Do you know anyone who isnt tired? Its true that all of us especially women are sleeping less than we used to. A century ago, people slept for nine to 10 hours a night, says Gerard T. Lombardo, M.D., author of Sleep to Save Your Life. Recently, though, people have been averaging only about six hours a night, according to a new study from the University of Chicago. How can you tell if youve entered the danger zone by cutting your snooze time too short?
If tiredness interferes with your quality of life, if it affects your work and ability to enjoy your family, if you obsess about sleep all day, then youre too tired, says Dr. Lombardo. Some specific signs include:
overwhelming sleepiness during the day
loss of concentration
Why It Matters
Too little sleep can push you closer to the following serious medical conditions:
high blood pressure
In addition, its estimated that around 100,000 traffic accidents and 1,500 fatalities are caused by drowsy drivers every year.
If youre too tired, avoid caffeine, napping and exercising late in the day. Dont rely long term on sleeping pills, antihistamines or alcohol, which may induce rest in the short term but do not promote the restful sleep cycles that actually renew us. And if you have a sleep problem that lasts for more than a week or two, talk to your doctor or look into visiting a sleep clinic. Your health not to mention your good mood may depend on it!