What’s better than a morning of sleeping in with fuzzy pajamas and warm hot chocolate to wake up to? Nothing, really! Except maybe a day that celebrates just this. That’s right, a day for sleep! Believe it or not, January 3 of every year is the Festival of Sleep Day. It’s the perfect time to catch up from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Although you may be back at school on the 3rd, you can still squeeze in a nap after school or an early night’s sleep. (Make sure to grab your favorite stuffed animal!)
There may be just one day dedicated to sleep, but it’s important to get a good night’s sleep every night of the year. And for growing teens, sleep is crucial for diet, energy, stress levels, and learning. “Sleep does all that?” you may ask. YES, and much more!
How much sleep a night do you get? If the answer is between 8.5 and 9 hours, rock on! You’re getting just the right amount of sleep. If your answer is lower than this, I suggest you set aside some more time for zzz’s.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is as vital as “the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat.” And not only do we need the right number of hours of sleep, but we also need to stick to a consistent sleep pattern. It’s easy to stay up late during the week studying for a test, or sleep in on Saturday after a girl’s night on Friday, but these irregular sleep periods drastically affect our biological clocks. What does that do for us? Less learning, more pimples, increased anger, and more illness. Not fun!
At this point you may be thinking, but I just don’t have time to sleep right! But you do, and just a few steps can help you:
- set a regular bed time and try to stick to it
- exercise regularly, but not before bed
- avoid caffeine, it makes your body restless
- don’t fall asleep to the tv
- wake up to bright light (natural is best)
- keep a sleep journal to track your schedule
If you can fit more, regular sleep into your life, you will definitely see results. You’ll feel more energized, ready to learn, healthier, happier, and ready for each and every day. Now who doesn’t want all that?
Don’t forget about the Festival of Sleep Day… you deserve that extra snooze.
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