According to the CDC, 33% of Americans don't get enough sleep; in adults over 65, the percentage is even higher (50%) . To be sure, we have our reasons: work, kids, stress, caregiving... and just plain "too much to do." Researchers also blame sleep loss on depression and hormone dysfunction, on our eating and drinking habits, and on our use of technology. Medications add to the list of issues especially in the elderly.
We're warned of sleep deprivation's negative effects: impaired cognition, stressed relationships, increased chance of accidents, and decreased quality of life. We're offered tips to help us sleep that include following a sleep schedule, creating a bedtime ritual, participating in regular physical activity, and reducing stress. Unfortunately, these tips don't work for many of us because it seems like we have too much to do and too little time. We come to view sleep as a luxury that we can't afford.
Maybe it's time to approach the importance of sleep from a longterm perspective: Sleeping well may be a springboard to aging well.
Researchers have found that sufficient sleep helps us
"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." Irish proverb