According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep doesn’t just leave you feeling groggy. It increases your risk for a variety of health problems, including heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Missing that essential time in bed slows your cognitive processes, impairs your problem-solving skills, and makes it more difficult for you to concentrate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 auto crashes are the result of fatigue.
Whether you’re hoping to do great on a big project or simply make it through your road trip safely, adequate sleep is essential. Once you improve your sleep routine, you’ll probably notice a host of benefits. People who get more than six hours of sleep a night have lower levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood. Reducing inflammation will in turn lower your risk for diabetes, arthritis, and even premature aging. More sleep will do everything from boost your creativity to improve your athletic performance.
Now that you’re sold in the idea of getting more rest, it’s time to explore the barriers that may keep you from sleeping. A busy schedule will obviously cut into your sleep time, but what if you’re simply laying in bed unable to reach that REM state? Is there something else at play that’s keeping you awake, like your afternoon diet, leisure habits, or air quality? Check out the infographic below for some valuable insights into the many reasons why you might be losing sleep.