More Stress, Less Rest in America

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Better Sleep Council Survey Shows 51 Percent of Americans Are Losing Sleep over Stress

Recent statistics show more Americans are choosing to ignore the “don’t lose sleep over it” advice and allowing stress to keep them awake at night. According to a new survey of approximately 2,000 people conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), 51 percent of Americans say stress disturbs their sleep. Work related issues, followed by family and children-related issues top the list of what keeps America up at night.

“We can’t control every factor that contributes to stress, but we can control making time to get the sleep we need so that we feel less cranky and more productive the following day,” says Helen Sullivan of the Better Sleep Council. “Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night gives us energy, clear thinking and strength to deal with life’s daily stresses.”

When It Comes to Zzzzzzzzs, Three’s a Crowd

Americans who bring stress into the bedroom aren’t the only ones finding it hard to fall asleep at night — it affects their partners as well. According to the Better Sleep Council survey, 45 percent of Americans say they toss and turn throughout the night because of their partner’s sleeplessness over stress. The survey also said that 36 percent of Americans lose sleep because of stress more than once a week.

“When dealing with stress, prioritize the things that you can control,” says Sullivan. “For instance, you can control your sleep environment. Be sure you are sleeping in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable and supportive mattress. Improving the quality of your sleep gives you more energy and keeps you focused to tackle the demands we face every day.”

Tips for Getting Your Daily Dose of Sleep

Here are 10 tips to help you get the sleep you need and deserve.

  • Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. As hard as it may be to put away your “to do” list, make sleep a priority. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
  • Unwind early in the evening. Try to deal with worries and distractions several hours before bedtime.
  • Develop a sleep ritual. Doing the same things each night just before bed signals your body to settle down for the night
  • * Keep regular hours. Keep your biological clock in check by going to bed around the same time each night and waking up close to the same time each morning — even on weekends.
  • Create a restful sleep environment. Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room.
  • Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. It’s difficult to sleep on a bed that’s too small, too soft, too hard, or too old.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help relieve daily tension and stress — but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may have trouble falling asleep.
  • * Cut down on stimulants. Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Don’t smoke. Smokers take longer to fall asleep and wake up more often during the night.
  • Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol shortly before bedtime interrupts and fragments sleep.

The “Better Sleep Guide,” a 16-page brochure that provides simple solutions to help improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your sleep, as well as information on how your bedroom and mattress can affect the quality of your sleep, is available free to consumers. Send your request to: Guide, P.O. Box 19534, Alexandria, VA 22320-0534.

For more information on getting a good night’s sleep and stress survey results or to download photos and a copy of the “Better Sleep Guide,” visit the Better Sleep Council’s Web site at www.bettersleep.org.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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