Do you think that everyone, except for you, hops out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed? It’s not likely. The simple fact is that Americans, especially women, are tired because everyone is sleeping less than they used to.

In the past, individuals slept about 10 hours a day. People worked outside and worked in more physical jobs than we do today so their bodies demanded that amount of sleep. Today we are averaging about six hours of sleep a night, even though we need more. How can you tell if you’re falling into the category of the sleep-deprived American?

Here are a few telltale signs you’re not getting enough sleep:

  • Are you having trouble concentrating?
  • Do you have erratic mood swings?
  • Do you feel an overwhelming need to nap during the day?

If you find that tiredness is affecting your quality of life because it’s affecting the quality of your work and your ability to interact with family and coworkers, then you’re too tired.

Does sleep really matter?

Did you know that lack of sleep can lead to serious health conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Traffic accidents caused by drowsy drivers. It’s estimated that close to 100,000 accidents and 1,500 fatalities are caused by drowsy drivers annually

 Okay, so you’ve realized you have a sleep problem, what can you do about it?

  • Avoid caffeine
  • Get daily exercise so that you’re tired when bedtime rolls around. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime
  • If you must nap, only take a 20-minute nap
  • Avoid alcohol and sleep aids
  • Make your bedroom a welcoming refuge from the day and an environment that invites sleep
  • Set up a bedtime routine that invites restful thoughts and an even more restful sleep

If your bed partner says that you’re snoring or if you stop breathing during the night it could be a sign of a more severe sleep problem such as sleep apnea.

Having a night or two of insomnia or tossing and turning is likely not something to worry about but if it persists, you’ll want to consider meeting with a sleep specialist or your doctor.

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.  Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems.  They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare.  For more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900;