If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.
The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real.
It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.
The best way to prevent sleep deprivation is to make sure you get adequate sleep. Follow the recommended guidelines for your age group, which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults ages 18 to 64.
Other ways you can get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule include:
limiting daytime naps (or avoiding them altogether)
refraining from caffeine past noon
going to bed at the same time each night
waking up at the same time every morning
sticking to your bedtime schedule during weekends and holidays
spending an hour before bed doing relaxing activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath
avoiding heavy meals two hours before bedtime
refraining from using electronic devices right before bed
exercising regularly, but notin the evening hours close to bedtime
If you continue to have problems sleeping at night and are fighting daytime fatigue, talk to your doctor. They can test for underlying health conditions that might be getting in the way of your sleep schedule.