August 15th is National Relaxation Day. Relaxation is worth celebrating. Didn’t the great writer William S. Burroughs say, “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

But most of us don’t put much of a premium on slowing down. In fact, Princess Cruises just released the results of its eighth annual Relaxation Report. The study revealed that when it comes to relaxation and sleep, it’s not a priority for many Americans. According to results of the survey by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises, Americans aren’t carving out enough time in their days for sleep or relaxation. 78 percent say they don’t set aside time to relax each day and 49 percent reporting they aren’t getting the sleep they need.

A lack of sleep even extends to vacation time. The survey also found that 63 percent of Americans frequently struggle to get a good night’s sleep while on vacation. In an effort to help its guests come back from vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated Princess Cruises partnered with experts in both the science of sleep to develop the Princess Luxury Bed. Working with board-certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and designer Candice Olson, Princess Cruises hopes to give guests great sleep at sea. The Princess Luxury Bed will be in 44,000 staterooms through 2019 and contains a two-inch thick pillow top, a nine-inch, single-sided medium firm mattress and individually wrapped coils for less partner disturbance. The Princess Luxury Bed is also available for guests to order for their homes via www.princessluxurybed.com.

But if you cannot experience the new bed, Dr. Breus says there are tangible things you can do to get better sleep. “The number one advice I give people is that sleep is a sensory experience and all five of your senses must be prepared for slumber in order for you to fall asleep easily and stay asleep all night long,” he explains.

Dr. Breus shared what keeps Americans from getting the sleep and relaxation they need.

Consuming caffeine too late in the day. Caffeine can linger in the system for up to eight hours, and yet 44 percent of Americans admit to drinking caffeine at 2 p.m. or later.

Indulging in a nightcap. Even though alcohol can prevent people from getting quality sleep, more than half (53 percent) of Americans age 21 or older admit to having had a drink within three hours of going to sleep in the past last two weeks.

Stress over current events. For 67 percent of Americans, today’s political climate has made it harder for them to relax. For more relaxation and better sleep, take a break from the 24/7 political news cycle.

Not sticking to a schedule. One in four Americans (or 25 percent) don’t go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Setting a consistent alarm is an easy way to get more satisfying sleep.

Ignoring time off. Among working Americans, about 1 in 3 (31 percent) didn’t use all the time available to them. For Americans who didn’t use all of their paid time off, their top reason is that they had too much work to get done.

Source: The Huffington Post