Sleep Responsibly

— Written By Ashley McRae and last updated by
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Over the past couple of weeks, I have experienced some of the best sleep imaginable. To be perfectly honest, it has been awhile since my schedule has been free enough for me to get the proper rest needed. The push to get more sleep came with a little nudge from the stay in place order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Before having to cope with our “new normal,” I admit that my sleeping habits were poor. I always attributed this to being so energized from the day that getting forty winks was difficult. With families being at home more and activities being limited, there have been more out-of-the-ordinary sleeping patterns and an increase in food consumption. Even though I have enjoyed being able to sleep, I also realize when and how I choose to sleep can create a multitude of health issues down the line.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Research has shown that on average, adults typically require about seven to nine hours of sleep to function effectively. Lack of sleep can not only prevent you from being productive but also hinder decision making skills, change your mood, and even interfere with your ability to be creative. While some of us may have underlying issues that prevent us from getting an adequate amount of shut-eye (narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia), that does not mean there aren’t measures we can take to achieve quality sleep. Here are a few helpful tips or suggestions that may help:

  • Create and follow through with a sleep schedule. Designate a time for sleep and follow through. Whenever you have your body adjusted to a schedule, it becomes easier for your body’s clock to normalize and fall asleep at a set time.
  • Skip nap time if possible. Who doesn’t enjoy a quick nap during the day? Even though napping may be enjoyable, studies have shown that individuals who nap more frequently throughout the day tend to have issues falling to sleep at their regular bedtime. Napping also increases the chance of staying awake later at night, which can lead to unhealthy decisions. A sleep study conducted on adults showed late sleepers consumed 248 more calories per day. If you must rest during the day, take into consideration how long you will sleep. Ideally, naps should last between 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Control the atmosphere of your bedroom. Is your space too bright? Are there any electronic devices that make a lot of noise? Could you use a new mattress or comforter set to maximize your comfort? Is the temperature in your room uncomfortable? All of these are factors to take in consideration when trying to create a comfortable place to rest. Nuisances such as light and sound can be eliminated, and overall comfort can be adjusted to ensure quality rest. Something as simple as purchasing darker curtains or spending a little more on bedding for that extra thread count can make a world of difference and improve your functionality.

For more information on sleeping responsibly, contact Ashley McRae, Extension Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant, at 910-671-3276, by email at, or visit our website.

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University are collectively committed to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.