Kids may fight going to sleep, but once they drift off, they sleep like they mean it. If you wake up every time the clock strikes the hour, take a hint from your kids, and make sleep a priority. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived. The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. If you aren't getting your full share, consider making the following changes:
- Implement a nighttime ritual that will condition you for bedtime: write a list of the day's accomplishments, read a book, take a bath or meditate.
- Turn off your electronic gadgets. Say goodnight to the television, computer, sound system, radio and any other device that's supplying background interference.
- Turn out the lights. The dark and quiet will help you drift off.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, and limit your consumption to the morning hours.
- Eat a few sleep-inducing foods a few hours before bedtime. Try bananas, almonds, milk, hard-boiled eggs or cherries.