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Sleep Timing & Duration

How to Get Through Your Workday on Limited Sleep

When you miss out on your seven to nine hours but you still have a full day ahead, these tips will keep you energized. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. You try but there are times when you weren’t able to get the recommended seven to nine hours. Whether you worked the late shift yesterday or you were up all night with a sick child, you missed out on that critical period of sleep and recovery. On days like this, there are ways to power through the next day on limited sleep. Learn how to overcome an occasional sleep deficit with these useful tips. Take a Cold Shower Start your day…

How to Sleep Well When You Work the Night Shift

Nontraditional job hours require special sleep considerations. Follow this smart strategy More than 22 million Americans work evening, rotating, or on-call shifts. Poor sleep can lead to fatigue, health issues, and an increased risk of work-related injuries. Focus on keeping to the same sleep schedule daily—even on days off—and taking naps prior to work. Most sleep advice caters to those who hold nine-to-five jobs, but what if you work the night shift, as 22 million Americans do? Surprisingly, many of the same tips and tricks for achieving a quality sleep session still apply—including the importance of setting up a sleep schedule. Why Is a Sleep Schedule Important? Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule will improve your…

How Sleep Needs Change with Age

Sleep is important at every stage of life. These tips will help you get the sleep you need as you get older. At each stage of life, people sleep for different durations. Newborns sleep on and off all day. Kids are up at dawn and on the go until sundown. Teens sleep late and stay up even later. Most adults do well with between seven and nine hours a night. Later in adulthood, sleep needs change again: Early waking and difficulty sleeping deeply frequently prevent older people from reaching a full nine hours. What’s more, many people find they simply need less shut-eye later in life. Are you getting enough? These smart tips can…

How to Fall Asleep in 30 Minutes or Less

Stop staring at the ceiling and start dozing off faster with these simple strategies. For people who struggle to fall asleep, that whole “as soon as your head hits the pillow” description sounds mighty appealing. But not only is instant sleep not realistic, it’s quite possibly not healthy: Drifting off within seconds of getting under the blankets is likely a sign that you’re sleep deprived. Still, there’s a limit to how long it should take between climbing under the covers and dozing off. The normal amount of time it takes to fall asleep is about 10 to 20 minutes; if you frequently find yourself staring at the ceiling for a good deal longer than that,…

How to Wake Up Less Frequently at Night

Do you find yourself jolted from sleep several times throughout the night? Learn to cut down on these sleep cycle-disturbing events. Most of the time, getting eight hours of sleep each night is enough to ensure that people feel alert the following morning. For some people, though, banking enough sleep hours doesn’t prevent them from feeling sluggish during the day. One likely reason: Waking several times throughout the night, which interrupts the sleep cycle and steals valuable sleep minutes. Waking once or twice during the night is normal. However, if you find yourself waking up more than that and taking a long time to fall back asleep each time, it could be a sign of a…

How to Go to Bed Earlier

Sleep, sweet sleep. It can often feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t get enough of it to wake up feeling refreshed. What can you do about it? Many times, the answer is as simple as the advice your mother always gave you: Get to bed! But hitting the sack early is often easier said than done. Try these sleep-inducing strategies—so nothing stands between you and your bed each night. Pamper Yourself One quick way to motivate yourself to go to bed is to give yourself something to look forward to. Think: cozy pajamas that you can’t wait to put on at night and a luxurious sheet set that makes your bedroom…

How to Train Yourself to Go to Sleep Earlier

Whether it’s because your schedule has changed and you need to start waking up earlier or you just want to sneak in more snooze time, sometimes it makes sense to move your bedtime earlier. The question is: How can you do that without setting yourself up to lie in bed counting sheep? It takes a little advanced planning, but it can be done. Here’s how. Give yourself a curfew. First, set a specific bedtime for yourself. Turn off all digital devices 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to turn in for the night. The reason: Exposure to light-emitting screens can reset your body’s circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep when you…

Making a Resolution to Sleep Better? 5 Simple Tips

While the most popular New Year’s resolutions tend to be about exercising more often or eating more healthfully, many people also vow to become better sleepers. If you want to make 2017 the year that you finally prioritize your zzz’s, try these five easy tips.   Cut out your afternoon coffee and your nightcap. Caffeine and alcohol can make it tough to get quality sleep. Consider having caffeine only in the morning and early afternoon—you definitely don’t want any in the six hours leading up to bedtime. And while alcohol may help you nod off initially, it does cause you to wake up throughout the night. A good rule of thumb: Don’t drink booze…

How to survive on fragmented sleep

Sleep deprivation is nothing to yawn at. Not only does it leave you tired (and grumpy) the next day, but it can also impede your brain’s ability to form memories, increase your risk of depression, and even trigger overeating. But when you’re a new parent, disrupted sleep can be a fact of life. Try these 6 tips for helping both yourself and your bundle of joy to get the shuteye that you need. Share nighttime shifts. A full night of interrupted sleep may leave you in a worse mood the next day than sleeping continuously—but still not getting enough. That’s because when you’re woken up repeatedly, your body can’t get through the sleep stages to…

What Does Losing an Hour's Sleep Mean to You?

Many people experience a mix of emotions with the start of Daylight Saving Time, including an appreciation for the longer days, annoyance at the need to change every clock, and hope that spring will soon arrive. Accompanying these emotions are the physical and mental challenges of adapting to the time change. These challenges are due, in large part, to the loss of an hour’s sleep. What does losing an hour’s sleep mean to you? Think of all the benefits we gain from sufficient, high quality sleep. Better cognitive performance, increased emotional regulation, heightened ability to make healthy choices, and more efficient physical activity, are just some of…