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Do You Get Enough Sleep?

60% Of All Americans Do Not Get Enough Sleep. Do You? According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch newsletter, sleep is too important to shortchange. Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect appetite. A lack of quality sleep hampers learning and memory; recent studies show that people who slept well after learning a task did better on tests later. Sleep loss may result in irritability and an inability to concentrate. Sleep deficit causes daytime drowsiness with momentary lapses that may result in mistakes such as road accidents. Sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat, and sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. However, there are some simple changes that you can make that will result in a restful night, and by adopting these seven healthy habits you will enjoy a rejuvenating night’s sleep that may help keep heart disease and cancer at bay, improve your mood and increase alertness and energy levels.1. Make sleep a priority and keep a consistent bedtime allowing 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Although studies show that the average American adult spends 7.5 hours in bed they actually only sleep 6.1 hours, so allow time to ease into sleep.2. Relax before bedtime: sip herbal tea, enjoy a book, soft music or gentle yoga.3. Make your bedroom a sanctuary free of work materials, computers and electronics.4. Keep the room clean, organized, quiet, comfortable and a cool 65 F/18 C.5. If night sweats are a problem wear temperature regulating, quick dry moisture-wicking sleepwear from Cool-jams . They also offer temperature regulating bedding to help keep you cooler and drier while maximizing sleeping comfort.6. Exercise regularly, but complete workouts at least two hours before bedtime.7. Avoid eating, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine before bedtime.So don’t scrimp on sleep. By taking these seven simple steps you will improve your sleep patterns, and your body, mind and spirit will thank you.