During this busy holiday season, as you nestle snug in your bed, forget the presents yet to be wrapped and settle your brain for a long winter’s nap.
Sleep specialists say the best gift you can give yourself this year is the gift of sleep. According to a study published in the September 2005 issue of the journal Sleep, the average sleep duration among U.S. adults is only 6.9 hours per night, and 39 percent get less than the 7 to 9 hours recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Add to that the extra demands of the holiday season – shopping for gifts after work, party preparation, waiting until the kids are asleep to wrap the gifts -and it’s easy to see why many people are more sleep-deprived than ever this time of year.
“We see more people in sleep centers after the holidays because the hectic season took a toll on their sleep,” said Dr. Donna Arand, sleep specialist for the AASM. “You also will not enjoy the holidays as much if you are getting up early, going to bed late and are stressed out. You can’t be your best holiday self if you are fighting sleep deprivation.”