Every one of us, at some point, is tired and feels like we’re lacking sleep. At least seven hours of good sleep is required to keep healthy adults healthy. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for one reason or another. It’s normal to be tired, but one generation – the Millennials – seems to be a little more tired and a little more in need of good sleep. Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996. In addition to being known as “Generation Y”, they are also known as The Tired Generation.
Sleep Deprivation – Hazardous to Your Health
We all know that our bodies can only survive so many days without food and water. What may be a surprise to many is that the same can be said about a good night’s sleep. Suffering from sleep deprivation will not only make you less productive and alert but can also be dangerous to your health and wellbeing.
Sleep deprivation has been associated with several life-threatening issues, including high blood pressure, stroke, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes. It’s also been linked with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to putting you at risk of developing serious health issues, it can also increase the chances of an accident.
Why Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Millennials?
Although sleep deprivation can and does affect any generation given the right circumstances, millennials appear to have more stress-inducing factors contributing to their sleep problems. More importantly, is how they’ve chosen to deal with these factors. In many cases, their reactions have caused mental and physical issues.
The majority of the millennials reached adulthood and working-age within a few years of the 2008 Recession. The recession caused many uncertainties to these individuals.
The recession eliminated many jobs. Because there were so few good jobs, available, it became difficult to save the money needed to buy or rent a home, make student loan payments, or even have a savings account. These situations have made many millennials “overachievers”. One way that many millennials have handled these issues is by giving 110 percent on the job with the hopes of promotions and higher wages.
Another way they’ve dealt with the constant uncertainty regarding the future is to take on two jobs, leaving very little time for anything else, much less sleep. Lack of time caused many to eliminate things from their lives, and they choose to eliminate sleep.
Poor Health Habits
We’ve all heard the saying “early to bed, early to rise makes a man health, wealthy and wise”. There is actually a lot of truth to that statement. Sleep may not necessarily make you wise or wealthy, but it will contribute to better health. Actually, it may make you wiser or wealthier because you always function better with a sharp and well-rested mind.
Eating healthy food and getting plenty of good exercise is very good for your health. In order to eat healthy, you either have to take the time to find healthy restaurants or shop for healthy foods to cook at home. Because millennials are often spending so much time working, that extra time is just not there. With so many hours spent working, there is very little time for exercise.
Millennials, along with other generations, often deal with stress by using caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and even drugs. All of these things can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. They often even make it worse.
A Digital World – Problems it brings
Unlike other generations, very few millennials can say they didn’t grow up without the internet or mobile phones. From a very young age, many of them had their eyes getting many hours of screen time. Digital communication was an everyday thing to millennials – so much more so than the generation before them.
It has been said that millennials use their smartphones for about 3.7 hours per day, which is a higher amount than other generations. Whether it’s chatting with friends, dealing with work issues, or just checking out social media, they’re spending a lot of time on their phones. Because millennials spend so much of their daytime working, much of this screen time is spent before bedtime. It’s often spent during hours where they could and should be sleeping.
Getting a good night’s sleep will probably not happen overnight, but it can become a way of life by following a few good tips.
- Make a sleep schedule and stick with it. It should include you getting at least seven hours of sleep.
- Purchase a mattress that fits your sleep style. You might not think this would help but switching to a hybrid mattress or memory foam mattress could make a huge difference.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of caffeine and alcohol at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Limit the use of smartphones and other digital technology. Shut them off at least a half-hour before going to bed.
- Develop a good environment that includes a quiet, dark, and cool room. Make sure you have comfortable bedding and pillows.
- Add healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits, to your daily diet. However, avoid eating right before bedtime.
- Start an exercise program where you get exercise every day even if it’s only a 20-minute daily walk.