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JOHNSTON: Are your sleep habits disrupted during a pandemic outbreak?

Do you get enough sleep?

Since our routines have all been modified, I’ve been having a hard time getting the good sleep I need.

There is limited scheduling, and so I’m finding I’m going to bed even later than I did before the COVID-19 situation, and I’m not really sure why.

I will often wake up tired, and I know I am not alone as most adults do not get what sleep they need, with one in three adults falling short.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night.

Getting enough sleep is important so individuals can best achieve their personal, family and professional goals.

Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being.

Fatigue and sleepiness can reduce productivity and increase the chance for motor vehicle or industrial accidents.

Sleep is important for an individual’s health because lack of sleep is linked to several chronic diseases and conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and depression.

Here are some tips to follow that increase your chances of getting adequate sleep:

— Keep a routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including the weekends and when we are not working/going to school at normal times

— Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature.

— Remove electronic devices from the bedroom.

— Be active during the day to help you fall asleep at night. Being active during the day is looking very different lately, so this may be a more difficult one to work on.

— Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

Whether you try just one of these sleeping tips or achieve all of them, your sleep will improve.

Some of these are fast fixes, and some require you to train your body and develop healthier habits.

Just remember that making a lifestyle change can be difficult and requires patience.

Know that you are not alone. With a third of U.S. adults suffering from inadequate sleep, it is important to take a proactive approach to improve your bedtime habits.

It is a critical part of your overall health that typically gets overlooked, but the better you sleep, the healthier you’ll be.

Call the Extension Office if you have any questions about health and wellness tips.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at shonda.johnston@uky.edu.