Sleep Awareness Week

March 12, 2020

By:  Joseph Anderson, CCSH, RPSGT, RST, RPFT, CRT-NPS

This annual event begins at the start of Daylight Saving Time when most Americans lose an hour of sleep. The change to Daylight Saving Time reminds us to make beneficial changes in our sleep routines to improve our sleep health. Sleep Awareness Week spotlights the importance of sleep in our daily lives and encourages everyone to learn about habits, practices, and routines that improve our sleep quality and overall health.

It probably won't come as a surprise that the average U.S. adult feels tired during the day at least three out of seven days each week. More than a quarter of us feel tired five to seven days a week. Some attribute their drowsiness to not getting enough sleep, while others claim poor sleep quality is to blame. Ultimately, most people drink a cup of coffee and go about their day without adjusting their bedtime routines. As a result, they repeat the same poor sleep cycle week after week.

Many people who are tired during the week experience some unpleasant side effects. A large number feel tired at least five days per week and report headaches, while about 40 percent say their tiredness makes them irritable. Roughly one-third of these respondents say they generally feel unwell. Others say lack of sleep impacts their ability to focus, perform at work, and complete daily tasks.

Getting enough sleep is key to a good night's rest. For adults between the ages of 18 and 64, I recommend seven to nine hours per night. People who are 65 and older should make sure they're sleeping seven to eight hours a night.

If you frequently feel tired during the day, there are measures you can take to ensure a better night's rest. These include maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature, minimizing exposure to noise and natural light while you sleep, and avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. A comfortable mattress, supportive pillow, and breathable sheets also go a long way.

If you think that you need additional help in identifying or treat a possible sleep disorder please ask your provider for a referral to us here at the Sovah Hospital – Martinsville Sleep Disorders Center at 276-666-7348 or Fax 276-666-7249. We are an internationally accredited sleep center.