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It’s Sleep Awareness Month and Here’s What You Need to Know!

It’s already March -  where did the time go? The month of March is known for the end of winter and beginning of warmer sunny weather. But we aren’t here to highlight our excitement for spring – although we’d love to. We are here to talk about something we all love. Sleep! March is National Sleep Awareness Month and we want to raise awareness on the importance of sleep and how it can seriously affect your day to day life and health.

Daylight savings is upon us and let’s face it, our sleep will most likely be seriously affected by this. Luckily many of us can adjust to the time change and go back to our regular sleep routine, but for others it isn’t quite so simple. Unfortunately, even without the intrusive time change, 50 - 70 million US adults already suffer from some sort of sleeping disorder. Sleeping disorders are no joke. In fact, sleeping disorders are accountable for 100,000 deaths every year. Many of these incidents have occurred in US hospitals due to medical errors, but sleep deprivation has been shown to also make a significant contribution.

So why is sleep so important aside from the 100,000 deaths a year due to sleep deprivation? Let’s look at some statistics on US adults:

  • 7.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.
  • 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.
  • Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%
  • 25 Million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea

The statistics can be very scary, but they are very real. If you or someone you know thinks they are suffering from sleep deprivation and it is taking a toll on their life they should seek help from a medical specialist. Sleep deprivation can be life threatening.

For those of us who do not suffer from a sleeping disorder you should be aware of how many hours of sleep your body needs in order to help you function and feel like yourself:

  • Adult: 7 – 9 hours
  • Teenager: 8 – 10 hours
  • Child 6 – 12 years: 9- 12 hours
  • Child 3 – 5 years:  10 – 13 hours (including naps)
  • Child 1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours (including naps)
  • Infants 4 -12 months: 12 – 16 hours (including naps)

Hopefully these statistics will get you thinking and help you to better understand just how important sleep really is. But please we advise you to not dwell or stress over it – we don’t want the stress to affect your goodnight’s sleep. We just want you to be aware! The QOL family wishes you a good night’s rest not only this March but every night!

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