LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — According to the CDC, one-third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended seven or more hours of sleep. This sleep deprivation can result in more feelings of restlessness and overall poorer health.
Dr. Kevin Stephens, local sleep specialist and Louisiana Chief Medical Officer for Employer and Individual Accounts, says sleep is important not only to recharge our bodies, but to help our minds as well.
“That’s when you grow and when you get all the things you need. Your mind downloads and all things happen when you sleep. You really should have a healthy sleep life,” he says.
According to Dr. Stephens, there are many causes of sleep deprivation. Some of the most common causes are insomnia, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, other health related factors, or too many stimuli.
However, there are steps that can be taken to improve quality of sleep. Dr. Stephens says quality of sleep can be improved with intentional practices like a wind down routine. This routine should include turning off bright lights, avoiding external stimuli, avoiding caffeinated drinks, and reading books or listening to soft sounds. Committing to better sleep habits can result in better sleep long-term and improved health.
“You get on a pattern of sleep. The better you adhere to that, the better you will function,” he says.
Once you find a pattern that works for you, whether it is seven, eight, or more hours of sleep, stick to it.
Dr. Stephens says its never too late for adults to commit to better sleep and encourage children to do so also.