Do you get the recommended eight hours of healthy sleep each night? Do you even come close?

The average New Jersey adult is missing out on 30.5 hours of sleep each month, according to a new survey from mattress review site Sleepopolis. That's right around the national average, but much worse than the 21.7 hours missed monthly by Vermonters.

And this "sleep debt" doesn't mean you're just missing out on snuggle time. Medical professionals note sleep deprivation can affect your mood, productivity and concentration, and act as a roadblock to someone attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"Usually, people will try to catch up on the weekends. Unfortunately, some people catch up on the Parkway or the Turnpike and horrible things happen," said Dr. Doug Livornese, a board-certified sleep expert in Monmouth County.


Getting a good sleep, Livornese says, doesn't involve just turning off the light and getting into bed. The process actually starts a couple hours before the lights go out, and you may need to make a couple sacrifices if you want to maximize your time in dreamland.

In the survey, 78 percent of respondents said they use their cell phones every night just before going to bed. More than a third admit to drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks.

"Avoid caffeine and alcohol within four hours of going to bed," Livornese said.

His advice that may be the hardest to swallow — avoid your smartphone or tablet for at least two hours before hitting the hay.

The last resort to catch up on sleep, Livornese says, is a "power nap" during the day — no later than 4 p.m. for those with a typical schedule, and for no longer than 30 minutes.

While New Jersey residents seem to be missing out on about an hour of sleep per night, according to the survey, we get more shut-eye than folks in Alaska. Alaskans incur 42 hours of sleep debt on a monthly basis.

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