Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Graciously re-posted courtesy of Gurze Publications.

student trying to sleep holding a red alarm clock

Townsquare Media

When I interviewed Dr. Craig Johnson of the Eating Recovery Center in Denver in 2010, he told me a surprising statistic:

The average adolescent patient coming in for eating disorder treatment is reporting an average of 4.2 hours of sleep per night.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about 9.25 hours of sleep each night to function at their best.  Yet most teens do not get enough sleep.  One study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.*

In addition, recent studies at Mayo Clinic show that getting more quality sleep may also have a positive effect on the body’s glucose and insulin levels.  In fact, researchers are suggesting that lack of sleep is also linked to weight gain in some cases.  In such a fast-paced, over-worked society it is difficult to find five hours to slow down — let alone 9 or 10.  But research is starting to show that proper sleep could help resolve complications like obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

One thing is clear, sleep is one of the most overlooked ways to nourish our bodies.

“Ninety-nine percent of people who think they only need five hours of sleep a night are actually hurting themselves,” said Dr. Lee Green of the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada.**

Students who struggle with insomnia or restless sleep can employ a few mindfulness and meditation techniques before bedtime.  Pranayama or breathing techniques have a calming effect on the brain and have been shown to reduce anxiety.  For sample exercises, visit my yoga for recovery blog — updated regularly.

And if breathing or yoga techniques aren’t working, the Mayo Clinic offers 7 steps to better sleep.***

If these resources don’t help you enjoy a more peaceful sleep, it may be time to find help and professional guidance.  In many local universities, free resources are available. In fact, many sleep programs offer free treatment in exchange for participation in research studies.  Harvard University’s Division of Sleep Medicine is currently recruiting participants, as is the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, among many others.

Robyn Hussa is the Author and Editor of the We Are The Real Deal blog universe and Founder and CEO of the NORMAL nonprofit.  She is a national speaker on the topics of body image, eating disorders and mindfulness.  Learn more


** Courtesy of ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/10/16/lack-of-sleep-linked-to-weight-gain/

***Courtesy of Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387/NSECTIONGROUP=2

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