvenated in the morning. These issues are all too common, as the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that nearly 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems.
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently conducted an informal Sleep Survey that compiled data from 1,000 people across the United States who chose to participate in the online survey about how much and how well they sleep. According to the findings, 71 percent of survey participants do not get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Furthermore, 55 percent of those surveyed indicated that stress prevents them from falling asleep.
“People need to remember to make sleep a priority,” said Jo Anne Turner, Adult Nurse Practitioner. “They can take a number of simple steps toward ensuring a restful night’s sleep, such as eating well, reducing stress, exercising regularly and practicing good sleep hygiene.”
Following these simple steps, as Turner suggested, and winding down after a hectic day remain more important to sleep than many may think. Twenty-seven percent of Sleep Survey participants do not maintain a regular workout regimen. Engaging in moderate exercise, however, has been shown to both reduce stress and improve sleep. Another way to keep stress levels low is to start writing a to-do list or jotting down important thoughts before bedtime. This helps to minimize the worries that keep people up at night.
In addition to stress, other sleep deterrents can include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Many Americans may turn to caffeine or naps during the day, but these quick pick-me-ups may actually delay getting to sleep later at night. In fact, 25 percent of those surveyed noted that they drink more than four caffeinated beverages per day. Nearly half of the survey participants also admitted to indulging in a daily nap. Consuming caffeine after 2 p.m. and napping for longer than 20 to 30 minutes can have a negative impact on nightly sleep routines as the body has difficulty developing a natural pattern for rest.
So, instead of trying to exhaust the day’s potential with a double-shot latte or lengthening the day by borrowing hours from the night, Americans can get to the root of the problem by taking responsibility for their sleep. Working to create healthy routines, like going to bed at the same time every night, even on the weekends, can help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle and make falling asleep easier. Keeping this commitment to wellness may forge the path toward gaining deep, restorative sleep every night.
People who may be experiencing sleep problems are encouraged to take control of their sleep journey by visiting www.ProjectLuna.com, where they can access helpful tools, including doctor discussion guides, and learn more about how making small lifestyle changes can lead to improved sleep habits.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)