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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Happy Sleep Awareness Week

By March 4, 2012

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This Year, National Sleep Awareness Week is March 4th-10th.

Do you get enough sleep? And how much sleep is 'enough'?

I'm writing this after midnight. Being a night owl, this is not unusual for me. I get quite a bit of my writing done in the wee hours. But I'm careful to get a full 7-8 hours per night, or catch up with power naps if I don't. This is because I know what happens to me if I don't get enough sleep: I get moody, my creativity diminishes (as does my patience!) and sometimes I get headaches. Too many days in a row with not-enough sleep and I get stressed over things that would normally roll off my back. So I've learned to safeguard my sleep.

Some people don't have such obvious effects from lack of sleep, or they may not be aware of the effects, or may even be aware of them without making the connection with sleep. That's why we have National Sleep Awareness Week, to remind us that sleep matters, help us tune into the effects of sleep deprivation or sleep deficit in ourselves and others, and make important changes to help ourselves and our families get enough sleep to function at our best.

Because stress and sleep are linked, there are some important things that you can do with stress management to enable yourself to get more quality sleep. These thing involve paring down your schedule (so you wont' be too busy for sleep), managing stress and anxiety (so you won't be too 'keyed-up' to fall or stay asleep), and avoiding sleep saboteurs (coffee, anyone?). The following resources can help you to better understand the importance of sleep and how it affects you. They can also help you to get better quality sleep when stressed. So rest easy and learn how to get the most out of your nights, in order to make your days more productive and fulfilling.

Sleep Resources from Elizabeth Scott:

Do you get enough sleep? And what happens to you if you don't? Share your thoughts on sleep in the comments section, or start a thread in the Stress Management Forum.

Image from iStockPhoto.com

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March 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(1) Susan says:

Elizabeth, I couldn’t agree more. Lack of sleep is one of the most overlooked stressors. Somehow our culture has fallen into the notion that 6 hours sleep is enough, and for the vast majority of people it is not.

Personally, I get cranky and totally inefficient when I don’t get 8-9 hours…and forget being creative.

There is a company that provides nap rooms for employees (Google maybe?). If more companies thought like that, I’d be willing to guarantee an increase in productivity.

Thanks from one night owl to another.


March 7, 2009 at 3:39 am
(2) Praveen Sharma says:

The kind of lifestyle people have adopted these days, sleep is one of the casualty. Even children are trying to make do with less sleep.
I, for one, cannot do without my 7 – 8 hours of sleep. Less sleep, for me equals, more irritation and more indecisiveness.

Though, I have seen, that the sleep requirement is different for different individuals.

And, last, but not the least, thanks for telling us the desirable time duration for power naps. This tip is really helpful.

March 12, 2009 at 5:00 am
(3) Prashant says:

Sleep is an amazing thing, whose mystery is hardly unraveled, just yet. But we know we need it – as lack of sleep, or insufficient sleep, or interruption of sleep cycles affects us negatively, come the next day.

One of the important sleep tips is to have a fixed schedule – doesn’t matter even if we are a night owl – and follow that schedule as close to everyday as possible.

I discussed a few important sleep tips on my website as well.

Thanks for your article.


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