The majority of Americans (seven out of 10) experience sleep
problems frequently, according to the National Sleep Foundation
(NSF). Among them:
Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night,
though the ideal number of hours can vary anywhere from
six to 10 hours a night, depending on the individual.
70 million Americans are affected by a sleep problem
40 million suffer from chronic sleep disorders
20-30 million have intermittent sleep-related problems
Why do we need
sleep? A good night's sleep is necessary for physical
and mental well-being. Don't get enough of it and you risk
the immediately obvious impacts of being irritable and having
trouble concentrating and making decisions. Don't get enough
of it over time and you risk even more serious consequences
An increased risk of diabetes
An increased risk of cancer
An increased risk of psychological problems
Lack of sleep clearly does not come without a price. Sleep
deprivation and disorders are estimated to cost over $100
billion each year in lost productivity, sick leave, medical
expenses, and damages to property and the environment, according
Also at stake is your driving ability. Sleep deprivation
is involved in 100,000 vehicle accidents -- and 1,500 related
deaths -- every year.
Why Aren't YOU Sleeping Well?
There are as many causes of sleep problems as there are proverbial
sheep to count, however some triggers are much more common
than others. Here we've compiled some very likely reasons
why YOU may not be sleeping as well as you should be.
This is the number-one cause of sleep problems, according
to sleep experts. It, of course, can stem from any number
of situations (school or work anxiety, relationship difficulties,
a chronic illness in the family, etc.).
2. Exercising right before bedtime.
Regular exercise will help you to get a good night's sleep,
but do it too close to bedtime and you may be too revved up
3. Drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Both of these beverages can interfere with your dreams of
quality sleep, particularly if you drink them in the afternoon
4. Following an erratic schedule.
If you wake up and go to sleep at drastically different times
each day (students are infamous for this) you could be inadvertently
throwing off your body's natural sleep/wake cycle. When it
comes to sleeping, your body prefers a set schedule.
Others at risk are the 17 percent of U.S. employees who are
shift workers. This schedule forces you to stay awake during
the night when your body thinks it should be asleep (then
makes it difficult to sleep during the day, when you would
normally be awake).
5. Working before bed.
Similar to exercise, if you work or do other mentally trying
activities too close to bedtime, you may have a hard time
relaxing for sleep.
Falling Asleep Has Never Been so
That's what you'll say once you listen to the Sleep
Easy CD: Guided Meditations for Deep Rest.
soothing voice and music on this CD create a restful
oasis in which to relax and fall asleep. It also helps
calm the overly busy mind, soothe the emotions, and
relax the body.
Sleep Easy CD users have reported:
- Falling asleep faster
- Waking up less throughout the night
- Falling back to sleep faster when awakened during
- Feeling more rested the next morning
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6. Physical problems.
If you are not healthy physically, it can drastically interfere
with your sleep. Common culprits are pain
(from arthritis, back pain, etc.), sleep apnea, restless
leg syndrome, PMS
and menopause. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy
can also cause sleep problems.
7. Your sleeping partner.
Does your partner snore? Move around in bed a lot? Wake up
in the middle of the night? If your partner isn't a sound
sleeper, there's a good chance you won't be either.
8. Your sleeping environment.
Similarly, a mattress that's uncomfortable, a room that's
too hot, a bed that's too small, or kids and pets that barge
in during the night can all interfere with your sleep. If
your sleeping environment is not conducive to sleep, try the
Easy CD. With guided sleep meditations by a leading meditation
expert (and contributing editor to SixWise.com) and music
by a renowned meditation music composer with 20 years experience,
this CD will help you find deep rest and sleep in just minutes
9. Jet lag.
If you travel a lot, for work or pleasure, just sleeping
in a strange environment and on a different schedule can cause
problems. However, if you travel across different time zones,
the jet lag can make it even harder to sleep well.
If you frequently toss and turn or wake up with aches
and pains, it may be time to get a new mattress that
feels comfortable to you.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs -- such as
steroids, decongestants and drugs for high blood pressure,
depression and asthma -- can keep you up at night.
How Can You Get a Decent Night's Sleep?
And now for the answer to the burning question. If you want
to get high-quality sleep, and plenty of it, here are the
top tips to follow:
stress in your life.
Follow a regular exercise program, but refrain from working
out at within three hours of your bedtime.
Don't drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages near your
Create a relaxing bedtime routine. This can include a
warm bath, a foot massage, stretching,
or listening to the Sleep
Keep to a regular schedule that includes a standard time
to go to sleep and wake up.
Make your room "sleepable." A very dark, cool
room is best for sleep. You should also consider upgrading
your mattress so that you feel completely comfortable
Do We Need to Sleep? The Latest Fascinating Theories on This
You Want to Sleep Better & Improve Your Brainpower, Try