Health and Wellness: Make sleep a priority

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

About a third of adults in the US say that most nights they get fewer than the recommended number of hours of sleep. This is true among adolescents, and even some children. Packed schedules and stress in our lives can cause lack of sleep and/or poor-quality sleep.

Quality sleep provides physical rest for our bodies, and it allows our brains to recover overnight. A mattress company uses the term junk sleep to sell their products. The term originally came from the British Sleep Council, using it to describe sleep that’s neither long enough nor high quality enough to help restore your brain so that it can function properly the next day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists drowsy driving as a risk for crashes. In 2019, there were 697 deaths related to drivers feeling sleepy.

Shorting yourself on sleep not only causes dullness in your cognitive abilities. Chronic lack of sleep can also lead to mental health problems like depression. Ironically, worry over your lack of sleep can lead to more sleep problems. You can contact Your Life Iowa 24/7 to talk through your anxiety. Call 855-581-8111; text 855-895-8398; or live chat online.