Slept Debt — It’s Real and It’s Here.
Why sleep matters now more than ever and three ways to overcome this silent killer.
Covid-19 has had significant consequences on sleep health. According to the American Psychological Association, 2 in 3 Americans have been unsatisfied with sleep this past year –from oversleeping due to a lack of routine or under-sleeping due to stress and anxiety.
Irregular sleep patterns have consequences on physical, cognitive, and mental health. Poor sleep can increase the risk of chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, reduce focus and productivity, and even lead to depression and anxiety.
Unfortunately, we don’t invest in sleep as much as we really should these days. We spend our days working and our nights either at the gym, going out with friends, or TikToking our way to sleep. Over time this perpetual overdrive leads to unhealthy sleep debt.
Some experts estimate that it can take over two months for new habits and routines to stick. While breaking the cycle is no easy task, these tricks can help steer your sleep back on course.
● Short-Term: Naps — It’s completely healthy to take a 30-minute nap a couple of times a day if needed. Naps are better than 30 minutes of social media!
● Mid-Term: Supplements — Melatonin or more holistic formulas that include passionflower and chamomile can help induce a healthy slumber.
● Long-Term: Design a nighttime routine — a tech-free night-time routine can condition your circadian rhythm to trigger sleep — blue light from smart devices can inhibit sleep performance. Try a hot bath or shower with lavender-infused products, followed by a good book or even a pre-bed meditation.
Sleep debt is bound to happen in today’s non-stop world. Fortunately, technology can help us better manage this important health metric. BestOfU’s free iOS application automatically captures health vitals through Apple Health to help you better understand your personal sleep needs with actionable insights to help you improve performance. Learn more at GetBestOfU.com.
#sleep #health #fitness #productivity #mentalhealth
Kathleen is an upcoming Postgraduate Research Fellow in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at the Yale School of Medicine and has research training in Public Health from John Hopkins University.
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