Sleep – Are you getting enough?

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Jinny Hopp, former Human Development Specialist, Jasper County, University of Missouri Extension

Research in the area of sleep has determined that as many as two-thirds of Americans lack enough sleep. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep during the week. More than 60 percent say they experience a sleep problem (such as snoring, waking in the night or waking up too early) every night or almost every night. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has called insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.”

Contrary to common belief, sleep is not a time when the mind and body shuts down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs.” Sleep serves critical functions and it is necessary for optimal health and well-being.

Over time, lack of sleep can lead to stress, depression and mental and physical exhaustion. We know that when we are not well-rested we do not perform at our best. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Some people may need as few as five hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep. Children require even more sleep. Both children and adults can use naps to get the total number of hours of rest they need. The focus here is on ways that adults can meet their need for rest. Here are some tips for improving your sleep…

For more helpful information and tips to improve your sleep, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/healtharticles/health49.htm

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