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Driving on 5 Hours of Sleep Is Like Driving Drunk

If like many of us, you’re one who has taken up the car keys and started a road trip after a short night of sleep, you might want to think twice before you do it again. According to a new report in USA Today, driving drowsy not only is as dangerous as driving drunk, but nearly doubles your risk of an accident. This is especially disconcerting because the CDC says about a third of U.S. drivers have had too little sleep.

It’s surprising how many people put sleep at the bottom of the list when it comes to taking control of their health, especially because lack of sleep has many ramifications, from minor to major, depending on your accumulated sleep debt. The truth is going just one night without proper sleep starts to impair your physical movements and mental focus, comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent.

Sleeping well is also important for maintaining emotional balance. Fatigue compromises your brain’s ability to regulate emotions, making you more prone to crankiness, anxiety, and unwarranted emotional outbursts. Since 40 percent of Americans are sleep deprived — getting less seven hours a night — it’s absolutely necessary to remember certain foundations for good sleep.

My 33 healthy sleep guidelines can help with this. In the meantime, begin by switching off electronics at least one hour before bedtime, including the TV. Sleep in a dark room. Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F, and get plenty of exercise and sunlight during the day.
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