Like most people, we all need and crave sleep in West Virginia. Now is the time to remind everyone about the value and purpose of sleep and the consequences of not getting the correct amount. How much do you and your family need? Stay awake and keep reading.
We spend about one third of our lives sleeping. In our youth many thought sleep was a luxury, but as a responsible adult, sleep should be a priority.
Scientists agree that sleep serves a number of purposes. Just as we need food to nourish our bodies, we need sleep to feed our brains. Proper sleep aids in restoring, rejuvenating and repairing both the body and the mind.
The National Sleep Foundation working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, has updated the official recommendations for how much sleep is appropriate through life.
When adults or children “burn the candle at both ends,” inadequate sleep can affect cognitive abilities and general health.
No matter how old we are, if we begin the day without enough sleep, it affects focus, productivity, and energy levels. Daytime drowsiness can be a real problem for an adult or teenage driver.
Lack of sleep can also:
So exactly where do you begin?
Keep your children on a consistent sleep schedule no matter the season.
Take away devices from children and limit TV before bedtime. Parents can lead by example and close the laptop and tablet.. The blue light emitted from devices keeps children and adults awake longer since it interferes with natural sleep inducing melatonin. If teens must use their computer at night, turn down the screen light.
Anxiety and stress can also cause sleep issues in children and teens. If you notice poor sleep patterns, speak to your child about the causes.
Additionally, both children and adults should spend some time outdoors during the day. Try to work near a window as this helps release melatonin as dusk approaches.
Life is complicated with thousands of distractions and devices to interfere with our sleep, so it’s up to you to help begin the healthy sleeping pattern.
If you think your sleep is being abnormally affected, talk to your doctor about having a sleep study done at Weirton Medical Center.
For more information about healthy sleep habits: