Newswise — We spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping. Sleep is a basic human need, much like food and water, and is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Despite evidence that shows the importance of adequate sleep, it is often considered a luxury that can take a back seat to other obligations in our lives. This World Sleep Day (March 13), the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) encourages everyone to reset their habits to ensure sleep is a priority.

“Sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle, along with good nutrition and regular exercise,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “Getting sufficient, quality sleep on a regular basis can improve physical and mental health, enhance performance, and promote safety.”  

Insufficient sleep contributes to the risk for several of today’s public health epidemics, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The AASM recommends the following tips to enhance the amount and quality of sleep:

  • Don’t:
    • Drink coffee after lunch; it can lead to tossing and turning at night
    • Stay up late working on the computer; it prevents us from being able to “wind down” and fall asleep
    • Go to bed unless you are sleepy
    • Read, write, eat or watch TV in bed
  • Do:
    • Try and keep a regular sleep schedule
    • Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool
    • Establish a routine that helps you relax each night before bed

For more information about World Sleep Day, visit www.worldsleepday.org. For more healthy sleep tips from AASM, go to www.sleepeducation.org