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Better Sleep

Apple with face in pajamasDo you want...less stress? Better grades? Less sickness? Better mood?...Go To Bed!

Why Do I Need Sleep?

Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It restores our energy, fights off illness and fatigue, helps us think more clearly and creatively, strengthens memory and allows us to lean more effectively, and generally produces a more positive mood and better performance throughout the day.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Most adults need between 6-10 hours of sleep per night. While there is variability between each of us in how much sleep we need, if you are frequently tired or irritable during the day and find yourself sleeping more than an extra 2 hours per night on weekends, then you are probably not getting enough sleep during the week. Find out if you are sleep deprived by completing the sleep awareness assessment (PDF).

Sleep Hygiene Tips

The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following is a list of sleep hygiene tips which can be used to improve sleep.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks after lunch.
  • Avoid bright light in the evening.
  • Avoid arousing activities around bedtime (e.g., heavy study, text messaging, getting into prolonged conversations).
  • Expose yourself to bright light upon awakening in the morning.
  • While sleeping in on weekends is permissible, it should not be more than 2–3 hours past your usual wake time, to avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm governing sleepiness and wakefulness.
  • Avoid pulling an “all-nighter” to study.
  • Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
  • Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
  • Wash your sheets and bedding regularly.

For more tips check out the Go To Bed Snooze Letter (PDF).

Napping 101

Napping is not a replacement for sleep but can be useful for increasing mood, performance, and alertness.

  • The optimal length of time for a nap is 10-30 minutes.
  • Napping can help produce short term alertness for driving or studying
  • Create a comfortable environment for a nap. It helps to lie down completely, and restrict the amount of noise in the surrounding area.
  • Napping too late in the day can create problems with nighttime sleep.

If you have persistent problems falling asleep at night or staying asleep, you may have insomnia. Read more information about Insomnia.

Reference: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/napping

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