A lack of sleep has been shown to increase the risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. In the Blue Zones residents follow the early to bed and early to rise routine with eight hours of sleep. In three of the Blue Zones a half-hour nap is a daily ritual. The average American sleeps 6.8 hours a day with 14% getting less than 6 hours. I do believe that there are some who do not need 8 hours of sleep or a nap, but shooting for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night is a healthy sleep goal.
Inadequate sleep can lead to:
- impaired judgment
- risky decision-making
- decreased attractiveness (there is support behind the saying “get your beauty rest”)
Develop a relaxing bedtime routine and create a cool, quiet, and dark bedroom. Get rid of all the electronics (computer, iPad, cell phone) including the television.
Here is a bedroom checklist from the Cornell Sleep Lab:
- Own a comfortable mattress (new every 8-10 yrs) and comfortable pillows (new every few yrs)
- Make your bedroom cool at night-65 degrees and add a blanket
- Dim the lights an hour before bed-prepare your body for sleep
- Remove digital alarm clocks with lit-up screens-hide your clock from your line of sight
- Use shades, blinds or drapery to block outside light
- Remove the TV, computer, and cell phones from the bedroom
In Ikaria Greece, one of the Blue Zone regions, more than 80% of people between the ages of 65 and 100 are still having sex.
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”
To those young adults reading this, you will not be saying “yuck” to the above statistic when you are 75 and still have super sex. Sex extends longevity. One last word of advice is to save the bedroom for what I call S and S-sex and sleep or sleep and sex:)