Want to Sleep Better? Try Doing This

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Want to Sleep Better? Try Doing This

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Want to Sleep Better? Try Doing This

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

If you wake up every morning feeling like a zombie, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, making us one seriously tired nation. With 50 to 70 million people suffering from sleep-related issues, it’s a significant problem.

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According to Dr. Susan M. Mucha, a sleep physician with Piedmont Physicians Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Atlanta, it’s only getting worse.

“We’ve seen that increase over the years, where people are sleeping less than, or equal to, six hours in a given 24-hour period, much more often than used to occur many decades ago,” she told The Active Times.

Beyond just causing fatigue, being chronically sleep-deprived affects everything from happiness to memory and can even increase the risk of having a car crash.

Not getting enough sleep is also associated with health problems like obesity and weight gain along with increased risk of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

It isn’t all bad news, however; there are plenty of ways to help improve sleep quality. Managing stress by meditating or making time for yourself along with incorporating exercise to your daily routine are great ways to get a better night’s sleep.

What might be most beneficial, however, is simply shutting the power off.

“Our technology and electronics keep us from really shutting our mind down,” Mucha said. “That blue light that’s coming from our TV screen, our laptop or phone is not helping us fall asleep; it’s making it harder for us to fall asleep.”

Part of the reason is that technology allows our workday to extend into the night, not allowing time to relax and enjoy a peaceful evening. This can be difficult for people adjusting to working from home for the first time. It’s also difficult for people to disconnect from their smartphones, which can prevent them from winding down at the end of the day.

For a better night’s sleep, Mucha said, the best thing to do is separate from our screens.

“If we can all try to turn all the screens off a couple of hours before bedtime so we can focus on relaxing and shutting down at night, then we may actually add a couple more hours of sleep to our life,” she said.

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And those extra hours can go a long way in helping you feel less like a zombie, along with all the other positive things that happen to your body when you get enough sleep.