wellness essentials

Why 2019 is the Year of Sleep

sleep

Whether you’re a sleepyhead dedicated to those extra fifteen minutes of shuteye after you hit snooze, or if you’re an early bird trying to squeeze as much productivity as you can during the day — this one’s for you. Whatever your sleeping style, 2019 is the year to make it a priority. A new study reveals that if we don’t get the necessary 7-8 hours of sleep we need each night, our cognitive abilities start to deteriorate.

It’s a new year filled with opportunities for growth, wellness, and achievement— and it all starts with a better night's sleep. Here’s why we believe 2019 is the year of sleep.

For starters, sleep has actually become a public health problem.

You read that right. When we don’t get enough Zzz’s at night, it not only impacts our life, it can impact the lives of others, too. The CDC cited drowsy driving as a public health problem, as 1 in 25 adult drivers aged 18 years of age or older reported having fallen asleep while driving in the last 30 days. In fact, those who are awake for 18 hours are equal to having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which is legally drunk and an equal risk for a crash. Approximately 100,000 crashes occur each year due to drowsy drivers, so getting the sleep we need isn’t just important — it’s critical.

Companies are starting to realize that burnout is a real thing — and sleep is a solution.

A recent gallup survey revealed that 44% of employees reported feelings of burnout at work. Companies are beginning to pay attention to this, which is why Forbes listed Addressing Burnout as one of their top workplace wellness trends for 2019. In fact, a study from World Sleep Day Society reported that 46% of the world’s sleep-deprived individuals frequently miss work or make more mistakes in the office than the 15% who do get sufficient sleep. Encouraging better sleep habits in turn promotes better work performance by supporting concentration, learning, and communication — making it a win-win for everybody. 

People are hacking and tracking their sleep to optimize their rest.

Getting the highest quality sleep no matter the circumstances has become a new trend that isn’t going anywhere. Tracking devices like rings, apps, and watches, and even a smart mattress that actually tracks your sleep, have become the norm for people trying to ensure they get the best rest possible. Now with the emergence of these new tracking technologies, we’re able to monitor our total hours of sleep each night, even breaking it down into the time we spend in REM sleep, deep sleep, and light sleep. In the simplest sense of “sleep hacking,” becoming more aware of what can get in the way of our sleep and adjusting accordingly is on the forecast for a healthy 2019. Using earplugs to block out sound, a sleep mask or blackout curtains to get rid of light that impacts our sleep-wake cycle, and adjusting our room temperature for ideal shuteye (hint: its between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) are a few easy ways we can make the most of bedtime.

Hormones are becoming a hot wellness trend — and they impact our sleep.

Becoming educated on our hormones and their fluctuations seems to be on everyone’s 2019 wellness forecast. This includes 2 major hormones that play huge roles in our sleep cycle: cortisol and melatonin. Cortisol is responsible for helping us wake up alert and ready to go (also known as our ‘stress hormone’). Melatonin is responsible for signaling our body when it is time to rest, which is why it is often used to supplement a good night’s sleep. However, when our hormones are out of whack we can feel some serious consequences (including feelings of exhaustion and a slower metabolism). Women often fall victim to this due to the hormone Progesterone, a hormone made primarily in the ovaries of cycling women that acts as a natural sleep aid. When women get older, they find their progesterone levels drop, and their ability to sleep through the night falters. Learning how to manage our hormones and understand how they can fluctuate is going to be a hot topic of 2019 — and it will have a big impact on our sleep.

Sleep is getting all the attention in 2019.

With new products on the market designed to create an optimum sleep cycle such as cooling comforters, smart alarm clocks, designer sheets, and stress-relieving blankets, this $32 billion market is only just getting started. Sleep is directly correlated with our mental and physical well being — take it from Dr. Walker of U.C. Berkeley: “Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body.” What are you planning on doing to get a better night’s sleep in 2019? Tell us in the comments!

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