In recent years, scientists have done research and have found that Americans are actually sleeping longer than back in 2003. The average American sleeps an average of 18 more minutes a weeknight compared to 2003. As other research has shown, a good night’s sleep is linked with higher levels of thinking, better judgement, more awareness, and more creativity. In general, there have been incremental gains over the past 13 years in the total time a person sleeps per night. On average, Americans have been gaining a whopping 1.4 minutes of sleep each night each year over the past 13 years. As you’d expect, more people slept longer on the weekends.

Overall, most Americans are now getting over 8 hours of sleep each night. However, the CDC predicts that at least a third of adults suffer from insufficient sleep. The insufficiency has been linked to many health problems like heart disease and type two diabetes. The good news is that there are many things you can focus on to make sure you get the sleep you deserve. One of the biggest factors is limiting screen time before bed. The blue light from your device messes with your body’s natural melatonin levels, causing your brain to think that it’s the middle of the day when in reality it’s nighttime. Another thing you could do is create a consistent routine. Go to sleep at the same time each night and follow the same activities leading up to sleep, whether that be reading a book or meditation. Also, avoid daytime naps as these can also affect your natural sleep cycle.

In the end, sleep is very important to our body both physiologically and mentally. It balances hormones, repairs the body, and refreshes our brain. If you fail to make sleep a priority, your body will feel it later on.

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