(CARLSBAD, CA) – Dozing off during your mid-morning meeting at work? Rushing off to coffee house for a jolt of java during an afternoon slump? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a whopping 68 percent of women report difficulty sleeping at least a few nights per week. Sleep deprivation is rampant, and according to recent research, it can wreak havoc on your health.
A study following 7,300 women, recently reported in the International Journal of Obesity, reports that women with sleep problems gain quite a bit more weight than women who sleep peacefully.
Meanwhile, a National Cancer Institute study determined that a lack of sleep puts women at an increased risk for cancer. Women who logged fewer than seven hours of nightly ZZZzzzs had a 47 percent greater chance of developing cancer than the women who slept peacefully.
Sleep deprivation is not only linked to weight gain and cancer. The National Sleep Foundation connects too little sleep with an increased risk for motor vehicle accidents, diabetes, heart problems, psychiatric conditions, and brain functions such as memory and attention span.
So, how much sleep do you actually need each night? There isn’t a magic number. It varies from person to person. As a general rule, most adults need 7-9 hours per night.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett finds that 7-9 hours of nightly sleep is ideal for maintaining her health and fitness level. She gives these tips for getting a good night’s rest.
Check your mattress – A good mattress will last about 8-10 years. Even if you have a longer warranty, go ahead and splurge for a new one after 10 years. After all, we spend about one-third of our lives in bed. So, why are you settling for a mattress that isn’t up to par?
Turn down the lights – Your body needs darkness to produce melatonin, a hormone that facilitates sleep. Start turning down your lights about 30 minutes before you plan to hit the sack. Your brain will start to release melatonin, and you’ll gradually grow sleepier. By the time you turn off the lights completely, you’ll be ready for a full night slumber.
Re-set your environment – Keep work out of your bedroom. If you see stacks of files sitting on your desk, you’re more likely to start thinking about all of the tasks you need to complete tomorrow. If your laptop resides on your bedside table, you’ll be more tempted to mentally compose the e-mail that you need to send to your boss. If possible, keep your bedroom space sacred – free from work and stress.
Make Scents – Certain scents help calm the nervous system and reduce tension. According to research at Wesleyan University, inhaling the scent of lavender oil before bedtime allows for a longer period in the deepest stages of sleep and feeling more rested in the morning.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. For more than 40 years, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive fitness program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.