Something near and dear to my heart is a good sleep…not that I get one, but one can dream (pun intended)! The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) will be celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week, March 14 to 20, 2021. This year’s theme “Celebrate Sleep Health”  highlights the importance of good sleep health for individuals to best achieve their personal, family, and professional goals.

National Sleep Foundation National Sleep Awareness Week
National Sleep Foundation 

About Sleep Awareness Week

Launched in 1998, Sleep Awareness Week is NSF’s national public education campaign that celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve health and well-being. The campaign commences with the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. NSF provides valuable information during Sleep Awareness Week about the benefits of optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being, and safety. NSF also releases its annual Sleep in America® Poll results on the public’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about a sleep-related topic.

The week-long campaign will provide valuable information about the benefits of optimal sleep and how sleep affects health, well-being, and safety. Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s Bedtime Calculator, which encourages individuals to plan their sleep.

Tips to Help Fall Asleep

If you’re having trouble falling asleep (something I have no problems with!), here are some tips from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. For children, have a set bedtime and a bedtime routine. Don’t use the child’s bedroom for timeouts or punishment.
  • Try to keep the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends. Limit the difference to no more than about an hour. Staying up late and sleeping in late on weekends can disrupt your body clock’s sleep–wake rhythm.
  • Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Avoid strenuous exercise and bright artificial light, such as from a TV or computer screen. The light may signal the brain that it’s time to be awake.
  • Avoid heavy and/or large meals within a couple hours of bedtime. (Having a light snack is okay.) Also, avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
  • Avoid nicotine (for example, cigarettes) and caffeine (including caffeinated soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate). Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, and both substances can interfere with sleep. The effects of caffeine can last as long as 8 hours. So, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night.
  • Spend time outside every day (when possible) and be physically active.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark (a dim night light is fine, if needed).
  • Take a hot bath or use relaxation techniques before bed.

How To Nap

And if you need any additional help catching some “zzzzzs,” click on over to Amazon and pick-up a copy of How to Nap by Nicole Damato for a step-by-step guide to becoming a pro napper.

How to Nap by Nicole Damato

National Sleep Awareness Week