Paying Off Your Sleep Debt

Not only are we racking up huge amounts of credit card debt in America, but Americans, in our busy, half-hour lunch if there’s time, world is becoming seriously sleep deprived and in need of paying off our sleep debt. Studies show that one in five adults suffer from daytime sleepiness, 5o percent say that daytime sleepiness interferes with work. Today, Americans on average sleep one hour less per night than they did 20 to 30 years go.

“A 15-20 minute power nap, usually midday when people start to feel the effects of not getting enough sleep, can help a person maintain their morning alertness all day long,” says Maas at Medicine.Net. Taking a few minutes out of your work schedule can ensure that you have the alertness and effective operational skills to ‘be all the you can be’ in our American society. Though most countries around the world take two or even three hours in the afternoon for lunch or a ‘siesta’, America presses on throughout the day, some burning the midnight oil just to raise their profit margin. But in order to balance our minimal amount of sleep and still be able to function and work, “naps are one of the most powerful alertness strategies,” says Mark Rosekind, PhD, president and chief scientist at Alertness Solutions, from an article at WebMD. “It is the only strategy that gets directly to the ‘sleep debt’ we rack up at night when we don’t get the amount we need.”

So choosing a ‘Sleep Debt’ strategy can make a difference in your everyday life. Find ten to fifteen minutes in your day when you can pay off your debt from the previous night. Nap in a quiet, uninterrupted area. Set an alarm to control how long you sleep and to avoid that groggy, tired feeling you get if you sleep too long, and nap at the same time each day, training your body to look forward and to appreciate your nap time. Make a choice to pay off your sleep debt and rid your body of high interest payments on work and life. Even in our fast-paced, no-time-for-anything-society, we can carve out a moment in our day to re-energize and refresh our bodies so that we can function and perform more effectively.

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