An estimated 50-70 million adults in the U.S. have some type of sleep or wakefulness disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With a multitude of adverse health effects, insufficient shut-eye is an important public health concern.
The more immediate risks of a bad night's sleep include nodding off while driving, fatigue and having difficulty performing daily tasks. Common long-term effects include bad mood, depression, prematurely aged skin, memory troubles and weight gain.
The benefits of getting enough quality sleep are innumerable -- lower stress levels, attention to detail, keeping weight off, happier mood, lower risk of diabetes, high productivity, and fewer heart problems, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the factors disturbing people's quality of rest are also endless. They range from stress to daylight saving time.
Keep the snacks light and avoid eating shortly before bed. Allow about an hour for your body to process the food and absorb the healthy nutrients it needs for a good night sleep. Research shows that people with the healthiest sleep patterns have the best and most diverse diets.
Some foods contain natural substances that help bring on sleep. Before you reach for potentially-addictive prescription sleep-aid pills, add these items to your shopping list to ensure you get enough Zzz's.
- Hristina Byrnes, The Active Times