National Sleep Awareness Week Launches Daylight Saving Time—Can the Flowers be Far Behind?

Spring Forward and Fall Back is an old saying that helps us remember which way to turn the clock for the time changes in spring and fall, but for some of us, still in the grip of a freakishly brutal winter, springing forward feels more like falling back.

Sleep Awareness Week is the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) annual public education campaign to raise awareness that sleep is as necessary to good health as food, water and air. This year's event, March 2-8, ends on the day we begin Daylight Saving Time—an excellent time to raise awareness about the need for adequate sleep.

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you're getting the minimum seven hours (or even less) and you have to wake up an hour earlier, without going to bed an hour earlier, this puts you in the danger zone of being sleep-deprived.

The Center for Disease Control has declared sleep insufficiency to be a nationwide public health epidemic, affecting an estimated 50-70 million US adults. A growing number of diseases and medical conditions are being linked to poor sleep habits.

In her comprehensive free report, An Epidemic of Sleeplessness, Belleruth states, "We are a nation of people who long for a good night's sleep. Restful sleep is the new Holy Grail, sought by one in three bleary-eyed Americans."

2121Her report is packed with information about sleep insufficiency and tips to help you get a good night's sleep, including lifestyle changes and suggestions for guided imagery to address sleep problems. Considering the newly-released information in the NSF's Sleep in America poll it's no wonder Belleruth's Healthful Sleep is our number one seller-particularly popular in spring and fall, and our newest title, Healthy Weight and Body Image during Sleep, by Dr. Traci Stein, is already a favorite.

The consensus is that insufficient sleep is something we can do something about, but winter is another story. If you find yourself railing at the snow, storms, sub-zero temps, and now dealing with waking up when it's still dark outside, Dr. Traci Stein's article, "Winter Rage," Mindfulness, and the Gift of the Present, published in the Integrationist, is a must-read.

I talk to people from all areas. When I told a woman from California that her shipment might be delayed, due to the weather between here and there, she asked if we could ship some of our excess snow there, as her area was experiencing a severe drought.

I guess it's always something, and we can benefit by choosing not to resist what is. "Our thoughts and feelings are whatever they are in the moment. But if we can step out of our heads and into the present, now and then—however and whatever it is—we may be pleasantly surprised by its gifts."—Traci Stein.