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Your Guide to Restful Sleep
Stick to a sleep schedule: Set aside around 8 hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for an average adult is about 7 hours. Try going to bed at the same time every day, being consistent will train your body’s sleep wake cycle.
Watch what you eat: Going to bed hungry can cause disturbance in your sleep patterns. Watch your consumption of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. The stimulating effects of these substances can affect the quality of your sleep. Alcohol can make you sleep lighter, and wake during the night.
Shut it down: Turn off electronics, lights, and shut the blinds. Light emitting screens should be avoided shortly before bed.
Get physical: Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, however, exercise to close to bed can have the opposite effect.
Stay out of debt: After several nights of less than optimal amounts of sleep, you build up a sleep debt. This may cause you to sleep longer than normal or at unplanned times during the day.
Listen to your body: Your biological clock makes you the most alert during daylight hours and the least alert during the early morning hours. Your biological clock causes you to naturally feel the most tired between midnight and 7 a.m.
Boost your immune system: Recent studies confirm that being well rested improves the body’s responses to infection.
Keep your hunger hormones in check: Evidence is growing that sleep is a powerful regulator of appetite, energy use, and weight control.
While you sleep, your brain is hard at work forming the pathways necessary for learning, creating memories, and new insights. Without enough sleep, you can’t focus, pay attention or respond quickly. Lack of sleep may even cause mood problems. Also, growing evidence shows that a chronic lack of sleep increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infections.
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